Dave Trendymiddlename Starr

Mixing metal finishes in a project?

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I'm designing a breadbox that will be made of walnut and use brass hinges and hardware. I've found the hinges I like, and I've found the knobs I like. Problem is, one is brushed brass, the other is polished brass. Is using both brushed and polished brass in a project as bad an idea as I think it is, or does it end up looking alright?

Thanks!

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I don't think that using brushed handles and polished hinges is a bad thing. The hinges will not be very visible and finding a brushed variety might be difficult. On the other hand you may be able to find polished hardware but that look may not be what you desire. If you've purchased the hardware already you can always try it out and change the handle hardware if you don't like it. It's harder to change hinges but i think finding brushed variety will be harder.... but I've never looked.

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By like, I’m betting you like the looks of the knobs and the way the hinges fit, ok, maybe the way they look as well. But as Nut noted, the hinges will be less likely seen, especially if the bread box is stocked with bread and Twinkies and Ding Dongs. Keep us posted on the build. 

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Well, the design will be similar to this one, so the hinges will be plenty exposed. lol

The knobs I like are these: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RQ6FJLJ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2

And the best hinges I've found are these: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B003F0APZW/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1

I definitely like the knobs, but I'm not entirely sold on the hinges yet. I'm still looking, but that's the best style I've found so far. Even ignoring the brushed-versus-polished problem, I'm having trouble finding particularly interesting hinges in brass.

The breadbox example I posted is an Amish design, and my design will be mostly similar. I'm hoping to learn more modern, but the hinges are kind of making-or-breaking that design goal, it seems. The knob's a good example of what I'm hoping to achieve. Simple, clean, a bit minimalist. But trying to find a brass hinge that matches has been a challenge thusfar. There's plenty of these kinds of hinges to be found, but... well, usually less is more, but that particular version of less is just less.

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You could always polish the knobs or sand/brush the hinges, as long as they are solid brass or the plating is thick enough. 

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Another option is to darken the brass so that the finish differences are less evident. I've used gun blue solution to turn bright brass parts into 'oil rubbed bronze'. Heating with a torch can also darken and dull the finish of bright brass.

YMMV

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You could do butt hinges and mortise them in so most is hidden. Then all you'll see is the barrel which i s what i was originally thinking you were doing.

They  would look like this. Not my project i just pulled it from the internet.

2E48D5B821CE093D341785FD4D73AC32.app1_15

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While it certainly doesn’t live up to the quality of Chestnut’s current work, everyone has to start somewhere. 

And we know it isn’t his because it isn’t cherry :P

  • Haha 2

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3 minutes ago, JohnG said:

While it certainly doesn’t live up to the quality of Chestnut’s current work, everyone has to start somewhere. 

And we know it isn’t his because it isn’t cherry :P

True on both counts.

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I don't think I'd mix the finishes - something is going to look like it doesn't belong.  A bit of googling suggests that brushed brass hinges are difficult to find, but here is a polished brass knob that is along the lines of the one you like:

https://www.thebuilderssupply.com/richelieu-bp842130-contemporary-metal-knob-842

Another alternative might be to make your own wooden knob, in the shape of the one you like.  It's a pretty basic shape - shouldn't be too hard to replicate.  You could either use walnut to match the box, like in your sample photo, or use a contrasting wood.

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