New Louisiana Style Shutter Gravity Hinges from Lynn Cove Foundry

New Product Update | November 16, 2023

Lynn Cove Foundry Shutter Gravity Hinges

Gravity hinges have their origin in ‘shepherd’s hinges’ that used the force of gravity to close a gate, usually by mounting the hinge at a slight angle. Installed in this way, a person could walk through the gate and know it would close behind them on its own.

In the 1800s the same principle was put to use for shutter and door hardware. Gravity hinges for shutters would hold ‘blinds’ (shutters) in the open position and were sold by several companies. There were many iterations of the concept from each manufacturer in response to mutual competition.

Lynn Cove Foundry is excited to share their own cast steel, gravity-locking shutter hinges that continue on the tradition of product improvement by using cast steel as a material rather than cast iron.

The Material Difference: Cast Steel Over Cast Iron

“When iron contains in its composition over 2% of carbon it becomes known as cast iron, a metal which melts at a comparatively low temperature and is capable of being cast with very sharp lines. It is used a great deal for finishing work, though from its brittle nature and lack of tensile strength it is not utilized to any great extent for constructive purpose.“

Blackall, C. Howard. (1890). Builder’s hardware: a manual for architects, builders and house furnishers. Boston: Ticknor and Company.

The above excerpt from the 1890 edition of “Builder’s Hardware” explains why Cast Iron has been widely regarded as a poor material choice for functional hardware. Cast iron hardware has broken or rusted away on many beautiful, historic homes throughout the U.S. because it is brittle and prone to corrosion.

At Lynn Cove Foundry & Forge the improvements in modern steel making allow them to use cast steel instead of cast iron. The above gravity-locking shutter hinges are fabricated with cast steel. The precision of the steel casting process is even better than cast iron, and the tensile strength and ductility of steel means they hold more weight, will not fracture, and are corrosion resistant.

Neat fact: The stainless steel and galvanized steel castings look just alike, but a magnet will reveal the material difference – it won’t stick to the stainless steel casting. That’s due to the chromium content. The corrosion resistant properties of chromium in the alloy is why stainless is specified for coastal building projects. It comes at a premium over mild steel, however, so we have made both materials available to suite the building environment as needed. We recommend structures within 25 miles of salt water stick to stainless steel over mild steel when selecting their materials.

« Back to News & Updates