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Architectural hinges fall into two categories: Commericial and Residential. These are both basically door hinges of the butt hinge variety. Commercial hinges are generally differentiated from residential ones by being more substantial in construction due to the heavier use they are exposed to in public places. Whether for your home or for a public building, these hinges are very similar. Examples of the variations on these door hinges are shown below. Architectural hinges are available in all hinge sizes from 3 x 3 up to 6 x 6 and larger.
The architectural ball bearing hinge is a typical commercial upgrade in strength and durability. Hinges do wear over time. Heavier and wider doors can put a lot of stress on hinges. This stress wears the knuckles down quickly, but this hinge has ball bearings placed between the knuckles to reduce the friction. Overall, ball bearing hinges increase hinge life, tend not to creak, and make doors easier to open. Illustrated is a square corner hinge;this hinge also comes in a radius corner hinge.
The square corner hinge is a typical butt door hinge configuration. The square corners are, perhaps, not as pretty as the radius corner hinge, but it is easy to square-up and to mortise into the wood because of its straight edges. This hinge can be easily mortised by hand with a wood chisel. These hinges are also typically used in metal frames and doors.These hinges come as plain bearing and ball bearing. For most residential uses you should be sure to select a hinge witha "removable pin" as opposed to one with a non-removable or "fixed" pin. The removable pin allows the door to be de-mounted and removed without unscrewing the hinge. Typical sizes are 3-1/2" x 3-1/2' and 4" x 4".
The radius corner hinge is the same as the square corner hinge except the corners are rounded-off. The radius of this rounding is typically 1/4" or 5/8". This difference is only cosmetic, and is not really important. In order to mortise these hinges, one needs to use a router to make a nice clean radius in the wood.
Radius-square corner hinges are simply a combination of leaf types. These hinges are typically used when hanging a wood door in a metal frame. The square leaf mounts to the metal door frame, and the round corner section mounts to the wood door for aestetics purposes.
Spring hinge applications are used where a door is required to be self-closing but it is not desirable to use a door closer unit.
Double spring hinges are used to hang a door that will swing in both directions--in and out-- and always return to center closed position.
Frank Lloyd Wright