Start Here
   • Overview
   • Site Navigation
   • Shutter Hardware

   • Eric Sloane

Start Here > Overview

My name is Will Greene, the oldest blacksmith at Brandywine Forge.  The elements of this section represent my attempt to begin at the beginning to help you understand how shutter things fit together.

Site navigation at the left or below should help you find your way around our website… we’re not just about shutter hardware.


We have learned that considering shutters and hardware as an integrated package early in the planning process is the key to saving time and money when installing shutters.  Your shutters can be of any appropriate style and hung to the home in a number of different ways – it’s the right hardware that makes them fully functional.  We design and make our hardware to install as simply as possible. Savings on installation costs often more than make up the price difference for higher quality hardware.

There are a number of dimensions and a bunch of terms involved and it’s easy to feel confused at first. While we attempt to answer your questions on this site, we encourage you to call us to discuss your installation needs and share our expertise to define the solution that best fits your situation.


Start Here > Site Navigation

To begin at the beginning, there are really two web sites here.  One focused on shutter hardware, the other showing our barn, gate and big door hardware.  Access to the two different sites appears at the top of each web page.  Scroll across the top and the faint grey wording will light up red and show “Brandywine Shutter Hardware” or “Brandywine Barn Hardware” – click on the highlight to jump between web sites.

Within each page, you’ll sometimes see a More button.  Click and the page will expand to show more detailed information on the product or topic.  Once expanded with the More button, click again and the page will compress the expanded information.

This sketch at the top of the page shows you’re on the shutter site.

And the barn web site?  Barn sketch.  Both are my drawings but closely follow the pen and ink style of Eric Sloane.

Product images will also link to a page of expanded information, typically showing available sizes, pricing and historical information.

The back arrow at the top of your screen will return you to the previously viewed page.

The navigation bars at the top of each page are presented in two levels. The top row shows informational segments, the selections on the lower rows are directed towards the specific products we offer.  If you’re not familiar with shutter hardware or want to learn more, begin with the top row options.  They’re laid out in a left to right/top to bottom progression in what I feel are the logical steps to gaining an understanding of shutters and hardware.

  • Start Here – this section is directed to a general over-view of the hardware employed on shutters. You’ll see many real-life variations on the different elements, but all come back to the basic points covered here.
  • Shutter Installation Situations – sketches of the various ways windows are installed relative to the structure and how shutters can be positioned in each situation. Re-thinking the way the shutters will install (they don’t have to hang from the window frame) can save time, money and effort. And, yes, historic examples can be referenced for each approach.  Step by step instructions also show how to build and hang board and batten shutters as well as install strap hinges on barn doors.
  • Shutter Hardware Selection – a step-through guide to finding the right hardware for your circumstance. New construction or restoration. Functional vs. non-functional. Window/structure/shutter considerations. Budget vs. esthetics.
  • Measurements, Standards and Finish – the how and why to order section. What measurements we need and why, our standard dimensions, and a description of the weatherproofing finishes we offer on shutter hardware.
  • Hardware 101 – a group of documents that serve as an extended glossary. Blacksmith terms and all about iron, terms specific to shutter installation, the evolution of early hardware are covered.
  • Hold opens the first of the shutter hardware elements.  Hooks and shutter dogs that hold the shutters in the open position.  A very complete selection of a range of historic patterns from colonial through contemporary.
  • Gate and heavy door some examples of early heavy door hardware and some gates and big stuff we’ve designed and fabricated.  Right here in historic south-east Pennsylvania – about five miles up the Schuylkill river from where George Washington and his boys spent a nasty winter.  You’ve heard of Valley Forge because George had to camp there.  He positioned his forces between the British in Philadelphia and the critical Colonial Ironworks of northern Chester county – on the most probable invasion route of the British, the river.
  • Heavy Hinges & Pintles our interpretation of early hinges and the pins on which they swing.  The heart of any functional shutter install.  We offer many early hinge styles and even more in pintles – some old, some new, but the most critical decision in hanging shutters.
  • Locks & Accessories Every early shutter locked, it’s why people spent the money and effort to put them on early homes.  The old folks closed and locked their shutters through the winter, most summer nights and any time weather or drunks were on the horizon (hint – they drank a LOT back in the day).
  • Mid-Weight Hingesdefinitely worth a look.  Our less expensive hinge/pintle sets.  Some based on early examples, most of our own design.  We’ve designed our hardware to work with contemporary construction – you won’t find anything close from other vendors.  They just sell imported copies of early hardware.  Sorry if it doesn’t work or it breaks.  Too often hardware’s just an important profit center for shutter makers.  If their first question is “you’ll never close the shutters, right?” they’re selling you into their most profitable items and be assured, your shutters won’t work with that hardware


Start Here > Shutter Hardware Elements

Functional shutters were necessary appointments on early homes; providing security, protection from storms and sun, and privacy to the homeowner. Regardless of the period, location, size or style of the shutters, they required hardware to stay open when not in use and to swing closed and lock in that position when required.

Generally three elements of shutter hardware are involved in a functional installation:

  • Hinges and pintles – the hinges attach to the shutters, the pintles attach to the structure and provide the pins on which the hinges (and shutters) swing from open to closed.
  • Hold-opens – attach to the structure and serve to keep the shutters in the open position. Shutter tie-backs or dogs are most common; hooks of various sorts were also used.
  • Locks – if you can’t lock the shutters in the closed position they are not functional. This critical hardware element is the one most often forgotten. Locks keep the shutters closed. Closed shutters provide storm protection, privacy, shade the interior and its contents, and secure the home over night or for the season. They’re also the most visible hardware element when the shutters are in the open position – which is most of the time.

shutter hardware description

There are a lot of considerations in configuring a shutter/hardware package for your windows or doors. There are a lot of terms specific to shutter hardware that are new to most people. There are many approaches to combining shutters and hardware. Since we make what we sell, we can tailor solutions specific to your installation that are available from no other hardware retailer.

Please remember that we work with these details on a daily basis and have years (decades, actually) of experience in making shutters work. Don’t hesitate to call with questions. We’re happy to work with you to put together a package that will best serve your needs, install easily on your structure, and work with your budget.

Independence National Historical Park
Philadelphia, PA 

Example of colonial era shutters, one set open, one closed.
 Note the hinges are only visible when the shutters are closed. 
This is typical shutter hinge installation.


Start Here > Eric Sloane

The drawings on this site are my own and are heavily influenced by the pen and ink works of Eric Sloane.  Eric Sloane was an inspiring collector, artist, writer, student, and teacher.  His life’s work revolves around the sky and weather and early American life – inseparable entities.  If you’re not familiar with Sloane, look on line – most of his books are available on sites like e-bay, some may well be available in your local library.  His books are not only wonderfully informative about how the American forefathers worked and lived, but also present interesting comparisons of earlier life styles and our own contemporary circumstance.  His books are filled with wisdom and beautiful artwork, check him out by clicking here.











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