old deck










Adding the hinges

Pickiest part.....

Hinges on a teak deck are far more important than they are on a plain one.  The weight alone is enough to dictate hinging, and lift out hatches, being shoved around on the deck during the heat of trying to get a big fish into the box or chasing that last live bait around a 30 gal live well is going to do damage the deck.

While other types of hinging are available, the best all around hinge for a teak deck remains the piano style.  Alignment is controlled more effectively while weight and operational forces are evenly distributed.  Which ever type of hinge is chosen, the installation must be precise.

The hatch was laid out in register with the deck, and the space between the adjoining boards is too narrow for the thickness of the hinge knuckle.  A notch is cut into the hatch side board to allow the knuckle to just fit, and carried through for the full thickness. A shim is added to the deck side so that the hinge is kept vertical when the screws are tightened.

If the hatch does not open back to a full 180 degrees, the hinge can be set flush with the deck surface.  The lower the hinge is set, the less open angle of the hatch.  For a full opening hatch, the knuckle of the hinge must be at least 1/2 exposed above the surface so that the hatch and deck don't bind.

Once installed, a flush set hinge becomes almost hidden and is much kinder to bare feet.  A hinge for a full opening hatch will stand only ~1/2 the thickness of the knuckle above the deck, (about 3/16 of an inch).

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