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I'd like to find out what these fittings were used for to decide whether to remove them. They are installed horizontally and vertically.

My first guess was that they were swing out basket hinges, but that doesn't account for the vertical installation of two of them.

Inside the axel has two holes around 90 deg from each other.

horizonal mystery hinge

enter image description here

  • It may help to include an over all picture, a picture of a vertical one (I presume this is horizontal), and a good, clear, sharp close-up of one of them. Is there a door or drawer or something else that closes against this with some matching hardware? If so, include a pic of that, too. To me, it looks like a latch strike plate from a door, repurposed to do something different here. – FreeMan Jan 13 at 11:46
  • I see what you mean about it looking like a strike plate, but this hardware has a rotating cylinder inside. The cylinder has two holes at 90 deg from each other. – Stephan Luis Jan 13 at 12:22
  • are they spring loaded? ... what happens if you push upward on the vertical one? .... there may be a cable that retracts them ... may be a part of a locking mechanism – jsotola Jan 13 at 22:15
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Thanks for all the fantastic effort attempting to identify the photographed fitting!

I found that it's a bolt assembly, like those used in flat pack furniture. The holes at 90 deg are actually four, could only see two initially. They're in the bolt head and the metal box acts as a retention plate.

If anyone is interested I can post an image of the bolt partially unscrewed.

Thanks again!

  • Those are the most unusual flat-pack bolts I've ever seen! Thanks for answering your own question and the check-mark. – FreeMan Jan 15 at 15:52
  • How do they work, what attaches to them? Retention plate for? Do they have a specific name? The answer to these question may be useful to others who find this post on the interwebs. – Alaska Man Jan 15 at 20:33
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Based on the description and pictures, I would guess that they are part of some sort of hinge. Especially if the silver bar inside rotates 90° along the plane of installation (i.e. in the direction necessary for it to act as a pivot point of a hinge).

The 2nd picture, if it has a matching one at the top of the opening shown, would make sense as the pivot points of a door that covers the opening.

The 1st picture, if it also has a matching one at the other side of the opening shown, would make sense as the pivot point of a lift-up door covering the opening. A lift up door would be rather inconvenient, so maybe the part that attaches to the door itself also has a slide mechanism, so the door can be lifted then pushed back into the cabinet, above the opening shown, so it's out of the way.

I would say that if you don't have the matching door hardware, these will be of little use to you and could, therefore, be removed. However, I'd continue searching to see if you can identify them, and if so, if you can find a source for the "door part" of the hinge mechanism. I don't know how old this particular cabinet it, but restoring it to its original hardware configuration would surely improve its value, and, at a minimum, would help create a conversation piece.

On the other hand, if you do remove them, you'll probably want to patch the holes left behind, and that's a lot of unnecessary work to cover up something that could easily be left in place without impacting future use of the cabinet. Even if you can't identify this hardware now, you never know when you may have a guest over who takes one look at it and says, "I haven't seen a ___ like that in ages!!", then you'll know exactly what it is!

You may also have better luck asking on Woodworking, as there are quite a few there who are pretty darn knowledgeable about old tools, cabinet making, etc. and may have seen something like this.

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I am having a difficult time envisioning how a hinge would work with these pins being the pivot point, though I wouldn't dismiss it. I have seen latches where a hook turns out of a recess in a door and hooks onto a recessed pin, something like this photo. Perhaps it is leftover from something like that. At any rate, I agree with just leaving it there and letting it add character to the piece.

enter image description here

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