Simple butt hinges are found on everything from jewellery boxes to front doors but there are many more purpose-made hinges to select from.
These traditional hinges need a shallow recess cut in the door and frame. If the door of the cabinet is panelled, line up the hinges with the front edge of the rail.
Mark the position of the hinge on the cabinet and the depth of the recess – this is the thickness of the hinged flap. Score along the marks to cut the surface of the wood and stop it splintering.
Tap around the outline of the hinge shape with a chisel held vertically with the bevel facing towards the recess. Make a series of cuts across the wood at 5mm intervals – try to make the cuts the same depth as the thickness of the flap.
Chisel along the line on the face of the door to remove the chips of waste wood. Use only hand pressure and keep the level of the blade facing upwards. Check that the hinges fit flush with the edge and fix with one screw per hinge. Use a drill bit slightly smaller in diameter than the screw to make a starter hole.
Hold the door in place and mark the hinge positions on the edge of the door.
Mark the recess for the hinge in the same way as for the frame and chop out the waste wood.
Fix the door with one screw per hinge. Check and adjust the fit before finally fitting all the screws.
Flush hinges have a recess cut out of one side and therefore fold together into a single width. This means that they can be screwed directly onto the surface of the cupboard edge and door. Ideal for fitted wardrobes and cabinet doors that don’t need to be sprung.
These are continuous steel or brass hinges that can be used to support a door along its entire length and provide extra strength, e.g. for blanket boxes or doll’s house fronts.
These are specialist hinges which look like a butt hinge when closed but allow the door to be opened through 180 degrees.
Concealed cabinet hinges
These are commonly used for ‘lay-on’ cabinet doors (doors which close onto the front of a cabinet rather than into a recess). The door side is fixed with a round boss, held with screws. The cabinet side is held on a baseplate, which can be adjusted horizontally and vertically so you can easily align a row of doors. The hinges are also sprung to close automatically. Choose brass for decorative projects where the hinge will be seen and steel for larger interior jobs. Use brass for cabinets that may be exposed to moisture as they will not rust.