Nice Strut Backs?

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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby Not your average framer » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:47 pm

I think that the really good quality cast brass hinges looks great, but the cheaper hinges made from rolled metal, just lack something to my way of thinking. Old school cabinet makers would also use slotted countersunk brass screws and while tightening the screws make sure that the slotted head are all in line. Not a difficult thing to do, but it used to be a craftmans finishing touch and a recognised mark of quality workmanship and as such is something I would want to do. I don't know how many customers would even notice something like this these days, but it does show that you care.

I'm not sure that I would bother with a ribbon to limit how far the strut can open away from the frame, but would chamfer the the top of the strut so that it stops against the frame preventing the strut from opening to far from the frame. For this to work, the material for the strut wants to be a reasonable thickness for the chamfer. I don't particularly like the idea of using plywood for the backing board and strut, but as everyone appears to be thinking, plain hard wood boards are not exactly easy to come by in a suitable thickness.

There was a time when you could buy a piece of furniture cheaply from a local auction house and reuse the wood, but with so many people buying furniture to do the shabby chic paint thing with, I not sure if this would be a financially sensible option these days. I would also have a problem getting small items of furniture home in my little car, which just has no space for almost anything inside or in the boot. I'd probably be relying on breaking the item down at the kerbside and fitting the bits into the tiny boot in my car.
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby David McCormack » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:20 pm

Not your average framer wrote:I'm not sure that I would bother with a ribbon to limit how far the strut can open away from the frame, but would chamfer the the top of the strut so that it stops against the frame preventing the strut from opening to far from the frame.


I'm moving towards using 9mm birch plywood either painted or stained, brass hinge and brass slotted screws. 9mm ply will give the small screws something to hold on to! I want to screw the hinge in place rather than use any clever rivets or whatever as the main tools available for this project are screwdrivers :Slap:

Looking at my diagram A, I need to fix the hinge like this to gain access to the screws and therefore need a ribbon or similar to limit the opening of the strut. If I chamfer the strut to limit the opening as in diagram B, how do I get mt trusty screwdriver in there? :oops:

Strut Hinge.jpg
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby Not your average framer » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:19 pm

There is another way of doing that! You can fit the hinge to the top of the strut so that the hinge lays flat onto the backing board with the other half of the hinge and it's empty screw holes sticking out beyond the top of the strut. The chamfered top end of the strut sticks up beyond the pivot point of the hinge, enough to limit the travel of the strut by resting against the hinge just below the empty screw hole and still allowing access for a screwdriver to insert the screws.

The countersunk side of the upper hinge flap will have the countersinks on the wrong side and will need round head brass screws instead of countersunk heads. There's nothing new about this at all, framers have been doing it like this for years. Not everybody takes much notice how these things are done anymore.
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby Not your average framer » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:01 pm

It is interesting that you are thinking about using 9mm plywood. I think that will look superb, particularly if you can get some of that nice plywood with more layers than average. Some types of plywood will produce really nice finished edges as well and could look amazing.

I've been thinking about making some really classy ready made frames and was not sure what I could do about strut backs that would be a bit special. I have been thinking about 6mm MDF with clip and bar hinges, but I'm no so sure that I would not give 6mm plywood a try and see what happens.

I would be seriously thinking about screws rather than rivets, because you can fit the clips and bars together after fixing access with a screwdriver is not going to be an issue.
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby prospero » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:20 pm

I said there was more to it than meets the eye. :lol: :roll:
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby David McCormack » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:52 pm

Not your average framer wrote:There is another way of doing that! You can fit the hinge to the top of the strut so that the hinge lays flat onto the backing board with the other half of the hinge and it's empty screw holes sticking out beyond the top of the strut. The chamfered top end of the strut sticks up beyond the pivot point of the hinge, enough to limit the travel of the strut by resting against the hinge just below the empty screw hole and still allowing access for a screwdriver to insert the screws.

The countersunk side of the upper hinge flap will have the countersinks on the wrong side and will need round head brass screws instead of countersunk heads. There's nothing new about this at all, framers have been doing it like this for years. Not everybody takes much notice how these things are done anymore.


Thanks Mark.

This is very interesting but I just can't visualise the hinges in place. Any chance you could sketch something so my muddled brain can work this out :?
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby prospero » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:41 am

:idea: :D It may be possible to knock the pin out of the hinge, attach the halfs and knock it back in again.
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby Not your average framer » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:07 pm

David McCormack wrote:Some more pictures of how they used to be done 8)

a4086d-edwardian-frame_264_detail.jpg



Hi David,

One of your own pictures on this very same thread illustrates what I am talking about. The pivot point of the hinge in this case is below the top of the strut, but not so far below that the screw heads are not accessible. This is particular easy with hinges where the distance between the pivot pin (that enable the two flaps of the hinge to move) and the screw fixing holes is large enough to allow the top of the strut to be above the strut to come into contact with the upper flap of the hinge and limit the strut from opening any further.

