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  • Handle Choices If any question is guaranteed to stump us at Whitechapel Ltd it is "What kind of handle do you think I ought to use on my …..". While we are perhaps sometimes over willing to tell a customer our own likes and dislikes I hope it is apparent that our choices are less valid than your own, you can look at your furniture, we can't. In an effort to make the choosing easier all photos in our catalog are scaled 100% so at least you won't have to imagine size as well as style. If you are ...
  • Every woodworker will from time to time have call for a stay of some kind. Stays of one sort or another are used to hold chest and box lids from falling backward and sometimes forwards. They can be used to support desk writing surfaces, to hold drafting tables at a suitable working angle and then allow them to fold flat for storage. Windows can held open with a variety of types depending on application. Countless other situations will crop up. Choosing the right stay and figuring out how to install it p...
  • Yesterday The need to secure precious objects is so innate to humans and many other animals that it is not surprising the earliest locks appear as long ago as 4000 years. The oldest known locks employed a pin tumbler mechanism much like that of our modern "Yale" lock but on a far larger scale. They have been found in cultures as diverse as those of Egypt, Japan and Norway. The Romans can be credited with the invention of the metal lock and in fact developed the "warded lock" which uses the familiar ske...
  • Fiche hinges are common on Continental European furniture. We supply French made hinges in a variety of sizes to suit most applications. These hinges consist of two rolled steel tubes capped on opposing ends by decorative tips. One tube carries a fixed pin, the other slips over this pin. The tubes are formed with tangential flaps, the flap on the lower tube projects from one side and on the upper tube the other side. We have found three techniques that can be used to install these hinges. Firstly the c...
  • Beds are large cumbersome furnishing and since the beginning have been constructed with "Some assembly required" as a given. A typical bed breaks down at minimum into headboard, footboard and bed rails. A variety of fittings are available to join these parts together, some are more satisfactory than others. Bed Bolts Bed bolts are usually 6" or 7" long bolts 3/8" diameter with a square drive head and integral washer. They are supplied with a square or rectangular nut. This type of bed fastener was...
  • Many cabinetmakers build jigs to speed up repetitive tasks. Installing thread escutcheons could well be a candidate for this approach. I have never been a jig enthusiast, either I'm too lazy or because I have seen too many craftsmen design work to suit existing tools, cutters and jigs rather than the other way around. A thread escutcheon is a short keyhole shaped brass tube that is set into a matching mortise. Our thread escutcheons are cut from long extrusions of the required section and are very cons...
  • It helps to remember that a quadrant hinge is simply a butt hinges with integral lid stay. The same rules that apply to installing a butt hinge apply also to the quadrant hinge. Many jigs are now available to speed up the installation of these hinges. Some are particular to a single brand of hinge and some claim to be universal. Unless you expect to install dozens of these hinges the purchase of a jig is probably not worth the investment. The tool that you will need is a straight cutter the same diamete...
  • Catches come in a bewildering assortment of function and design. In very general terms a catch is any device whose purpose is to hold two or more components together while allowing for easy release. Quite what distinguishes a catch from a latch is unclear to me so we will group them together for the sake of this guide. Locks are dealt with elsewhere and are considered distinct from catches. Door Catches Door catches can either be mounted to show on the outside of the door or the can be mo...
  • All our Code 1 castors are English made and solid brass. Due to advances in material and manufacturing they are substantially stronger than the period originals. We are often asked for a load bearing rating on these castors. This rating would be expected of a modern castor, but it is not relevant to period castors. Any of our castors could bear loads far greater than they are ever likely to encounter. More important than load rating is mobility. A small castor under a heavy load is more likely to make...
  • Double ball catches are easy enough to install if you still have access to the inside of cabinet. If you are planning to use these catches on anything but the most rigid cabinetwork it is advisable to mount them horizontally at the bottom or top of the door. If mounted vertically, opposite the hinged side of the door, any small amount of racking will change the lateral relationship between the parts and prevent the catch functioning correctly or worse. Plan also to fit them before the backs go on. Mou...