1/16" Versus 1/8" Cabinet Door Reveals

Careful hinge choices will help prevent doors from interfering with each other, but if they're too close, you might still have trouble. December 27, 2010

I make my cabinet doors 1/8" less than the cabinet box width, but I have a customer requesting that I leave a 1/16" gap between doors. Will this work for frameless euro style cabs?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor B:
We use a 2mm door reveal with 120 degree Blum full overlay hinges. 1/16 is roughly 1.6mm, so that might be a little tight if there is no outside profile on the door. I would do a quick test to make sure before proceeding.

From contributor J:
Really depends on the door style. If the outside edge has no profile, or not enough profile/cutback, the doors will interfere.

I do a lot of shaker style doors and work with 3mm reveals. Using the Blum 120 degree hinge, they hit each other. I use the 107 degree to avoid this.

From contributor P:
The 170-degree hinges work well in close-gap situations. Reading the Blum (or whoever) manual will give you actual numbers to work with, rather than relying on our random opinions - really worth taking a few minutes to understand their charts.

From contributor M:
With the right hinge it is possible. But a major pain! Furthermore, I think you should expect callbacks for the next 10 years to adjust the doors. I usually do 3mm. Thinking about using 2mm. It also depends on the door profile.

From contributor L:
I use Grass 110 hinges and I can go as small as a 5/64" reveal on an inset face frame. But that is the limit.

From contributor K:
1/8" is really the most you should do. Keep in mind expansion and contraction. If the customer insists on this, make them aware of the limitations up front, and teach them how to adjust the doors and get them to sign off on it, or you will be called back.

If you start off with 1/8", it will give them the 1/6" they are looking for 4-5 months out of the year without adjustments. Of course, this depends on where they are located and what time of year they were installed and had their final adjustment.

From contributor C:
We bang out a boat load of cabinets daily and after all the call backs I had when I was an installer, I determined my reveal would be 5/23 max. We flush the bottoms of all carcasses and always leave 1/4 at the top for crappy p-lam tops and terrible soffits. I totally agree with the other comments and I would highly recommend just running some tests before you agree to anything.

From contributor B:
You can get a lot tighter with the 170 degree hinges. I never really thought of those for two reasons - cost (not ridiculously more expensive, but over time it sure adds up) and look - the 170's are huge and don't look good inside a cabinet. But if your client insists on such a tight reveal, they should make it possible for you.

From contributor S:
2mm reveal and 4mm gaps.