Window shutter hardware
Window Shutter Hardware> Overview
A series of documents are provided here to further explain terms and terminology related to shutter hardware and blacksmithing, as well as the evolution of early hardware.
A Brief History of Early Hardware
In its earliest forms, most hardware was simple and home-made - usually of readily available materials such as wood or leather. Iron was far too expensive for the common serf and the time of a skilled smith was beyond most people's means. A patch of leather spanning between the stile and jamb and fastened with wooden pegs served to hinge a door or shutter. Hand-carved wooden hinges and pintles, slide bolts and lift-latches were whittled from a variety of woods. These originals obviously lacked durability and most have been lost to time, but some charming examples remain.
The earliest examples of iron hardware were sponsored by the nobility. Iron itself was expensive and a valued resource for any kingdom. Iron-pointed plows were much more efficient than wooden and farmers with iron sickles and hoes could produce far more food and fodder which translated into more wealth for the controlling lord. In times of war, forces equipped with iron swords and iron-tipped arrows had a huge advantage over others less well equipped. Again, an important asset to the lord of the lands in terms of defending or expanding his holdings.
Iron has value in its ability to be re-formed any number of times. In the hands of a skilled smith, farmers' tools could truly be beaten from plow shares to swords - and then back again - depending on the immediate needs of the kingdom. Key words above - "the hands of a skilled smith". The skill of the royal armourer was a reflection of the kingdom's ability to transfer it's wealth in iron to and from weapons of quality in a timely manner - so the skilled smith was considered a valuable asset to any state. I believe this relationship between the smith's skills and the kingdom's strength was a driving force in the earliest examples of door and window hardware. The hinges and hardware of surviving castles is very ornate and executed with superb skill. It seems this was intended not only as a display of the resident noble's wealth, but also as a statement of the skill of the state's ironworkers. Based on the castle's hardware, a visiting noble could quickly assess the quality of the iron and the ironworking skills of a community before even meeting his counterpart. Castle hardware made a statement not unlike the weapons arrayed on the walls and ceiling of the Governor's mansion in Williamsburg - a display of wealth and martial power intended to impress visiting ally and enemy alike.
So, the idea of elegant iron hardware was set by the wealthy of generations gone by and carried forward as the accepted norm. Even in the post-renaissance period, when industrial advances provided more iron and the emerging merchant/tradesman classes had money to purchase hardware for their homes and warehouses, the smiths produced only the elaborately fashioned and finished hardware as their masters had taught them. Examples of hardware excavated from Jamestown and Plymouth all were very ornate in design - typical of that being produced in England at the time.
In Colonial days all of the hardware was made in England and imported to the colonies. Period. That was the law; it was illegal for the colonials to produce manufactured goods. America sold iron and charcoal to the British who used those raw materials and their resident labor force to produce hardware which was then sold back to the
captive marketin the colonies. Virtually all of the early hardware in Philadelphia and New York, Annapolis and Alexandria, Chestertown and Key West, or any place else where British ships could berth was made in England - but laws have always been made to be broken. As you move inland, away from the ports and cities where British authority was centered, many locally made examples of early hardware can be found. Lovely examples of German, French, and Dutch hardware remain in our inland river valleys - reflections of the homelands of the early settlers. English hardware, however, was the overwhelming standard in colonial America and set the pattern for all that evolved.
By contemporary standards, change was almost non-existent as recently as two hundred years ago. The work of each of three generations of locksmiths in Lancaster County, PA can be noted by the single change that the son and grandson incorporated into the original pattern the grandfather brought to this country from Germany. People were just too busy trying to feed themselves and their families and survive in harsh times to think about changing what was proven to work. Change was considered dangerous (which it is) and disrespectful to the existing and preceding social condition.
