Friday, December 31, 2010

Faux Strap Hinges: Creating a Smart Look with Dummy Strap Hinges

The strap hinge appeared early in the evolution of the metal door hinge. Strap hinges are hinges with an extension, or strap, that fastens to the face of the door in order to provide the hinge added support. This design was necessary because modern mounting wood screws had not been invented yet and doors were heavy, typically made of solid wood and often larger than modern doors. Forged iron strap hinges were used for centuries in Europe and simple designs of strap hinges were crafted by blacksmiths for doors found on the first early American homes. The introduction of the modern wood screw enabled the modern strapless door hinge and brought an end to the wide use of the classic strap hinge.

Faux, or dummy, strap hinges are essentially strap hinges without the hinge. Dummy strap hinges are purely decorative, recreating the charming look of real strap hinges. Like real strap hinges, dummy strap hinges are usually made of cast or forged wrought iron. However, Dummy hinges are also made of aluminum, bronze, copper and steel. They are available in many styles including Old World European, Early American and American Craftsman styles.

Old World European Style Dummy Strap Hinges
European style strap hinges typically have more ornate forms featuring decorative tips and are constructed of black forged or cast iron. European dummy strap hinges are ideal for European-revival style homes including Tudor and French Country Cottage style homes.

Early American Style Strap Hinges
Original Early American style strap hinges are much less ornate than their European counterparts. True to the past, reproduction Early American style dummy strap hinges often feature simple designs with bean, heart, or spade shaped tips. Dummy Early American style strap hinges are typically constructed of black forged iron.

Craftsman Style Strap Hinges
Distinctively styled hand crafted strap hinges were reintroduced during America’s Arts and Crafts period. Like the originals, dummy Craftsman style strap hinges typically have a rustic, hand crafted appearance. They are also often made of copper and bronze and have simple tulip, square or other geometric shaped tips.

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