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  • Drop Leaf Rule Joint While at first glance the rule joint seems simple, the realities of this joint can be frustratingly troublesome. A first attempt will often result in a joint that scrapes and binds or leaves unsightly gaps. To get it right the first time requires both an understanding and application of the geometry at work. These days the majority of us will cut the rule joint profiles with a router. Though this tool can quickly produce a very accurate pair of matching cuts, it can just a...
  • 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...
  • Door & Drawer Locks Locate the center of the drawer front (or the appropriate position on the door if mounting a door lock). Using the lock as a template, mark its outline on the back and upper edge of the drawer front. Be aware that the key pin is usually offset to one side of the lock and it is the key pin that must be centered on the drawer. With a sharp knife, ruler and square go back over these lines. Use a router or chisel to create the shallow mortise for the lock plate (I use a 1/4" high s...
  • Straight knife hinges are generally used in the illustrated application. The door overlays the sides and is inset into the top and bottom. Mortising is simple so long as those in the casework are cut before assembly or cut by hand. Not much adjustment is possible with this kind of hinge though some can be achieved by fitting one screw only per leaf and lengthening the appropriate mortise if necessary before fitting the remaining screws. Relevant Products Knife Hinges
  • Offset knife hinges provide an unobtrusive way to hinge an inset door. Fitting is as shown above and so long as the mortises are cut accurately before assembly installation should present no particular challenge. Accurately is the keyword here. The whole aesthetic of this kind of hinge is lost if door fit is poor and very little adjustment is possible after installation. To provide a little adjustment after installation the door mortise can be cut a little short and the hinges installed with a si...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • We carry around 200 different keyhole escutcheons in a variety of styles in both iron and brass. Escutcheons can be divided into two distinct categories. Surface mounted types that are simply pinned or screwed over the keyhole and "Thread" escutcheons that are mortised into the keyhole and show as a keyhole shaped brass line (thread). A third style called the flanged thread escutcheon has attributes of both, its body is mortised into the keyhole while it's bead-like flange sits on the surface. Sur...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Ring handles appear as one of the earliest form of handle. Certainly as soon as iron could be forged handles of this basic form would have been produced. The simplicity and fundamental rightness of this form has meant continued popularity through all furniture styles up to the present times. A handle of this form has the advantages of strength, ease of use and manufacture and low profile. At it's most basic it is nothing but a ring and a cotter (split) pin and we carry just such an item from Mexico. ...