How to Choose the Right Hinge for Your Project During Cabinet Making Courses

May 11, 2018

On any cabinetmaking project, there is a wide array of hinges to choose from. However, not all hinges will do the same job, so it is essential to think carefully about your project in order to make the right choice.

The desires of your clients will also need to be taken into account. Cabinets are about functionality first and foremost, but some people will want a solution which is more pleasing to the eye. A good cabinetmaker will use their knowledge and expertise in order to find a solution that provides the best of both worlds.

Here are a few things to consider when selecting hinges during the drawing stage of a project.

Cabinet Type Must be a Key Focus When Deciding on Hinges

Cabinets can be broadly divided into two different types, face-frame and frameless. Face-frame cabinets are more traditional and include a separate wooden frame on the front to which the hinge is attached. Frameless cabinets are often called euro-style, and the hinge is fixed to the interior. Concealed (European style) hinges are commonly used on frameless versions, and graduates of cabinetmaking courses will like their easy adjustability.

Installation of a concealed (European-style) hinge

Exposed hinges are more common on older face-frame designs, but still have their advantages in modern cabinetmaking. The butt hinge is the most common type used to hinge two wooden parts together, and leaves the central spine exposed to the naked eye. The flush hinge is another popular design, as it can be fixed directly onto the surface without having to cut a recess in the timber.

Students at Cabinetmaking School Learn to Choose Attractive Hinges

After a list of suitable hinges has been found for the cabinet type, you and your client can focus on the design of each option, and evaluate how suitable they are for the project. Exposed hinges, for instance, are more suited to traditional kitchens than modern ones. The spine and the two halves of a fully exposed hinge are all visible when the cabinet door is closed, so a visually pleasing design should be used.

A traditional exposed cabinet hinge

The European-style concealed hinge, on the other hand, is becoming much more common because it is not visible until the door has been opened. Certain versions also have self-closing or soft-close special features to reduce noise. However, they are often more expensive than standard exposed hinges, so consultation should take place with the client to make sure it fits with their budget.

Some Cabinet Doors May Require More Flexibility than Others

Students at cabinetmaking school will learn that many projects will require hinges with varying flexibility. Many hinges will only open to around 90 degrees, so different models may need to be used to provide better ease of access. However, an opening angle of 180 degrees or higher could see the door banging into an adjoining cabinet. This type of hinge is usually more suitable for frameless cabinets with full overlay doors.

Exposed kitchen cabinet hinges usually only need to open to around 180 degrees, but 270 degree hinges may be required for things like TV and entertainment units. There are also a wide variety of choices with European-style concealed hinges, but the widest opening versions can be quite bulky and more difficult to install.

Are you interested in pursuing cabinetmaking training?

Contact North American Trade Schools for more information.

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