Around 1750 things began to change. As colonial raw materials poured into the British Isles, "Factories" began to appear - often staffed by orphanages or those sentenced to debtor's and other prisons. Dozens and then hundreds of smiths (boys of six or seven years would hammer nails all day and as they grew were given larger pieces to forge) could be found under one roof hand-hammering iron goods which were loaded on waiting ships to be sold in the Empire's colonies around the world. The ironmongers were quick to recognize that cheaper outsold better and the labor-intensive embellishments of the early hardware only added to the cost of their product. H and HL hinges are a good example of this transition. The earlier hardware with its chiseled and filed details fast gave way to less expensive, but equally functional hardware of similar but unadorned design. The success of this new market-driven approach paved the way for quick acceptance of the industrial changes that were to follow.
hutter Hardware and the Industrial Revolution
Exterior shutters were vital elements on homes in the colonies. The expense of the shutters and their associated hardware was easily justified. There were no organized police forces; each man's home was truly his own castle to defend. With stout shutters securely locked from within, the windows of the home offered no easy access to marauding Indians or urban burglars. Which is why you often see raised panel shutters on the ground floor of early homes and louvered above. The raised panels were much more secure against access from ground level and the louvered upstairs shutters were often later additions to the home. Exterior shutters also proved a first barrier against the elements - winter winds and summer sun alike. In the cities shutters also provided privacy screens between the residents and the considerable pedestrian traffic only feet away. Shutters were in constant use, opened and closed daily.
Virtually all of the shutters in colonial times were hung with strap hinges - following the examples in Britain and on the continent. Strap hinges were strong and secure. The frames of windows were hewn from a single heavy piece of wood and offered plenty of "meat" into which a heavy pintle could be driven. The rails of the shutter were often six or eight inches high and provided plenty of room to position the strap hinge across the width of the shutter. The hinges were fastened to the shutters with rivets or nails driven through and clinched on the inside of the closed shutter. The nails and rivets were not only strong and secure, but they were also the cheapest fastener option. A relatively unskilled smith could produce them with only a hammer and small anvil and an open fire. Screws had to be forged, and then the threads hand-cut and the head had to be slotted - usually with a sharp chisel blow. Locks of the period followed the form of the strap hinges. The rolled barrel was replaced by a pin of about ½" in diameter and twice the length of the thickness of the shutter mounted perpendicular to the face of the lock. The lock would be nailed or riveted on the lock rail of one shutter with the pin positioned about two inches beyond the edge of the shutter. The opposite shutter would be drilled through with a hole to accept the pin protruding from the lock. From the inside close the shutter with the hole, and then close the shutter with the lock. The lock pin passes through the hole and you drop a simple nail-like key into the hole in the lock pin and the shutter is virtually impregnable from the exterior. Closed eighteenth century shutters are very handsome with their five matching strap elements. It's quite impressive to see an early city block with the windows shuttered and the doors locked - there's just no way to get in.
Tie-backs of the Colonial era were mostly of English origin and many were of the "Rattail" style. Variations are noted as different British manufacturers vied to produce a less expensive product. But the "change is bad" mindset seemed to keep the tie-backs all pretty much just variants on the rattail and one or two other patterns. Inland, where local smiths were producing hardware on their own, a wide range of patterns are noted.
A couple of things happened shortly after the American Revolution that would quickly change exterior shutter hardware
Machines were invented to make screws
Machines were invented to produced rolled iron in thin sheets
By about 1800 cheap screws were readily available. Cast iron technology had long been available - now machine made screws allowed such hardware to be economically mounted. A bunch of butt type hinges can be seen during this "Federal" Period (1800-1830) - but they quickly fell from favor, probably because they were subject to breakage.
A more obvious change in the shutter hardware was noted in shutter bolts. The common slide plate and keeper style of bolt started to appear. It was simpler to fabricate and operate than the earlier "strap style lock" and required a less skilled work force to produce. This bolt relied on both the new cheap fasteners and the readily available plate iron. (previously plate iron was made by stacking together thicker material which was hammered down thin, then folded and hammered again, then folded and hammered - like pastry ?). This bolt also relied on machines and "dies", and so indicated the acceleration of the Industrial Revolution - now change was not only accepted, but desirable. This form of shutter bolt has been made continually ever since.
Strap hinges continued to dominate in the market place, however, for hanging shutters. But here, too, changes were afoot. Drive pintles started to be replaced by similar pintles cut off and mounted on a piece of thin plate material and again fastened with the new screws. This is the pre-cursor of the "plate pintle" that's still very much around.
