The Geared Continuous Hinge: Solutions and Applications by Ginny Powell

This article was published in the DHI, Door Security + Safety Magazine in January 2018 issue.

While you may not give hinges much thought, they actually hold up as one of the greatest inventions of mankind back so far that archeologists aren’t sure of its exact origin. In fact, bronze hinges date back to ancient times, found in societies in Africa and Asia, as well as Europe.

In the United States, as Easterners began pouring into St. Louis in the late 1840s and early 1850s to make their westward journey, Charles Hager was building his business by providing wagon wheels and hardware for Conestoga wagons. This made Hager an active part of the new frontier in the development of hinges as we know them today.

In commercial, educational and institutional facilities, doors are hung using one of three hinge types: standard (conventional) hinges, continuous hinges or pivots – and it is the continuous hinge, with its intermeshing gears and thrust bearings, that is the far superior choice in many high use applications.

The Continuous Hinge

There are two types of continuous hinges—the pin-and-barrel and the geared. The pin-and-barrel continuous hinge (sometimes known as the piano hinge) has two leaves joined together by a pin. The geared continuous hinge features gear teeth that mesh together under a cap that runs the length of the door.

The geared continuous hinge was patented in 1963 by Austin Baer, and in 1968 he earned a second patent for adding thrust bearing to his original design, known as the Roton® Continuous Geared Hinge. The patent expired in 1985, and Hager Companies purchased Baer’s company in 1989.

“There were situations in facilities with high-abuse door openings where we knew a standard butt hinge wasn’t the best choice. We were intrigued by the Roton® continuous hinge and how it distributed the weight over the length of the door,” explains Warren Hager Executive Vice President & Assistant Secretary for Hager Companies. “We purchased The Baer Company because we felt the product was a perfect fit with the quality Hager was known for and it allowed us to bring additional value and solutions to our customers.”

Today every major U.S. commercial hardware manufacturer offers a line of continuous hinges.

Benefits of a Continuous Hinge

While continuous hinges are not as commonly used as standard hinges, there are several solid reasons for choosing a continuous hinge over another hanging device:

• Continuous hinges extend the full length of the door, which means they distribute the door’s weight evenly to the frame. This reduces the amount of stress to the doorframe when compared to using a standard or pivot hinge.
• Because a continuous hinge is secured to the full height of the opening, a continuous hinge keeps the door in constant alignment, eliminating the chance of a sagging door.
• Additionally, continuous hinges also help reduce the chance of wood doors from warping, which is especially helpful when the door opening is three-and-a-half or four-feet wide.
• Continuous hinges also remove the gap between the door and the frame, and this absence of the gap helps prevent fingers from being pinched, which means a safer door. This safety makes a continuous hinge a natural choice for doors where children are present.

Those are the exact reasons Jeff Chan, locksmith with Mercy Hospital, changed the specifications for the hospital and now requires continuous geared hinges on all doors over three-feet wide. “Installing continuous geared hinges on door openings over three feet in width decreases future issues, saving us time and money,” he says.

Smart Applications for a Continuous Hinge

These characteristics mean that continuous hinges are often installed for openings that are subject to high traffic and abuse, such as gymnasiums, health care facilities and sports complexes. “As the population continues to grow, the demand on door openings increases with security and safety at the forefront,” explains Dan White, Manager of Product Development for Hager Companies. “For these high-demand openings, the continuous geared hinge remains the smartest choice for the life of an opening.”

Here are a few examples of where you can install a continuous hinge:

HOSPITALS, STADIUMS ARENAS, AND SCHOOL GYMNASIUMS
Over time, the doors that get a lot of use also tend to “come off their hinges” and sag or warp. Because a continuous hinge runs the length of the door, it keeps the door in constant alignment and eliminates this issue.

PRISONS AND BACK DOOR TO CONVENIENCE STORES AND STRIP MALLS
A geared continuous hinge can keep a building even more secure than a standard hinge because there isn’t a pin that can be removed. In fact, prying off a continuous hinge would be time-consuming – which acts as a deterrent.

STOREFRONTS
Doors allow air to escape, which can be a great source of energy loss when trying to warm or cool the air (depending on the time of year). A continuous hinge helps close the gap between the door and the frame – creating a tighter seal.

