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  1. #91
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bransgore
    Posts
    44
    Country: England

    Default Hinges and cutting

    I am going to raise a query or perhaps a possibility that Whitfield used those hinge blocks only on the safes they made with three or four way throw bolts. Because I don't see them anywhere else.

    I spent many years as a metal worker, so although my knowledge of safes is admittedly poor, a cutting torch is not and for those reading this who don't know, tip sizes vary for plate thickness. And, the flame needs to be a neutral one to gain as much heat as possible, in the centre of the tip is a hole through which a high pressure jet or pure oxygen can be injected by the trigger in the torch itself. Once the metal reaches melting point that jet is activated and it literally blows the molten metal away oxydizing it, once oxydized it will not solidify again, but become slag. In the first instance though it does not blow through, but sprays out, with a single layer this is momentary, with laminations however,it is feasible that it wont penetrate, especially if there is a gap between the plates, or a sheet of something else in a sandwhich. Also not all ferrous metals will cut with this method, they will melt though.

    Looking at Safeman's photo, which being monochrome doesn't tell all, I would bet money that the first hole cut was the left one, and started top left corner, because you always get a hole, and a nick is visible there, but clearly something was preventing them from cutting through completely as the wash at the base of the holes shows that they used the jet to blow molten metal downwards and away from the hole they were cutting. But my guess is this happened only on the inside layer.

    As Safeman points out it does take skill to use a cutting torch, well use one properly anyway. But in the case of a job like this you would continue in that one starting place until you got penetration, then once achieved all the dross goes inwards. It looks in this case that that was only partly possible, so something else was going on.

  2. #92
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    401
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    [QUOTE=Steve48;30065]I am going to raise a query or perhaps a possibility that Whitfield used those hinge blocks only on the safes they made with three or four way throw bolts. Because I don't see them anywhere else.


    Steve, are you referring to the anti-wedge blocks? If so then it would be the other way round as 3 or 4-way boltwork on its own would be sufficient to prevent the door being levered out of the body, backwards or frontwards.

    Milner took out a Patent No.903 for this device but the Patent was never pursued so Whitfield and Phillips were free to apply it to their safes. Other makers used similar means to prevent a gap being created between the door and the body such as metal dowels with corresponding recesses in the body. Others such as Chatwood and Hobbs Hart preferred hook or claw boltwork as did Milner experimentally. Whitfield patented a screw bolt system No.507 and also incorporated the Sicker sliding staples type bolt system on occasion. Most safes at that time would have been made to individual customer requirements.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SDC10135[1].jpg 
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ID:	20391 Phillips Safe.

    The use of exterior iron bands around the front and back of the body were mainly to strengthen the attachment of the body plates in event of fire and building collapse. This had been the prime purpose of 'safes'. The actual term only came into use when iron boxes and cupboards were made safe against the more prevalent risk of fire in the 1840's. No way would banding have served to prevent the wedging of a gap just as no way would wooden rafters be load bearing if laid flat.

  3. #93
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bransgore
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    44
    Country: England

    Default Hinges

    ""Steve, are you referring to the anti-wedge blocks? If so then it would be the other way round as 3 or 4-way boltwork on its own would be sufficient to prevent the door being levered out of the body, backwards or frontwards.""

    No the actual door hinge blocks, the ones on your photo with two burned holes in it are a very robust type and exactly the same as the ones on my safe, which has four way bolts.

    I have seen many Whitfield safes all with quite slender hinge blocks, your photo and my safe plus an old advert are the only ones I have seen of this more robust type . And, there must be a reason. Hence my comment were they only used on safes made with three or four way bolting perhaps.

    Further to this I can add that mine were located with two dowels each, then the addition of two very large rivets countersunk flush finished, clearly for added strength of location.

  4. #94
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Aberdeenshire
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    401
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    [QUOTE=safeman;30067][QUOTE=Steve48;30065]I am going to raise a query or perhaps a possibility that Whitfield used those hinge blocks only on the safes they made with three or four way throw bolts. Because I don't see them anywhere else.


    Should have written joists not rafters of course.

  5. #95
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Aberdeenshire
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    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve48 View Post
    "
    I have seen many Whitfield safes all with quite slender hinge blocks, your photo and my safe plus an old advert are the only ones I have seen of this more robust type . And, there must be a reason. Hence my comment were they only used on safes made with three or four way bolting perhaps.
    .
    Yes Steve, this certainly appears to be the case borne out by Milner's practice of only using the identical light carriages and centres on their fire-resisting quality safes but choosing stronger hinges on their thief-resisting qualities such as their List 3 upwards. For extra heavy or large safes three or four such hinges would have been used. Other makers followed Whitfield's practice of increasing the strength of the entire pivot assembly.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Milner early List 3.jpg 
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Size:	1.13 MB 
ID:	20392

  6. #96
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    636
    Country: Bulgaria

    Default

    I suppose the knuckle hinged Milners were the apogee of this trend.

  7. #97
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bransgore
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    44
    Country: England

    Default With good reasons perhaps

    When you have a door with two or perhaps three bolts acting on the closing face alone, the engineering is very straightforward and does not add significantly to the overall weight.

    Mine with eight throw bolts actually surprised me when I took it off, worked on it and carried it about, it went about half a hundredweight without the door, so reasons for stout carriages and centers are perhaps evident and a pointer..........

    Apologies for confusing the issue earlier and calling them hinges.

    Steve

  8. #98
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Aberdeenshire
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    401
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    [QUOTE=Steve48;30078]

    Apologies for confusing the issue earlier and calling them hinges.

    Steve[/QUOTE


    My fault entirely Steve and for going entirely off subject.

  9. #99
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    636
    Country: Bulgaria

    Default The half drawer

    I don't know if you realise but there is a reason why they used to fit a half or three quarter drawer.

    Even if you stand the safe right against a wall, so that the door won't open even 90 degrees, with the handles etc. making contact with the wall, that drawer will still function. A full width one would foul the back of the door.

  10. #100
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    401
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chubby View Post
    I don't know if you realise but there is a reason why they used to fit a half or three quarter drawer.

    Even if you stand the safe right against a wall, so that the door won't open even 90 degrees, with the handles etc. making contact with the wall, that drawer will still function. A full width one would foul the back of the door.

    Hello Chubby,

    In addition to the requirement for access, in those days Ledgers were probably the most valuable Company documents to be protected and being as high as 15" would require the full internal height to accommodate them.

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