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Pintles in Many Places

by Claudia Smith, OBP Secretary (expanding upon Wagon Door Hardware, published Feb. 6 2023)

More Pintle Hinging Around the Farm

The wide wagon doors into barn threshing floors were the width of a team of oxen and a load of sheaves. Sometimes called “great cart doors,” they got a lot of heavy use and needed strong hinging. The weight of each door was supported by a pair of long, wrought iron, blacksmith-made strap hinges whose rolled ends made a socket-like fitting that pivoted on the pin of forged iron pintles affixed tightly in the door jambs. The pintles were very efficient and reliable as long as they did not get loosened which happened if the doors were left open to swing in the wind. Strap hinges were also called “lift-off hinges” and this author saw one of the wagon doors on her barn lifted off its pintles when a strong wind eddied in the barnyard. Luckily it landed unbroken on the ground.

A set of wagon doors that opened outward on strap hinges.

Other pintle hinging around the farm:

These wooden stairs leading to the hay loft and granary were hinged so they could be raised and hooked up out of the way in the passageway or feed alley.
Here the strap hinge can be seen attached under the stairs and on a pintle in a floor beam of the loft. (previous photograph) The set of stairs lifted easily on the pintles.
Strong hinging was needed for gable-end hay doors in the days when loose hay was lifted into lofts with a hay fork. This drop hayloft door opens outward and downward on two pintles and was used before bales of hay were brought in another door and the ladder was installed to facilitate piling bales to the rafters.
This strap hinge, one of a pair on a gable-end hay door, is supported on a pintle driven into a wall log.
A granary door once swung on the upper and lower pintles that can be seen on the right side of the door opening. Granary doors did not need such heavy hinges. Many were hinged with triangular-shaped T-strap hinges. The doors had to close securely with a tight fit to keep out rats and were often kept locked to prevent the theft of grain.
Many farm gates also swung on pintles.
This nicely-crafted half stock door, in a badly deteriorating stack-wall foundation, hangs on a small pintle.

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