You have to quite accurate when choosing the correct position on the strut to fix the hinge, but apart from that, I would think that the rest should be reasonably straight forward. Finding the right pattern of hinge might take a bit of checking out different suppliers.

BTW, it is not possible to display someone else's attachment as an image as far as I can figure out on a different persons post, but at least you have the name of the image to look for on your post dated 11/7/2018. I hope this helps. I moving into my new shop at present and scanning a sketch right now is a little problematic right now. If I can find the right design of hinge making a demo and photographing it might be easier.
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby David McCormack » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:13 pm

Cheers Mark. I've got my head around the idea now :clap:

FYI, if you ever need to repost someone else's image then just download it and then upload again. Easy on a desktop but don't know about mobile devices. I'm very much a desktop kinda bloke and my mobile only does phone calls and texts 8)
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby Not your average framer » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:50 pm

This thread has really got me thinking and I don't think that making your own strut backs need to be limited to just jobs for customers who want something a bit more up market. I used to be able to use the Simons clip and bar strut backs, which were made of some quite thick and rather solid MDF. These were quite sturdy compared to rest of the pack, but Simons have discontinued these and I don't think that the other types of strut backs on the market are anywhere near as durable.

Has the time come to be thinking about making our own strut backs every time the need for a strut back comes along. It might sound a bit crazy, but is it? I don't know how many of us have reasonably decent table saws, but I would reckon a good many of us already have one and maybe it is possible to gear up for making strut backs to simplify and speed up the task. It's not that hard to produce a few templates and jigs to save marking out hole positions, cutting backs and struts to size.

I seems to me that none of us would be having this conversation unless we could not find what we want, without having to resort to making our own strut backs. For myself, I don't mind cutting MDF with a hand saw, but I would rather not cut MDF with a power saw, or a router, because the dust is not only a significant health risk, but the very fine dust just gets almost anywhere and everywhere. Plywood would be a much better option in regard to both concerns. Is anyone else thinking the same, or is it just me?
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby David McCormack » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:44 am

So this week I've finally caught up and managed to find the time to start making these 'posh' strut backs (very good customer who doesn't mind waiting :giggle: )

All has gone to plan with the design and materials and I should finish them by the end of today. Will post some photos over the weekend.
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby Steve N » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:30 pm

:clap: :clap: I'm on tender hooks
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby prospero » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:48 pm

Steve N wrote::clap: :clap: I'm on tender hooks



"Tenter Hooks" I think you'll find. :D


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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby David McCormack » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:12 pm

There's no hooks involved... they're free standing strut back frames :giggle:
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby Steve N » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:20 pm

No, Tender because I'm very delicate and sensitive :giggle: :giggle:

But thanks for pointing that out, all these years I have been saying it wrong :sweating:
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby kartoffelngeist » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:29 pm

Man walks in to a framer's and asks: "do you have any stands for frames?"
The framer replies: "strut back?"
The man starts strutting backwards out the shop saying "do you have any stands for frames?"

:mrgreen:

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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby prospero » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:00 pm

A man goes into the Butchers and says, "A pound of steak and kidley please". :)

The butcher replies, "Don't you mean steak and kidney?" :roll:

The man says, "That's what I said diddle I? " :lol:


Anyway, a Tenter was a frame used to hang cloth to dry in the dyeing process. Hanging from this frame were lots of hooks
to attach to the cloth to keep it taut. Thus if you are 'on tenterhooks' you are tensed up. :thinking:

Here endeth today's lesson. :clap:
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby Not your average framer » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:11 pm

I've been and got a clip and bar from my shop, just to check the hole diameters. The clip will take number 4 size screws, it's not really a clearance size hole, but it threads through without any effort at all. As for the bar, the holes in either end are a little smaller, but a number 4 size screw will tap it's own thread relatively easily and it is probably best to open the hole out ever so slightly with a slightly larger drill.

Moving into my new premises, I have inherited some small pieces of 6mm plywood and have been thinking about whether I can use these fpr strut backs, at the moment I have my doubts and think that the David's suggested 9mm plywood might be a much more sensible option. I'm thinking about knocking up a small table saw sled to cut the angles for the sides of the struts.

The sled would only be something extremely basic and I would cut all four sides of the struts with the saw blade set at 45 degrees, To make this work, I'm thinking about cutting all the struts to a standard length and then re-cutting them when I know the length I need for any particular frame. The actual back would be cut with the blade set as normal for 90 degree cut.

At this stage and since I've already got them, I may as well use up my clips and bars, before I think about buying some proper brass hinges. Funnily enough without this thread, I probably would not be thinking about make my own strut backs at all, but it is something special which may appeal to some customers and once you made a couple of jigs it will be really easy to make them.
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby poliopete » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:50 pm

Same man walks in to the same Butchers and says " I'd like a leg of Lamb please, and leave the head on :D
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Re: Nice Strut Backs?

Postby prospero » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:28 am

You've got that wrong way round Peter. :roll: :lol:
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