Convert cabinet doors to single bifold - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Convert cabinet doors to single bifold

Hi, everyone, first post here. I'm a novice when it comes to woodworking but have read a lot of posts here and gotten a lot of good ideas for projects from this forum so thought I'd throw my current situation out to see if anyone has any suggestions.

I have a cabinet with two normal face frame mounted doors located in the corner of my kitchen in a position makes it difficult to open the door without having to move around the door as it swings open. What I would like to do is turn the current face frame mounted doors into a single bifold door such that the hinge side of the door that is difficult to open loses its hinge on the face frame and is instead hinged to the non-hinge side of the other door. I've attached a top-down drawing showing current and desired operation to help explain what I'm describing.

The problem I'm having is that I need the hinge to not be exposed from the front side of the cabinet but I also need to be able to avoid the door pinching the other door when it is opened. There is only about a 1/4" between the doors now, so I'm not sure if there is any sort of hinge that can do what i'm looking for. What I was hoping to find (but haven't yet) is something like the hinge you see on lazy susan cabinets, that hinges in the middle but that starts in the flat position and then can fold over itself to a 90 degree (or more) angle.

Anyone have suggestions? Thanks in advance for any feedback!
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 08:06 PM
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What kind of edge is there on the doors? If the edge is square you could use a SOSS hinge. Otherwise you might have to use the one illustrated on the bottom left and put butt hinges on the back side of the doors.
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion. The door has a routed edge, about 1/2" of real estate to work with. SOSS hinges are neat looking but I'm not sure I have enough space for that to work. I think the bifold option on the left (like how a bifold closet door works) is probably not a viable option after checking with my wife but I'll do some experimenting with some scrap material to see if I can find a way for it to work.

Was hoping to find a rear mounted hinge that when flexed inward would extend the distance between the two doors (or something similar) but am not sure if that kind of mechanism is possible.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-06-2017, 12:00 AM
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double acting swing hinge? or is it spring hinge?
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-06-2017, 08:00 AM
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The SOSS hinge would need to be located centered in the edge of the door in order to completely fold around flat, folding it forward. If it were located in the 1/2" toward the back the doors would bind on the routed part and tear the hinge out of the door. The doors would have to be hinged to fold back to back to use the SOSS.

They are making all kinds of new and different hinges all the time. You might search for specialty hinges. Somebody makes hinges instead of the door swinging out the door comes out only a couple inches but travels to the left and right of the opening laterally.
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-06-2017, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
They are making all kinds of new and different hinges all the time. You might search for specialty hinges. Somebody makes hinges instead of the door swinging out the door comes out only a couple inches but travels to the left and right of the opening laterally.
I have been out of the business for a while now and have never seen a hinge like that one.

My thoughts were inline with the bottom left of clix illustration, that would be the easiest to do.

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post #7 of 12 Old 06-06-2017, 09:55 AM
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I have been out of the business for a while now and have never seen a hinge like that one.

My thoughts were inline with the bottom left of clix illustration, that would be the easiest to do.
I haven't seen a hinge like that either until I looked for some solution for the OP. I'm not sure I would like that hinge or not. If it works that way it appears I believe the arm would swing way into the shelf space at the bottom so the middle shelf would really be the only usable space.

If the OP could change the doors to inset doors the old pocket doors like we used to use for television cabinets would work. The internal shelving would have to be changed to something like KV80 though.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-06-2017, 11:02 AM
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I haven't seen a hinge like that either until I looked for some solution for the OP. I'm not sure I would like that hinge or not. If it works that way it appears I believe the arm would swing way into the shelf space at the bottom so the middle shelf would really be the only usable space.

If the OP could change the doors to inset doors the old pocket doors like we used to use for television cabinets would work. The internal shelving would have to be changed to something like KV80 though.
I didn't think about that but I agree, it looks like that hinge would take up a lot of usable space.

I have used a ton of the pocket door hardware, they are ok, just not my favorite to install.

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post #9 of 12 Old 01-18-2020, 10:32 PM
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Coincidentally, I just came home from looking at a bifold conversion for a client. My initial thought is to pull them out from the center like a closet bifold. Possibly piano hinges on the back, or any face mounted flat hinge.

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post #10 of 12 Old 01-19-2020, 11:42 AM
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Why not just remove the right hand door with the hinge, and if the door are failrly plain in design, just flip it around and hinge it to the free end of the existing door. If the door design wont allow for it aesthetically, just move the hinge to the other side when you remove it.
Only concern here would be the all the weight on the one left hand door hinge.
This should be easy enough unless I haven't had enough coffee yet to be able to rationalize it all

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post #11 of 12 Old 01-19-2020, 02:17 PM
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I converted two small 14 X 18" overhead cabinet doors in my son's camper to bi-fold, because the previous owner or dealer had mounted the folding TV antenna mechanism on the ceiling in front of the right cabinet door, so it could only be opened a few inches. My modification resulting in it needing to kind-of slide to the left as it opened to move from behind the TV hand crank mechanism and then fold against the left door but it works quite well.

I used two standard small flat hinges to join the two doors, attaching them from the back side of the doors. I also removed the original Euro style hinges from the right side of the right door. A magnetic latch will be needed in the center area of the doors to keep both doors flat with the cabinet when closed. If one already exists on the left door, it will suffice. You will need the handle on the left door, so than you can pull the center of the two doors free of the cabinet to begin the opening process, and you may need to add a magnetic latch to the right side of the right door where the hinges once existed. The handle on the right door can remain, but adding one to the right side of the right door will help with the opening process, if a magnetic latch was added here to keep the door completely shut. I bought another identical handle, so as not to leave any unused holes in the left side of the right door. My son and wife are very happy with my modification. The only thing visible with the doors closed is the extra handle that I added, but it looks natural, unless you realize that this door has a handle on both sides of it.

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post #12 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 02:28 PM
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Making my own contribution to the 2 1/2 yr old thread...

I made bi-fold doors for the cabinet I built in my office/workroom. The door swing was too wide to maneuver around easily when open. I just took my circular saw with a finish quality blade and ripped the doors down the center. Then added flat hinges to the inside keeping the gap closed, and added magnetic catches to the center to keep the doors closed flat. There are no tracks to keep the doors from swinging out, but for the few times they are open, they are easy to manage.

And just info on the whole project, I built a face frame to mount on a set of Gorilla Racks shelving, and made half-overlay doors to fit. The whole unit is a base for my reloading bench, just wanted to make it match the rest of the cabinets i built for the room.

Office Cab-4-2 by Mr_Dodis, on Flickr

Mike "Dodis"

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