Changes in construction are noted in the same period. Instead of building the structure around the heavy wooden frame of the window, you would see structures built with openings into which "pre-fabricated" windows were installed. The earliest examples I've seen date from around 1810 and utilized a very nice variation on the strap hinge. Instead of mounting the pintle to the surface of the structure a new form was designed. This pintle was a flat plate of about two inches in height and notched to one half of its height and formed to a female barrel. Holes were punched in the side of the pintle and it was screwed directly to the side of the window before the window was installed on the structure. The strap hinges were modified to match the new pintles… the hinge was of the same width as the pintle and notched to one half of its height. A pin to mate with the female pintle was welded in the hinge. Examples of this type proved to be very durable and were in very regular and wide-spread use through the 1870s. If you look in any older town you can still see tons of examples of the female "cup" pintles still installed on the windows. (Often when the shutters were removed - usually in this century - cast type pintles were hit with a hammer and broken off flush with the edge of the window. The shutters often found their way into the basements of the home to provide coal bins for newly-installed central heat - or, as on our old farm, were nailed up in the barn to partition off pig sties or calf pens).
Cast iron tie-backs became much more popular during the federal period - usually mounted on arms extending from the window sills. The "Federal Shell" was the dominant pattern in this period.
The Civil War Era and Beyond
The next major change in shutter hardware coincided with the Civil War era. By this time the industrial revolution was fully mature. Heavy presses and punches were in use in factories around the country and a maturing rail transportation system opened up the inland areas for the products of the factories. Iron was the norm up until that time - steel (a mixture of iron and carbon, and much stronger than iron alone) had been very expensive to produce. With the Bessemer blast furnace steel suddenly became less expensive and readily available. Hardware makers were quick to take advantage of this new material. They produce the first of the "butt" and "H" or "Parliament" style lift-off hinges. Quick and easy to produce and now strong enough to hold heavy shutters thanks to the steel from which they were made, they quickly found favor in the new construction of the period. Strap hinges were still very much in evidence, however, and the venerable slide bolt was still the only option in the hardware store.
Status quo for the next couple of decades. Then came the Victorian era with its cast opulence, trick, age-of-invention hardware. Neat stuff, but subject to breakage and it really didn't last much longer than the turn of the century.
About 1880 the first examples of "New York" style hardware appeared. Plate steel elements assembled by unskilled labor in sprawling factories. This hardware style evolved into the many imported forms seen today. It has been successful because it provided the ability to surface mount hinges (as straps do) and tie the wooden elements of the shutters together and also allowed for smaller and less expensive window and shutter elements. About this time the firs commercially produced "S" style tie-backs were seen - manufacture by Stanley Works in CT. Historically an "S" is a very difficult form to forge. Stanley forged the first simple styles for commercial consumption - it wasn't really until the 1930s that they started to stamp them. So the most common "old" tie back really isn't old, it's just highly visible due to the vast numbers installed in the last 50 or 60 years.
Window Shutter Hardware > Shutter & Hardware Terminology
Nuts and Bolts Terms:
Battens - the horizontal elements on "board and batten" shutters. Strap hinges usually mount centered on the battens. This is the standard construction approach for most barn doors.
Butt Mounted - hinges that mortise into the sides of the hinges - only the barrel of the hinges is visible when the shutter is in the closed position.
Casement - the wood surrounding the window upon which the pintle is typically mounted.
Hinges - Mate with the Pintles and are mounted on the shutter.
Pintles - the "pins" on which hinges swing. The pintles are, by definition, mounted to the structure. Pintles are offered in various configurations to match different installation situations.
Rails - Again, with louvered or raised panel shutters, the rails are the horizontal elements of wood that frame the shutter. The width of the rails is an important consideration when choosing surface mounted hardware.
Show Hinges - Hinges arranged to mount so as to be visible when the shutter is in the open position.
Stiles - when a shutter is louvered or of the raised panel style, the stiles are the vertical elements of the frame. Know the width of the stiles so you can position the first fastener on strap hinges on their mid-line.
Surface Mounted - hinges that mount to the face of the shutter - strap hinges and the "New York Style" hinges are examples. The hinges are visible when the shutter is in the closed position.
Offset - the total dimension that the shutter will travel outwards when moved from the closed to the open position. The offset is typically the distance from the face of the casement to the outermost surface of the structure.
The offset is developed in shutter hardware by selection a pintle made to "stand off" the casement a given distance - the shutter hinge has a sharp bend which moves the hinge barrel away from the face of the shutter at a distance to match the pintle standoff.
When measuring offset, it is critical to allow for irregularities in construction. Brick and stone openings are rarely plumb and never perfectly flat - look for the greatest dimension and allow about ½" cushion. If the offset is too small the shutters will not open fully - if the offset is too great, the shutter will function well and sit off of the wall a bit. I feel its good practice to set the shutters at least 1" off the face of the structure to allow air circulation across the back of the shutter.