One example where a continuous hinge solved a recurring door problem was at a St. Louis university hospital radiology treatment room. The doors were four by seven feet (lined in ¼” lead) and hung on heavy duty pivot hinges with an intermediate pivot. The bottom pin on the floor pivot broke twice, and as a result, the room was rendered unusable. This cost the hospital about $24,000 a day in lost revenue, not to mention the delay in treatment for patients.

“The late Richard Mehaffy, CAHC, a distributor, reached out to me to discuss the issue. After conferring with the technical department at Hager, we recommended installing a Roton® continuous lead lined aluminum hinge designed specifically for doors up to 1,200 pounds. This solved the problem immediately and we never got a call back again,” explained Bud Wilson, President of Horizon Marketing Group.

Continuous hinges are generally available in five standard lengths: 79, 83, 85, 95, and 119 inches, and can be cut to the exact length needed during the installation process (varies by manufacturer). With the frequent use of electronic locks today, continuous hinges can also be modified for concealed electric through-wires, exposed electric switches, and electric power transfers.

Though continuous hinges are not as commonly used as their standard counterpart, they are a financially smart solution. They are durable, long-lasting and solid, which allows for an extended life for the total door opening.

 

Ginny Powell, is a Product Marketing Specialist. She can be reached at [email protected]

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Building on High Standards

Hager Companies continues to enhance production capabilities in our Montgomery, AL manufacturing facility. With attention focused on our Threshold and Weatherstrip product line, we have recently introduced new products including the 710S Adhesive Mullion Seal and 900 Series Hospitality series of products. We remain committed to dedicating resources and capital to bring our customers quality products, in the timeframe the marketplace demands.

Further internal improvements have included implementation of upgraded racking systems, a brand new production layout and the execution of new packing lines. We continue to build on the high standards started by Charles Hager over 168 years ago by improving the quality of our products and services.

The new in-house anodizing line and machining center efficiencies that Josh Hager revealed last year at DHI ConNextions are fully functional. The Roton® Continuous Geared hinges are being constructed with simultaneously milled bearing slots with consistent and measurable accuracy. This allows the bearings to seat perfectly and operate smoothly across the entire hinge for the life of the opening.  We will continue striving to reduce lead times and improve quality in order to further support to our valued partners.

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Product Announcements

We’ve had a busy first quarter and we wanted to share our most recent product announcements in case you missed any!

January 8, 2018 – 3300 Series Grade 3
We added the 3300 Series Grade 3 tubular leverset to our lock line. Offered in four functions – passage, privacy, entry and single dummy, along with five finishes: US3, US10B, US15, US26, US26D. It’s field reversible with a thru-bolt design for ease of installation. This Grade 3 lock provides a perfect solution for multi-family and assisted living facilities when suiting with Grade 1 and Grade 2 products.

 

 

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Team Member Profile: Brian Clarke, AHC, CDT, CSI – Director, Architectural Specifications & Technical Support

Brian has been with Hager Companies for 14 years and was recently promoted to Director of both the Architectural Specifications Department and Technical Support. We sat down with him recently to ask him a few questions, following a similar format to the DHI Doors + Hardware Faces feature.

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Childhood ambition:  Race car driver

First Job:  Wendys

What led you to the hardware industry:  My dad, Wes Britton, and my grandfather were both in the door and hardware industry.

Proudest professional moment: When I passed my AHC exam and was able to share the news with my dad.

Guilty pleasure:  Spending time at my house with the chickens, dogs, cats and horse.

Favorite book/movie: Tombstone

Mentor/hero: My father, Wes.

Best advice you ever received:  Make sure you give your employer 100% effort every day, no matter what is going on in your personal life.

Best advise you never received: Don’t let someone else’s work performance interfere with your work performance.

The advice you would give someone entering into this industry: Keep an open mind about everything. There are always two sides to each situation.

If you would like more information about Hager specifications, Brian will be happy to help you. He can be reached at 314-633-2803 or [email protected]

 

 

 

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Project Profile: Community Education Building, Wilmington Delaware

In its second year, the Great Oaks Charter School is part of a collection of schools that includes Academia Antonia Alonso School and Kuumba Academy. The building was originally a bank, operating as MBNA then Bank of America. It was donated in 2012 by Bank of America to the Longwood Foundation to start the Community Education Building (CEB).

