Hinges for loft hatch

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by logik, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. logik

    logik New Member

    I have just put a new lining in my loft access and cut a hatch from 18mm ply to fit the gap almost exactly. I chose 18mm ply as it doesn't flex as much as 12mm and it should offer better insulation than the hardboard that was there before!

    I want the hatch to swing down as I have a fitted ladder. The ladder came with one of the special retaining latches that releases if you push upwards gently.

    I am a bit stuck for hinges though. The hatch sits inside the lining so I don't think a normal hinge will work. I think that if I tried this it would not swing clear enough and I obviously cannot screw into the side of the hatch as it is ply.

    Would something like an inset hinge here work? Obviously these are for cabinets, but viewed from below this is pretty much what the lining and hatch would look like.


    Or an 18mm cranked hinge, but I cannot seem to find these anywhere. I can draw a diagram of what I mean if this is not clear, but some advice on what hinges (and where to get them) would be great.
  2. handymanforhire

    handymanforhire New Member

    Cranked flush hinge from our hosts here; set the cranked leaf into the ply in a pocket if it doesn't cover the full 18mm.

    Shouldn't be an issue screwing into the 'end grain' of ply, as long as it's decent quality and you use long screws with a pilot hole and maybe a dab of PVA on each screw...

    HTH, cheers Pete.
  3. logik

    logik New Member

    If screwing into the end is not a problem, could I not use a number of "normal" hinges?

    A cranked hinge with a 18-20mm leaf would be fantastic but I cannot seem to find them anywhere. Can anybody with more insight point me to some?
  4. Doink

    Doink New Member


    The part of the hinge with 3 holes would be the on the hatch,as its shown in the pic,2 screws into the end grain of the ply,if you like and the one screw into the top,maybe drill 2 extra holes for more screws

    The other part with 4 holes in just lift up and screw to the lining,you'd have to bring the hatch down flush with the underside of the lining though because of the hinge pin,at least thats all you'll see of the hinge from underneath

    Hope i explaind it proper?
  5. logik

    logik New Member

    Sure, but if the offset on the crank is less than 18mm, the hatch will be in the hallway and I will be able to see the unfinished edges of ply. That's why I was looking for 20mm cranked hinges.

    The alternative is to do what was suggested earlier and recess the hinge into the ply. I lack the skills to do this neatly, so am looking for the easier solution!

    I am still assuming that cabinet style hinges will not work, but if anybody knows better I would love to hear.
  6. Doink

    Doink New Member

    Go to any of the big sheds and measure,if the part with the 2 holes in is over 18mm then jobs a good un,the screwfix pic is for illustration only too,maybe pop to a TC and ask if you could measure one before you buy
  7. handymanforhire

    handymanforhire New Member

    The alternative is to do what was suggested earlier
    and recess the hinge into the ply. I lack the skills
    to do this neatly, so am looking for the easier solution!

    With respect, you could chop out a couple of hinge pockets in ply with a blunt Stanley knife - and just out of interest if it's not too neat, who's ever going to see it apart from you? Cranked flush hinges are the easier solution...

    I am still assuming that cabinet style hinges will not work, but if anybody knows better I would love to hear.

    You mean concealed (kitchen-cabinet style) hinges that you linked to further up the thread? You can get them that are designed for inset doors (cranked) though they're not generally wide-opening, but they should work. At the risk of stating the obvious, the sprung hinges that keep your kitchen cabinet doors closed won't be strong enough to keep a loft hatch shut - you'll need a catch of some kind!

    Use a template to get the edge distance right for the 35mm hole and you should be OK - just remember not to drill too deep ;)

    Cheers, Pete
  8. logik

    logik New Member

    Good point, I do have some sharp chisels that need exercise! I will have a go and see how I do.

    Thanks for your help.
  9. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Use a couple of these.

    bend the long piece over the top of the door so that the hinge pin will be in it's usual place(as if it were a normal hinge)



    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  10. logik

    logik New Member

    So make a cranked hinge from one of those. A fantastic idea, especially as they are extra long and have holes all the way along.

    Thanks very much!
  11. Doink

    Doink New Member

    Good luck to that man!
  12. logik

    logik New Member

    Thanks for the advice guys, it worked really well. I had to set the DIY cranked hinges into the frame (with help!) as there was a huge gap between each half of the hinge when closed. We also put a few more holes in the long bit to hold the hatch better.

    Here's two pictures showing the end product:


    This leaves virtually no gap around the outside of the hatch (I could inset the hinges into the frame too if needed) so is pretty much perfect.
  13. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Lovely job!

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  14. manassa

    manassa New Member

    Nice idea Handy.

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