Types of Continuous Hinges for Restoration

Selecting the Right Piano Hinge for Your Restoration Project

When it comes to restoring an antique chest or cabinetry or perhaps even a piano, you want to ensure that you use quality replacement parts. Choosing the most appropriate metal finishing hardware is a particularly important consideration during the planning process and can make or break your project (literally!). This article outlines some of the options available to you in terms of piano hinges, or continuous hinges as they are also known.

The first parameter to consider is, "is the piano hinge strong enough?". Different projects require different durability. It is wise to use a heavy duty piano hinge to ensure that your finished piece has the strength to provide both short term functionality and long term durability. A stainless steel piano hinge or is a safe option for most projects and provides reassurance that your finished piece will stay strong for the long run.

Another consideration is the finishing of the restoration hardware. I believe every antique has its own personality. That's what can make the work so fun! It can also be very challenging and costly locating original parts. This difficulty can be overcome by simply embracing the opportunity to add your own personal flair with new hardware. What is the voice of the antique? Is it a mahogany cabinet, an oak chest, a Cherrywood dresser? Does it use a dark or light stain? These are some of the things to consider when deciding on the finish of your heavy duty continuous hinge. The bold look of stainless steel, the muted tones of brass or the polish of nickel coated piano hinges each have their own unique look. Find out what is best for you by experimenting a little.

The following includes a few of the more popular options available when choosing your piano hinge.

  • Aluminum piano hinge: Less strong than a steel continuous hinge but still sturdy enough for most projects. An somewhat muted finish that won’t particularly detract or amplify any piece. 
  • Solid Brass piano hinge: A lustrous and sturdy alternative to a steel hinge that will complement many different applications such as cabinetry or an antique chest.
  • Stainless steel piano hinge: Stainless steel is reliably strong and has a nice, although not fine,  finish. It can be used for industrial purposes but also for a rugged look. It’s The most popular choice for continuous hinges. 
  • Wraparound: Usually made of stainless steel but come in other materials as well. A particularly strong inge that envelops each joining point providing a strong, sturdy swing will little jitter.
  • Nickel plated piano hinge: Nickel provides a luster similar to aluminum but coated over the strength of a stainless steel core. This combination of attractive aesthetics and strength make a nickel coated piano hinge a real winner.

At the end of the project, what you are really looking for is a heavy duty piano hinge that also flatters the piece that you have been labouring on so meticulously. Take some time to experiment and try out a few different hinges.  They are relatively inexpensive so it won’t break the bank to experiment a little. There are many piano hinge installation tutorials out there that can aid in the process. The right hardware can really make your restoration (or new build) shine and that is something worth holding on to.
Solid Brass Piano Hinge

Door and Piano Hinge Replacement

The process explained