Standoff - The pintle standoff is the distance from the face of the casement to the mid-line of the pintle pin. The hinge standoff is the distance from the face of the shutter to the center-line of the hinge barrel. Adding the pintle standoff to the hinge standoff results in the total offset.
Standoff is very important. Virtually all commercially available shutter hardware is provided with matching standoff on the hinge and pintle. This assumes that the face of the shutter will lie on the same plane as the casement with the shutter in the closed position. This seldom happens in contemporary construction - incorrect hardware is installed - the homeowner hears "well, you'll never close them anyway".
Hinge and pintle standoffs can be custom made to each customer's situation. This eases installation and insures proper shutter function.
Throw - This is the measure of the horizontal movement of the edge of the shutter as it swings from the open to the closed position. Varies greatly between hinge styles. If too little throw, the open shutter will cover the window molding. Too much throw and a lot of brick or siding shows between the open shutter edge and the window frame. Proper throw insures that the shutter will comfortably "frame" the window - not obstruct or detract from window detail.
Window Shutter Hardware > A Blacksmith's Glossary of Terms
Iron - chemical symbol FE - the most commonly occurring (by weight) element on earth is, at the same time, the rarest in its elemental form. While the magma core of the earth is made mostly of iron and the red hills of the Rockies and brown and gold fieldstone all contain iron, the iron exists only in its various oxide forms. The only naturally occurring pure iron is found in fresh meteorites (and some very rare chemical situations - like bog iron in the New Jersey cedar swamps). Meteorites quickly (in geological terms) oxidize on exposure to air and turn to rust - iron oxides - just like the Rocky Mountains.
Cast Iron - the product extracted from iron ore. Iron oxide-rich ore is heated to a molten state in the presence of limestone within a large flask. Oxygen makes a chemical transition from the iron oxides to the calcium forming a "slag" which floats to the top of an increasingly iron-rich molten pool. When done, the bottom of the flask is opened and the iron pours out - historically into sand patterns to produce cast iron stoves and such, or into troughs on the foundry floor to form rough billets. The billets could be re-melted and cast into shapes at other foundries or could be hammered into wrought iron in forges. Good news is cast iron flows easily into molds and can be used to quickly form intricate articles from iron. Bad news is that cast iron is brittle and cracks rather than bends. Brittle because it is not pure iron - impurities are not completely leached from the ore and carbon from the heating fuel is absorbed into the iron pool. Quick cooling of the iron in a mold also increases brittleness - smaller, thinner pieces (like hinges) are usually more brittle than larger, heavier pieces (like machines) that "hold their heat" when poured and thus take longer to cool.
Wrought Iron - literally "hammered" iron. Early on, billets of cast iron were transferred to iron forges. The cast iron billets were heated to near-molten and flattened under a heavy water-powered drop hammer - kind of a see-saw with a couple of hundred pound chunk of iron "hammer" on one end of a heavy wooden beam and a rotating wooden cam acting on the other end to lift and drop the hammer in time with the turning of the water wheel. Valley Forge took its name from a small shop such as this which the British burned, unopposed, on their way to Philadelphia in 1776. Once hammered thinner and longer the billet would be doubled backed on its length, re-heated and re-hammered. This repeated exposure to the oxygen in the fire and the compressing blows of the hammer would burn and drive impurities from the billet. The iron being forged would become increasingly malleable with each heat to which it was subjected. The finest forging iron was multi-layered and nearly pure iron. To the best of my knowledge, there is no new wrought iron being produced today. Well, maybe Japanese Samurai sword smiths still make their own - but if it's in Home Depot and says "Wrought Iron" it isn't.
Steel - basically a mixture of iron and carbon, although other metals may be added to change the characteristic of the steel (add chrome, get stainless steel; add nickel, get armor plate). The carbon content of steel is closely controlled in its manufacture - the more carbon the "stronger" the steel. Steel varies from iron in that it can be hardened. Heat steel red-hot and quench it and it gets hard, heat iron red hot and quench it and it gets cold.
Blast Furnace - originally the Bessemer converter, invented pre-Civil war. Where steel comes from and why there's no wrought iron anymore. In this process, the iron ore is reduced to a molten state, the slag is poured off, and then air (oxygen) is forced into the melted mass. Any impurities, such as carbon, are burned from the melted iron in the presence of the free oxygen. While still in the furnace and in a molten state the appropriate additives are added in very controlled measure to the near-pure iron in the furnace to produce the type of steel required.
