Fabricating Hinges


Old 01-03-04, 10:00 PM
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Fabricating Hinges

Ok, this may sound stupid, but I'm having trouble trying to envision how you can fabricate hinges, particularly for automotive use. Currently, I'm wanting to make a storage space in my Ranger that has a drop down door, sortof the way the jumper seats drop down if anyone's got an extended cab Ranger. I removed the jumper seat on one side of the cab, and my plan is to replace the bracket from the jumper seat with another moved slightly back, and make a small cage enclosure and then make fiberglass panels to enclose the whole thing and then I'll have a place to store my junk and keep it from sliding around in the rear of the cab hopefully.

I really don't understand how to fabricate hinges though. Should I search for some kind of bushing? It seems to me that hinges are usually made with offset "teeth" made of pipe that interlock from both sides of the hinge, and then a pin is run through them, but won't this allow for them to eventually just wear down with the pieces of metal rubbing against each other? Is there some way I can install a bushing or something that can be replaced so that if this does happen, I don't have to fabricate a completely new hinge pin? How do you guys usually create the pin anyhow? I had thought to make a pin out of steel rod, and then take a piece of steel tubing that fit snug over the rod and cut that to the size I want the "head" to be. Then I thought to slip the head over the rod (which is now my hinge pin) while it's through the hinge, and then just weld the whole top together. I hope you guys can envision that ok.

Any tips would be appreciated. Especially if you can come up with something simpler, but just as effective as what I'm trying to envision. Also, what about heavy duty hinges, such as if I wanted to make my own door hinges? I've seen suicide door hinge or "hidden hinge" kits go for like $400.00. I'm not out to make money off of such a thing, but it seems to me that for the amount of physical stock involved, I could make myself a set a lot cheaper than buying one (I'd love to suicide the doors on my '76 Malibu ). What do you guys think?

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Old 01-04-04, 12:05 PM
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I've made simple hinges out of sections of cut pipe with a center pin just like a removeable pin door hinge.

I would suggest you find a commercial hinge like what you need and copy the design.

My tape measure and I have paid a visit to a couple of trailer dealers to plan my future car hauler. No reason you can't do that for a hinge.

Google will probably lead you to what you want.
Old 01-04-04, 04:47 PM
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I wouldn't worry about them wearing out. You won't use them
enough to wear them out! the pipe + pin idea is a good one,
although you can buy some heavy duty hinges at a steel
supply yard that are for gates. they sell several different styles,
some like big regular door hinges, and some that are more like
a barrel and pin that you can weld on.

be creative!

take a look at the way your tailgate hinges too, ford's system
there is pretty simple.
Old 01-04-04, 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by trance
I wouldn't worry about them wearing out.
Well, I'm a third generation camaro fan, and those big heavy doors really wear the heck out of the hinges and start to sag, so any ideas to strengthen them up will be appreciated, but all in all I guess I'm really making this project more complicated than it is. I thought there'd be more to it.

I just can't understand how all these hot rod sites like autoloc charge $300-400 for those hidden hinges, when it seems to me that I could duplicate them relatively easily with 1/4" steel, a drill press, and a welder.

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