#312: Swappinge

Have you ever had difficulty squeezing items that are just the wrong shape into a car boot, or thought how nice it would be to eat a picnic lunch without having to have the council dump some benches in every beauty spot?

Today’s invention is a coordinated pair of hinges for a car boot (although a similar, vertical, system might be adapted to domestic doors in order to allow greater flexibility when that damned bookcase (you just managed to get home in the boot) proves difficult to move about the house).


It consists of two sets of hinges. One set is in the conventional position, along the upper edge of the lid. A second, identical set lies along the bottom edge. Each of these hinges contains a sliding axle which can be moved inwards to lock (and allow the hinge action) and outwards to enable the lid to open at top or bottom. They would be electrically linked, so that one set moves out to the open position only after the other set has moved in.

This arrangement has a requirement to distinguish which set of locks/hinges is to be opened (which might best be achieved by two conventional locks and a single mechanical key). It allows the boot lid to be opened at the top as usual or to be opened at the bottom to allow the boot to be loaded from above. In that case, the outfolded lid could alternatively act as an L-section picnic seat). The lid might even be removed entirely to accommodate the latest addition to your collection of slightly oversized stuff.

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