Help with subtle hinges/closures/attachments


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Hello all.

I'm a full time woodworker on large projects, and also a hobbiest crafter-prop maker.

I kind of made that mistake of having a friend ask me to aid in a project. 'You have the crafting and building skills, could you help make this?'.

And you know how that goes, 'Gee, sure, it's just friend work...'

Anyhow, my friend is wanting a portable easel, but more of like a book;

it folds shut during transport, book style, so we figured making the panels out of a plywood or a plastic board (like the plastic cutting boards).

When to be used as an easel, it would hinge open like a book and provide a large flat surface. My friend came up with the notion though;

could this hinges somehow? And at the back/spine, could there be latches to lock it open?

He even pointed out luggage latches/butterfly latches that turn and tighten. Good idea on paper, of course, even the smallest luggage type latches are too cumbersome.

Also, the unforeseen problem is that I'm not sure of this is going to be two large pieces of aforementioned wood/plastic , or if I need a third strip of material, a spine, to make it work.

Additionally, the issue crops up of how many latches? His initial idea was for a 'bottom and top one'........ but if they are weak latches, you probably need a balance of 2 on both the left and right for an equal pull.

Does there exist a small-not-so-clunky latch that may pull both sides at once?

I've been suggested maybe to hinge the inside, maybe. But really, you'd want a nice flat surface to rest sketch book and paper, naturally, so a piano hinge might give too much of a bump.

I looked at butler hinges, but the ones I got from Rockler felt rather hard to open, suitable for larger table-type projects, not a lightweight out-for-a-pleasant-nature-sketch type easel.

 

I am sorry if this isn't 100% a woodworking question, but it seems like a forum of cabinet makers and woodworkers could provide me with more information on hardware I just haven't encountered yet. Thanks in advance. :)

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Hi!

 

And sorry if I was a little vague about some of those points, I will try and clarify a bit. :D

Yes, it would fold up like a book. Attached should be some sketch ideas. Book 1 should the book folding up for transport. The one labeled book 2 shows what my friend envisions about it 'locking open' at a 180 angle flat. He even thought of putting a threaded insert in the middle to mount on a base/tripod for the easel use. Then the  third image shows another concept he wants if the piece could lock open solid; a portable surface.

Now you see the hang up; is there some sort of hardware that could do this?

Pulling it and locking it on both the left and right side?

 

 

book 1.jpg

book 3.jpg

book 2.jpg

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Nice artwork, very expressive, and helps me see exactly what you mean!

I don't know of any commercial hardware to do this. A hand made solution comes to mind - cut a stick about the length of the top / bottom (folded book mode). On the top / bottom edges of both leaves, add rings or hoops that the stick fits snugly into, but slides with just a bit of friction. Use a standard 'piano' hinge, or pair of them with a spine in the middle. In book mode, the stick would slide to rest over one leaf, but in tablet / easel mode slide the stick so that it bridges the hinge(s) and fits the loop in the opposing leaf.

Sort of like a cabinet door bolt, but with longer travel.

A bolt might even work.

http://www.harneyhardware.com/hardware/Door-Bolts-And-Latches/Door-Bolts/DDB425U3?gclid=COXavLXAy8oCFZQjgQodZykHvQ

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I agree on the artwork. Do you do that for a living? When I think of an easel, I think of an object that looks like a tee pee, in the vertical position. Thanks for clearing that up. I like Ross's solution.

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15 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

Sort of like a cabinet door bolt, but with longer travel.

A bolt might even work.

 

And this is why asking other people for advice is important; my friend and I were totally thinking in latches. The bolt idea is a really good idea, one we wouldn't have thought of. Okay, that opens new horizons. I have been months searching for that dream hardware, which I am sure exists somewhere for something totally unrelated.

Thanks for the suggestion, and if anyone else has any more, I'd love to hear them.

 

And credit to my friend on the artwork. I actually am an amateur artist (mostly a woodworker and crafter), my friend is a professional. (But the kind of guy who will deny it and insist he's still an amateur, like a good artist. ;) )

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As for hinges, you should look at concealed barrel hinges.

