Holy Lord – the hinge that keeps a panelled door together

The HL hinge was the answer to the old problem of glue and for more than a century it and it’s little brother the H-hinge dominated door furniture. The HL hinge brings the strength of iron to the corner joints of a panelled door, which without it had to rely on a few wooden wedges and old fashioned hot glue, made from boiled up bones and pathetically weak by modern standards. That was when the industrial revolution began and the smiths of the day could suddenly cut the parts from rolled sheet – as we do today – to give a much plainer finish. And many variations evolved. Forgeries HL hinges are ‘square’, the vertical arm as long as the horizontal, but sometimes they used a longer horizontal arm (see our half HL hinge, below). Sometimes they’d both be square ended, sometimes both ends of the HL hinge would be ornamented. On the smaller ones, mostly used on furniture, this was more often the case and we offer the 4-inch in a choice of finishes. The H-hinge probably preceded its big brother. It too was a joint enterprise by the smith and the carpenter. The long arms of the H provided plenty of fixing points for nails and the short knuckle kept the input hours down for the smith. It also proved the weakest point and the smith answered it with a five-knuckle version, rarely, if ever, seen in its predecessor the garnet. By the way, suggestions that the term ‘holy lord’ was a superstitious response to fervent Christian values is now generally discounted !