Face frame hinging basics - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-09-2009, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Face frame hinging basics

I have not posted in some time but I thought this bit of info might be of some use to some of you guys.

Hopefully it will take some of the mystery away from this type of hinge.

This post will deal mainly with the basics of a face frame cabinet with doors over laid on top of the frame. It seems as though that is the most common type of cabinetry that the members here are dealing with so I'll start there.

If there seems to be interest I'll tackle hinging options for a door that is flush and inset to the frame next time.

There is also the frameless style that could be interesting for some as well as the specialty hinges such as a lazy susan set up with a bifolding door.

I'll start with the basic straight arm hinge. Lets note that I am a Blum shop and obviously this is geared to their hinges but the logic would pertain to all manufacturers.

These hinges are made to be 1/2" overlay straight out of the box. It is not a coincidence that most shops go with a 1/2" overlay door.
What that means is that the geometry of the hinge itself will yield an overlay of 1/2". There are two factors that can influence a different result.

One is the base plate. Each plate is measured in height, o mil, 3 mil, 6 mil, ect. That height is throwing the hinge away from the frame and reducing the overlay by the measured amount in the name of the plate.

Here are 3 plates mocked up on a 2" frame part. Note how they each provide a different elevation for the hinge to mount.

The other is the "bore distance". Some refer to it as the "tab" and there may be other names as well but they all refer to the same thing. The distance from the edge of the door to the edge of the cup hole.

That distance will be acting in the opposite direction to the plate as the edge of the door is being pushed away from the opening, toward the frame by the amount of the bore distance.

Here is a bore set up at a 6 mil bore distance. A fairly common bore distance.

Remember I said the hinge is 1/2" overlay out of the box. What that really means is you need to match up those two opposing factors to keep it that way.

6 mil plate and a 6 mil bore distance will get you 1/2" overlay.

I have 3 "doors" all with a bore distance of 6 mill mouted to those 3 plates.
Note that the overlay changes by the difference in plate height.

I scribed a line when the doors were closed to note the amount of overlay for each with no adjustments.
I know that the measurements are not exactly perfect. Remember these are metric beings. The hinge has a 2 mil + and - adjustment that you can lean on or adjust the bore distance down ever so slightly and we could have 1/2" on the money. I am here to cover the basics in imperial.

Now here is the dirty little secret that will save your bacon.

That 6 mil set up will work fine for a door that has a profile on the outside edge that removes some material making room for the door in it's fully open position.
Sorry I don't have a picture of that but I'm sure you know the basic type I'm talking about with a little ogee. Very common on the most basic raised panel door referred to as the Revere, as an example.

The pitfall is using that setup with a square edge door. Such as a "Shaker" door. Very common these days.

That set up does not have room for the front edge of the door before it binds on the frame.

This picture I have a pencil pointing to where the bore distance is using up most all the room the hinge has to offer behind the arm of the hinge. Also showing the front edge of the door making contact with the frame.

The damage would really show up where those little fingers wrap the front edge of the frame. They would dent the edge of the door.

No where are you told that but here.

The solution is to reduce that bore distance. Throwing the edge of the door away from those pesky fingers.
Oh but then we mess with the overlay you say.
Not a problem, reduce the plate by the same distance.
Next plate down I have here is 3 mil so lets try a 3 mil bore. Like this.

And pop it on the 3 mil plate Next to the 6 and 6 set up. Looks like this.

Now I'll open the door and point to the same space behind the arm of the hinge. We are tossing the edge out and away from the frame.
I know it still looks close but the edge is slightly claer of the frame. Again you can adjust it further if needed.
Also note the different angle of opening than the first one.

The 6 mil setup is best used when the door has a finger pull detail at the edge also. Because the back cut of that profile would not leave enough material for a 3 mil bore.

Always and I mean Always test your set up before boring your door. There is not a cabinetman alive that has not ruined a few doors thinking there was no need to test.
Testing will only reduce the headaches though. It is so easy to screw something up.
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-09-2009, 07:27 PM
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Excellent tutorial. Do you bore your doors before pre-finishing?

No problem...that will buff right out.
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post #3 of 3 Old 04-09-2009, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Garmar View Post
Excellent tutorial. Do you bore your doors before pre-finishing?
Thank you, I put it together for another forum but figured there were some here that would appreciate the effort.
It took a long time to figure out these things and I wish I had someone to point to the logic of it all when I was struggling to figure it out.

Most definitely bore before finish.
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