Barrel%20hinge.JPG

for the latches, I would consider some sort of flush mount slide bolt on the top and bottom of the easel. Once you open the hinges you could engage the bolt and it will create a solid surface. If you search for "flush slide bolt" you will find several options

215_flush_slide_bolts.jpg

 

6-Inch-L-type-304-Stainless-steel-Latch-

 

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Use hinges on the back side that open to the180* shown in the drawing. On the front side, attach a thin piece of board the size of the spine to the right board via piano hinge under the back cover. Another piano hinge will be attached to the other side of the spine board and also attached to another thin piece of board the size of the front cover of the book. When putting it away, fold the back boards shut and fold the two thin pieces shut over the closed book and secure with some type of strap. Hopefully this is easier to understand than it was to describe!

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I'd mock one up without the fold, just a flat board with straps, to see if it works as well as you imagine.  I think it's going to be tricky getting the straps attached in the right location.  You might need a third strap, unless you want to use one hand to hold it while the other hand draws.

It seems to me that there's going to be a lot of force on the "spine", so the latch is going to have to be very strong.  I'll try to sketch up something later, I'm on the wrong computer for sketchup.

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19 hours ago, Derek said:

Using something like a drop leaf table joint might work. You'd have to play around with it to get it work properly.

I got some butler hinges, but boy, they feel too strong for what I am probably needed. I like them immensely, but probably overkill for what I am doing.

12 hours ago, Beechwood Chip said:

I'd mock one up without the fold, just a flat board with straps, to see if it works as well as you imagine.  I think it's going to be tricky getting the straps attached in the right location.  You might need a third strap, unless you want to use one hand to hold it while the other hand draws.

It seems to me that there's going to be a lot of force on the "spine", so the latch is going to have to be very strong.  I'll try to sketch up something later, I'm on the wrong computer for sketchup.

Bingo, you really hit on what I know will be very stressful on a such a small scale piece.

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On 2/7/2016 at 4:41 AM, Derek said:

 

Just a thought on the hinges, you could use this style on the edges on the book

f9e128babeb8f5bfc2b718002d943808.jpg

You'd have to modify them like this though

19d17d10fdb902aa7a25d94b16ac1c1c.jpg

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

oooh, good idea on this.... Hmmm, having trouble locating a source for these, though. Are they called edge hinges? Table hinges?

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13 hours ago, Dinkum said:

oooh, good idea on this.... Hmmm, having trouble locating a source for these, though. Are they called edge hinges? Table hinges?

White Chapel LTD. Secretaire hinge. They're under Speciality Hinges. Also Card Table hinges might work. This is more of a selection and you won't have to modify those.

http://www.whitechapel-ltd.com/category/sphng.html

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On 2/10/2016 at 10:05 PM, wdwerker said:

It's a version of a knife hinge.

Ah, thank you!

On 2/10/2016 at 10:27 AM, Derek said:

White Chapel LTD. Secretaire hinge. They're under Speciality Hinges. Also Card Table hinges might work. This is more of a selection and you won't have to modify those.

http://www.whitechapel-ltd.com/category/sphng.html

Thank you too! My only complaint that my friend has is is there anything 'smaller'? The dutch bolt idea he really wants it to be discreet and maybe recess into the easel some. But at the same time he wants it 'bookish' and kind of compact. I am startign to go on that to have decent hardware there really isn't much that is small enough to be 'invisible', and I will just have to strike that happy balance between function-able and streamlined that is nearly impossible to please people with. ;)

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2 hours ago, Dinkum said:

Ah, thank you!

Thank you too! My only complaint that my friend has is is there anything 'smaller'? The dutch bolt idea he really wants it to be discreet and maybe recess into the easel some. But at the same time he wants it 'bookish' and kind of compact. I am startign to go on that to have decent hardware there really isn't much that is small enough to be 'invisible', and I will just have to strike that happy balance between function-able and streamlined that is nearly impossible to please people with. ;)

Just a thought. If created the book with rabbets or dados to create recesses for bolt and hinges and essential put veneer, a skin ( 1/4 thickness?)over the dados/ hardware. You could hide everything that way.

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piano hinges on the book covers, and a 1/4" thick and what width needed spine that swivels in center to provide stiffness when opened. it could fit into a wooden bracket or metal like the old shed doors had only smaller version like a u shape one on each cover.

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