Unless you need one, chances are you don’t think about hinges very often. Here at iHinge, we can’t say the same since hinges are our specialty!
Whether you think about them or not, hinges are all around us. They allow us to open all kinds of things in our lives. That said, the same hinge that lets you open your bedroom door is very different from the one that opens a piano lid.
In this article, let’s take a look at continuous hinges.
What is a continuous hinge?
A continuous hinge is a long, slender hinge that runs the length of a surface. Common applications of the continuous hinge include as hardware for doors, boxes and panels. By running the length of the opening, maximum support is available to even the heaviest doors.
Continuous hinges specifics
Continuous hinges are longer than your average hinge. They are also straight and even on both sides. This design makes them easy to align and install. Additionally, due to their design, continuous hinges are extremely durable and will last much longer than a butt or standard mortise hinge.
Continuous hinges are also available in numerous thicknesses, knuckle lengths, pin diameters, and come with or without holes. In addition, you can get continuous hinges in a variety of finishes depending on the style of your door or lid. Popular finish options include:
- Stainless steel
In terms of length, most continuous hinges begin at around 12 inches and are available up to 72 inches. Continuous hinge thickness can vary from 1 1/16” to 3 inches wide.
Continuous hinge uses
Given the design of continuous hinges, their most common use is for piano lids. The design allows for full support of the heavy lid, while allowing the lid to raise and lower smoothly without damaging or disturbing the fragile components within the instrument. In fact, continuous hinges are also commonly known as piano hinges.
Other common uses for continuous hinge include:
- Barn doors
- Blast doors
- Electrical doors
- Sheet metal work
- Warehouse doors
In addition, continuous hinges are frequently used for doors that have medium to heavy usage, due to their longevity.
Choosing the right continuous hinge for your project
Before buying and installing a continuous hinge, it’s important to ensure you’ve chosen the hinge that best meets your needs. Make sure that the hinge isn’t so weak that the hinge will fail, but also don’t want to spend too much money on a hinge that is far stronger than you need.
The load strength of a continuous hinge is determined by the number of knuckles and fasteners in the hinge. The real strength of a continuous hinge, however, is that the load is evenly distributed down its length.
A standard 24-inch hinge will withstand 60 pounds of weight (or 2.5 pounds per inch). By comparison, a 2-inch plastic hinge can handle as much as 100 pounds per linear inch. Understandably, plastic continuous hinges often cost less, but are less durable.