Hinge-Boring Machine Compatibility

      A discussion of retrofitting hinge-boring equipment to handle different companies' hinge screw patterns. July 21, 2006

I have a Mepla manual hinge boring machine and use Mepla hinges, although I'd rather use Blum. Several years ago my Blum rep (I use Tandems) was going to have someone retrofit my machine with a drilling head in the Blum pattern. At the last minute, he backed out, citing some issues with the Mepla guys. Now my Mepla supplier has lost the line and I'm investigating going to Blum again. Does anyone know where I could get the parts to change the drilling pattern? I'm confident that I could make the switch if I had the part. I can't justify the $2000 for a new machine just to switch manufacturers and no, I don't use enough hinges to get the free machine in my shop. Thanks in advance for any help.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
My local Mepla dealer told me that Mepla is going to change to a Blum Pattern. And they will change out the heads for free on machines that have the Mepla pattern. I hope they do as I have 2 brand new Mepla boring machines that I'm not currently using. I also have a Blum machine and use it all the time, as the Blum products are by far the best you can buy.

From contributor B:
We modified our Mepla machine to work with Blum by replacing the 8mm bits with 10mm bits - this only works with the Inserta hinges - it drills the hole big enough to just work. Your mileage may vary (in other words, try it out to make sure it works for you before assuming it will work).

From contributor C:
$2000 is too much. I believe I paid $1300 for mine. Make a deal with the Blum rep - throw in some boxes of hinges.

From contributor D:
$2000? You need to look around. My hinge supplier sold me mine for $900. I am no means a big customer either.

From contributor E:
I go through less than 75 hinges a month and my supplier put a machine in my shop for nothing. I did agree to buy all of my hardware from them like drawer slides. Their prices are as low as anywhere so I am not getting upcharged for it either.

From contributor A:
I bought my Blum machine a few years ago for $900 brand new. I buy a lot of Blum products and I believe they are by far the best company to do business with even if there sales staff leaves a lot to be desired. I bought two brand new Mepla machines last year for $550 each.

From the original contributor:
Thanks for all the responses. I guess I'll stick with Mepla until I feel the need for a new machine. I like the Blum hinges better but the Mepla's work fine and even $900 seems like a lot to spend just to have the orange. I only paid $250 for my Mepla machine; about what I think you should pay to use a company's hinges.

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