Owner:                                     Community Education Building

Architect:                                  Homsey Architects, Inc.

General Contractor:                 Wohlsen Construction

Distributor:                               Premier Door, Frame and Hardware

Hager Sales Rep. Agency:      Hardware Specialty Group

 

Hager Company Hardware in CBE School in Wilmington DE Oct 2015 credit photograph by Eric Crossan 302-378-1700

 

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New Catalog Release

Our new catalog is out!  If you have requested a catalog in the last few months and haven’t received it yet, you should be shortly. In the meantime, we did upload a file to our website, both complete and in sections.

Here is a link to the catalog on our website –Hager Catalog

Cover

 

If you’re new to Hager or the door hardware industry the general information in front of the hinge section. has great tips. You can find information on ANSI, how many hinges are needed to support a different weighted doors, security features, and specialty hinges.  Did you know we have two different styles of cover channels for our Roton continuous hinges? Click here to learn more.

Did you know we have two different styles of cover channels for our Roton continuous hinges? Click here to find out more.

Of course, we aren’t just a hinge company. You can find information on our  locks, exit devices, and closers by clicking each product line name.

A couple of new products we’ve released in the last few months in our exit device line include a flush end cap and photoluminescent push bar cover option. You can learn more about these products by reading our blog post.

We know you’ll take some time to familiarize yourself with all the great information found in our new catalog. Of course, you can always call your local sales representative or our customer service department for more info.

Have a great day and thanks for your support!!

 

 

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Touchless Actuators

It is a fact of life that we can’t get away from germs, but there are ways to control the spread of them.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our new line of touchless actuators. For use with our 8400 & 8200 Series low energy power operators, the touchless actuators employ capacitance technology similar to smart devices. They have an adjustable sensing range from 0″-4″ and a LED illumination which increases plate visibility.

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Summer Vacation

Our Vice President of International Sales was able to cross a trip off his bucket list this summer. He and his lovely wife planned and worked toward this trip and lucky for us shared some photos. Of course, this being a blog about the door and hardware industry we are sharing photos of …… doors. And what doors they are!

Several of these photos were taken at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. You can catch additional photos over on our Instagram account here.

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CONSTRUCT – 2016

In a just a month, we will be in Austin, Texas exhibiting at CONSTRUCT 2016.

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CONSTRUCT is the trade show for the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). The Institute brings together all aspects of the building divisions, from architects, specifiers, product representation, and contract administration. CSI’s mission is to “advance building information management and education of project teams to improve facility performance.”

CONSTRUCT supports that mission by providing a plethora of educational opportunities including a day set aside specifically for young professionals called YP Day.  This is a fantastic opportunity for those just starting out in the industry, 35 years and younger, to learn a lot in a single day.  This day goes beyond typical design education into real world scenarios.

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2015 YP Day

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Come Two by Two. A Look Inside Noah’s Ark

This article was published in the August edition of the DHI Door + Hardware Magazine and reprinted here with permission.

Come Two by Two. A Look Inside Noah’s Ark, by Ginny Powell

Tucked into the “All American City” of Lakeland, Florida, is not just a community, but the realization of a dream initiated by a small group of parents nearly 20 years ago. It’s called The Village at Noah’s Landing.

Nearly two decades ago, a small group of parents of adult children with special needs met while watching their children take part in sporting activities. They began talking with each other about what would happen to their kids if they were no longer around. Who would oversee their care?

Their worries were further reinforced when they discovered that the options for care in and around Lakeland were extremely limited. But instead of becoming defeated, these five sets of parents took action. Big action. In 1997, they created Noah’s Ark of Central Florida.

The first homes were built between 2002 and 2007 and are located near downtown Lakeland. Called Noah’s Nest, this clustering of four houses is home to 17 residents living independently with the support of their fellow residents, family, and friends.

Noah June 2016 -10

A Dream of Building a Community
While Noah’s Nest was a great start, the dream was always to build a bigger community for adults with developmental disabilities. The Villages of Noah’s Landing, with Phase 1 scheduled to open later this summer, is precisely that.

Phase 1 can accommodate up to 132 developmentally disabled residents and only takes up a fraction of the property’s 62 acres. When all phases are complete, the community will offer a wide selection of social, recreational, educational and vocational choices, and provide for the health care needs of its residents.

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