Monday, June 19, 2017

Modification to Southco Hinges

Blog reader Paul Savoie of Ontario Canada says:

"After viewing your latest video on "How to Make a Sketch Easel" I promptly ordered the friction hinges . They arrived a couple of days ago. After a bit of head scratching I figured out how to modify the hinges so that they can fully close for a standard installation. (No need to create a wedged hinge recess in order for the easel to close properly).

"First, the dome of the round head bolt needs to be filed flat. Use a standard mill file, and elbow grease, with the bolt fully seated into the nut and held in a vice. Once the dome has been removed place the nut and bolt assembly in a drill chuck and file a new dome as the bolt spins. Use a fine sandpaper (240 grit or finer) to give the head a satin finish. This still leaves plenty of the Phillips recess to provide sufficient purchase for the screw driver. The thinner bolt head is more than strong enough in this application since, as you know, VERY LITTLE torque and pressure needs to be applied to stiffen these friction hinges. The bolt modification alone is not quite enough to allow the hinge to close slightly past parallel.

"Second, a countersunk hole needs to be drilled into the cross brace of the hinge flap opposite the bolt. Remove the nut and bolt. Fully close the hinge. Use the hole where the bolt sits as your guide for drilling a SMALL hole through the opposite flap cross brace. You don’t want to weaken the cross brace too much by drilling a large hole. Countersink the new hole as shown in the attached photos. The shallower bolt head can now nestle into the new countersunk recess and VOILA!…the hinge can be fully closed!!!

"TIP: After the easel is finished, and just BEFORE you make the final tension adjustment on the hinges, add a tiny dab of clear nail polish to the bolt threads. This will “lock” the bolts in place but still allow for future adjustments if needed. Commercially available “Loctite" thread sealant will serve the same purpose if you have any."

Thanks, Paul, for sharing this valuable tip! If any of you would like to share a tip or a build idea from your easel, please send me a couple photos and captions. I'll do a round-up soon. Thanks to those of you who have been sending them in.
Southco Adjustable Torque friction hinges
Loctite  Heavy Duty Threadlocker
Video tutorial: "How to Make a Sketch Easel"


Scotty A said...

Ha! Bravo!

Bill Marshall said...

Did you send this design suggestion to the manufacturer? Seems like something they could implement for all the reasons given.


Keith Yong said...

I just cut off the middle part entirely with a chisel+hammer. Works perfectly, and can fold perfectly flat

André said...

Thanks for the tips! Was much easier ^^