Tempering - as mentioned above, steel can be hardened. When heated to red-hot, the iron and carbon in the steel arrange themselves into a lattice network. When quickly quenched, the lattice is frozen in place and forms a rigid structure; the more carbon, the greater the rigidity. When quenched, the steel is as hard as it will become. The harder the steel, the more brittle it is. A file is absolutely hard. It will cut lots of mild steel because it is so much harder - but put a file in a vise and hit it with a hammer and the file will readily snap in half. Same with a drill bit, cock the drill and the bit will easily snap. Tempering is a process of controlled heating of hardened steel that will relax the lattice within the iron and carbon, thereby softening the steel. The higher the temperature, the softer the steel becomes. A chisel for steel is tempered at a high temperature - softened enough so it won't snap, but still harder than the steel it will cut. A clean piece of steel will turn a very specific color based on the temperature to which it is raised. Heat one end of a piece of steel in a fire and you can easily see bands of color move up the steel coincidental with the heat migrating up the piece. It begins as a very light yellow, turns to a darker straw color, through red and on to purple. Blacksmiths have always used these colors to identify the temperature of the steel and thus control the temper (hardness) of the work piece. Spring steel is often a pretty bluish-purple color - because it's tempered to 750* and that's the associated color - soft enough to bend, but hard enough to retain “memory” and spring back to its original shape.
Forged - iron or steel heated and hammered to shape.
Drop Forged - a piece of red-hot iron or steel placed within an impression and then struck with the matching impression mounted on a heavy top hammer or ram. Typically the work piece is struck through successive impressions to squeeze the material to finished shape. Adjustable wrenches are drop forged. Nice detailing like on a cast iron piece, but not brittle. Makes a good strong tool, heavy gear, or cam shaft.
Hand Forged - iron or steel heated and hammered to shape without the use of "closed dies". Drop forging uses "closed dies". Other than moving the piece from one cavity to the next there is no human input to the shape of the finished piece, the dies do it. Hand forging involves hammering the heated metal on an anvil - the movement of the material and the finished form are determined by the smith as the material is moved under the hammer. Each piece is slightly different. If you find "Hand Forged" and a barcode on plastic packaging is suspicious.
Forge Welded - how they used to weld all the time. Two surfaces of iron or steel are heated in a fire to nearly melting (actually just melting on the surface) then hammered together. A lot like taking two ice cubes and allowing them to sit out until the surfaces are wet, then putting them back in the freezer stacked together. Come back and cut the two ice cubes across the surface where they re-froze and you can't see a seam where they re-joined. Same with forge welding - two melted iron faces puddle together then "re-freeze" - a very strong weld with complete joining of the surfaces involved (when everything goes right).
Shutter Mounts on Face of Structure and Closes within Masonry Opening
Here the shutter is fitted to the dimensions of the masonry opening. The pintle is embedded or surface mounted to the structure itself. The pintle pin is positioned on the outside corner of the masonry. I've seen this approach on quite a few brick structures, especially post-civil war commercial multi-story buildings. It's also common in the south of Europe - France, Italy, and Austria. It's a very clean installation and allows the shutter to sit almost fully parallel to the structure.
The European structures are typically stucco coated, with a drive type pintle built diagonally into the masonry prior to stucco finish. A lag screw pintle can be substituted for the drive pintle. Brick structures can employ a similar embedded pintle, or a surface mounted pintle. Storm type strap hinges are typically in Europe, American examples are often tapered.
Surface mounting seems the simpler approach. We've used a modified jamb pintle on a custom installation where a full board shutter allowed strap hinges to be installed high enough on the shutter to cover the pintle in the open position. My favorite surface approach is to use a notched hinge with a matching pintle. A 405 lift-off will work.
Flush Installation with Shutter Closing within Casement
Here the shutter in the closed position fits within the window casement. This was the prevalent approach in the Colonies from New York and south. I can only assume the precedent was carried from England. An advantage is the additional security in that the shutters could not be lifted from the pintles in the closed position. A disadvantage is that the shutters must be matched closely to the inside dimension of the casing and the shutter rabbet should match the thickness of the shutters.
