Euro-Style Hinges for Face-Frame Inset Doors

      Cabinetmakers describe how they construct face-frame cabinet boxes to receive Euro hinges June 8, 2008

Man, I'm having problems figuring out what to use for Euro style hinges for face frame inset. It appears I need to buy the hinge and a separate base plate to do this. I am new to this style of cabinets. What is the norm? I'm using 3/4 MDF boxes and 3/4 poplar face frame with applied bead and 3/4 RS doors. I understand that some hinges need a reveal on the inside between the frame and adjacent box surface.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
The mounting plate for inset FF hinges is kind of a big hunk of metal, but works well. They do have a minimum side clearance for the inside of the face frame (I think it's around 14mm for Blum). We had a situation that did not have the inside clearance, however, so we built blocking for the inside walls of the cabinets where the hinges were to go, to make it flush with the edge of the face frame, and we were able to mount the standard frameless hinge plates.

From contributor A:
Ideally you want to build your cabinets so that the face frame is only proud of the panels by 1/32-1/16". This way you can use standard plates. You can get away with almost 1/8" by using the tallest plate and cranking the hinge over. At the end of the day you will want all of your bulkheads/panels almost flush with the face frame for your drawer slides as well. On finished end of uppers we may use the clunky inset plates as described above. In my opinion they are ugly, expensive, and a pain to install. Yes, there will be big gaps between your cabinets when installed. This is better than any other method and it really doesn't waste a lot of interior space.

From the original questioner:
So if I understand you, you recommend making a box for each door opening so I can space each box apart to get a smaller reveal between the side of the box and the face frame (perpendicular), so I could use the standard euro type hinge?

From contributor D:
No, I think he means you pull the end panels in to almost flush with the inside edge of the face frame. That way it's almost like a frameless and you're able to install the mounting plates without having to use the huge inset face frame mounting plates. On the end cab you'd need to use the inset mounting plate (or block the inside so it's flush).

From contributor A:
We make long runs of cabinets. They are not 30", 36" cabinets ganged together. When doing my original shop drawings I lay out the bulkheads (end panel or partition) so that I ideally have the panels flush in the door locations. The drawer locations can be padded, but often they are in the same plane as the doors anyway. But even when we do have to gang a couple of cabinets together I always keep the ends flush to the inside of the face frame. You end up with a gap between the panels of the cabinets, but so what, it makes the hardware so much faster and better looking.

From contributor V:
We would run the bottom of our uppers to the edge of the face frame (or back just a bit), and butt the wall end into the top of it. Just like a partition. It gives a free run under the uppers for lights, and looks clean.

From contributor R:
I think I have gotten most of it, but I have always built face frame cabinets and have almost zero knowledge of hinge plates other than clipping the hinges on and off, which can be a pain in itself. Who makes the hinge mentioned above that goes on the face frame and gives you inset doors? I would rather pay a little more for that hinge; that way I can leave my thinking cap on the hat rack and build the damned things. If someone could post a face frame that will give me full inset doors, I will be back in business. I'm sure I could go to the hinge manufacturer web site and find it easy, but with this dial up connection I don't surf the web, I get stuck in the web just like an insect.

From the original questioner:
Got it. It's a lot clearer now. I see why guys build the face frames first, then build the boxes to match. It would be tough to build the boxes with the partitions off center to stiles when you don't have a reference to the actual door opening to begin with. I thought the whole separate boxes were not what you meant, but could not figure it out. So if you have two doors with hinges on the same stile, do you put in two separate partitions to accommodate the hinges or offset one and block out the other? Do a search on Woodcraft for Blum, face frame, inset. I'm looking at the Blum 77B83. You'll get a PDF file that shows the mounting plate. Anyone have input on this specific setup? I am also re-face-framing existing overlay boxes to match the new cabinets, so I am forced to either block the existing partitions or add new ones to use this hinge. I'm going for the hinge.

Do you mount the inset doors in the face frames flat on the bench, face down to mount all of the hardware and adjust gaps, then do the rest, or mount everything with the face frames vertical on the boxes? I'm finishing up a 4X8 torsion box workbench that is dead flat, so I'm going down the path of horizontal. I normally wouldn't take this much of a new thing on, but I'm doing it on my own kitchen, so it makes it easier to take my time and learn.

From contributor R:
Yes, dead on with flush one side and fur out the other if two doors swinging from same stile. Fur out everything, but attach drawer slide to the furring strip laying flat on the bench, then just slap it in with staple gun. It's far easier to shoot staples inside of a cabinet and to run screws with a cordless drill. Of course it will require a jig.

From contributor A:
The reality is you should be able to build any of the parts at any time. It is all based on accuracy. If I can draw it I can build it. I usually build doors (unless I order them), then face frames, then boxes. The boxes take up too much room and they assemble fast anyway. I like to assemble everything at once. I often fit the doors to the frames on the bench, because of the finishing routine. At the end of the day there is an ideal step by step method, but due to circumstance they often change on the fly. This is where the accuracy comes through.

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