opening and swing on either surface hinges or butt
hinges, Sliding doors roll on tracks of metal or plastic.
Hinges are made in many styles and shapes. If the
kind of hinge is not specified, select a design that blends
well with the cabinet being constructed. Some types of
hinges are the surface, butt, offset, semiconcealed,
pivot, piano hinge, and the new European-style hinge.
The surface hinge mounts on the exterior surface of
the door and frame. It is made straight for flush doors
or offset for lipped doors. This type of hinge is used
when it is desirable to show the hardware, such as early
The butt hinge is used on flush doors when little
hardware must show. When it is installed, only the pin
of the butt hinge shows when the door is closed. These
hinges require a little extra time to install. It is
recommended that you recess or mortise the hinge into
The offset hinge is used on lipped doors that are
made from plywood. The offset hinge comes in various
sizes to match the thickness of the plywood and the
offset hinge must be mortised, rather than
The semiconcealed hinge is designed for lipped and
overlapping doors. This hinge has one leaf exposed on
the face of the cabinet and the offset leaf is mortised into
the door. Before the door is rabbeted, check the hinge
to ensure that you rabbet the door to the proper depth.
The pivot hinge is used on overlay doors. It is
fastened to the top and bottom of the door and to the
inside of the case. It is used frequently when there is no
face frame on the case. The doors completely cover the
face of the case.
The continuous or piano hinge is a one-piece hinge
that usually extends the whole length of the door. It is
installed like a butt hinge, and only the hinge pin is
exposed. This type of hinge is used when the door is
subjected to heavy use.
The European hinge can be used on overlay or flush
doors and is an excellent hinge used for frameless
cabinets. This hinge has two leafsthe hinge cup leaf
and the adjustable leaf. The hinge cup fits into a 1
3/8-inch hole (use a forstner bit to drill hole) on the
cabinet door. The other leaf is screwed to the side panel
of the cabinet. This leaf has an oval adjustment screw
that allows the hinge to adjust up and down while the
center mechanism adjustment has two screws that
adjusts the hinge left and right.
The number and size of hinges depend on the
dimensions of the door. There are two rules to follow:
First, on any door that is longer than 2 feet, install three
hinges; second, the total length of the hinges should
equal at least one sixth of the length of the hinged edge.
For example, if the door is 24 inches in height, use two
2-inch hinges; if the door is 34 inches, use three 2-inch
hinges. When only two hinges are required, they are
usually placed one quarter of the way from the top and
bottom of the door. When three hinges are required,
install the first hinge in the center and the other two
hinges are placed 4 to 5 inches from the top and bottom.
Some hinges are self-closing; therefore, they
eliminate the need for installing catches to hold the door
closed. Others require catches. There are many kinds
of catches available for holding doors.
Catches should be placed in the most
out-of-the-way position possible. For instance, they are
placed on the underside of shelves instead of on top.
Magnetic catches are used widely. They are
available in single or double magnets of varying holding
power. An adjustable magnet is attached to the inside
of the case and a metal plate to the door. Other types of
catches are the roller type and the friction type.
Elbow-type catches are used to hold one door of a
double set. It must be released by reaching in back of
the door. These are used when one of the doors is locked
against the other.
Bullet catches are spring-loaded and fit into the
edge of the door. When the door is closed, the catch fits
into a recessed plate mounted on the frame.
LAMINATING COUNTER TOPS
In cabinetwork, the countertops are usually covered
with a 1/16-inch layer of high-pressure plastic laminate.
Although this material is very hard, it does not possess
great strength and is serviceable only when it is bonded
to plywood, particle board, or wafer wood. This base,
or core material, must be smooth and is usually 3/4-inch
Plastic laminate is a very tough material. It is
widely used for surfacing counter tops, kitchen cabinets,
and many other kinds of cabinetwork. It can be
scorched by an open flame but resists heat, alcohol,