Any surface mounted hinge and pintle can be used - assuming there is sufficient width to the casing to accept the pintle. The hinge has a minimal standoff, and the pintle would have the same, matching standoff. Together an offset of 1 - 1 1/2" will hold the shutter that same distance from the structure, and not quite parallel to the wall.
Note the amount of the casing exposed. Figure on the width of the pintle plus about 1/2" - I call this dimension "Throw".
Flush Installation, Shutter within Casing, Shutter Thicker than Case
Flush Installation Shutter Sits Proud on Casing
Historically, this approach was seen through the New England colonies - virtually every old home is a clapboard structure fitted with shutters applied in this manner. Being used to the tight-fitting, secure shutters of this area I thought it was a complete compromise of the security the Philadelphia shutters provided. There is always a reason - and I believe the were hung on the casing to allow for the frost heaves and movement of the structures in the harsh NE winters. If they were fit snug in the window they might lock up solid with the first October frosts and you may never be able to open the shutter again if the loose stone foundation re-settled in a different stance. Sitting proud on the casing, the shutters simply allowed the house to heave and settle behind them. This flush casing construction would seem common contemporary construction.
A strap hinge with a zero offset and an angle pintle matched to the thickness of the shutter will serve in every case. The shutter is removed from the face of the casing by the thickness of the shutter plus the diameter of the pintle pin. That leaves the shutter with a little breathing room and clears the corner of the casing - it's a nice angle between the shutter and house. The question of security - lifting the shutter and hinges from their pintles is resolved by installing the top pintle in the inverted position.
Hello, I'm an Architect and we have this problem.........
However it happens, this is the toughie. There is an offset and the shutter does not sit flush with the casing. The shutter may sit proud on the casing as drawn, or the shutter sits within the casing with its thickness exceeding the rabbet depth - in any case the hinge and pintle will each mount at a different distance from the face of the structure.
The offset can no longer be evenly divided between the hinge and the pintle. Lay a hinge or pintle on a flat surface. Call the distance from that surface to the middle of the hinge barrel or the pintle pin the Standoff. Each will have a different standoff. The sum of the hinge and pintle standoff will equal the offset.
The resolution: Measure the offset as you normally - a padded value from the face of the casing to the face of the structure. Assume in the drawing above that there will be a 4" offset from the case to the masonry. Further assume that the shutter is 1" thick and you'll be using a plate pintle. The pintle has to have 1" more standoff than the hinge to compensate for the thickness of the shutter.
Subtract the thickness of the shutter from the offset (4"-1"=3")
Divide the remainder in half (3"/2=1 1/2")
This value is the standoff for the hinge. (1 1/2")
Add the thickness of the shutter to the hinge standoff (1"+1 1/2"=2 1/2")
This is the standoff for the pintle (2 1/2")
Add the hinge and pintle standoffs to verify (1 1/2"+2 1/3"=4"=offset=okay)
The real world details will always vary, the shutter may be sitting not flush within the casing rather than proud and may add only 1/2" or 3/4" rather than the full thickness, shutter thickness and offsets will naturally be unique - but the formula above will make it work. Just don't forget to pad the offset that you're working towards.
Offset Installation Shutter Closes within Casing
This is pure Chester, Bucks, and Montgomery County - among many others. A common and fairly straight-forward situation. The amount of the required offset is divided evenly between the hinge and the pintle.
Biggest problem here is determining the offset correctly. The home is usually stone or brick and the walls are never true and plumb - the distance from the casing to several points on the masonry can be scary. Measure from the face of the casing to the face of the structure. Measure at several points on several windows - use the biggest dimension they can find - and then add about another 1" of offset. An offset that's too great will always work; one that's even the slightest bit too small will never work. Padding the extra inch will allow for the one spot where a stone sticks out about 1 foot in from the edge of the window, but under the shutter - and just happens to be at the same level as the hinge, which is 3/16" thick, and the point of the stone hits right on a lag screw, which projects another 1/4" beyond the hinge - count on it and allow for it.
Another thing to watch out for is the casing width - it may be too tight for a plate pintle. If it's narrow and deep, the offset on the hinge will need to be nearly 90* to keep the hinge from binding on the corner of the structure.
Speaking of deep offsets, when you get into stone and you're looking at 8" to 10" offsets, that's an awful lot of foot pounds of pull on wood and fasteners. You may want to consider going to shutters that fit the masonry opening and mounting the pintles to the masonry.
[William Green/ Brandywine Forge]
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