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Base Corner Cabinet Door Assembly

Listing #100   Listed on: 12/12/2003

GALLERY_BD>26 Dec 1951

Company Name: Classic WoodworksUsing the "piano" hinge to join a pair of doors required of a 90 degree (pie-cut) base corner cabinet.

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Hinge Boring & Door Hinges: I use Mepla 170° Pie Cut hinges for these doors, along with standard Mepla “00 cranking” base plates. Note that “04 cranking” base plates are available if it is required to reduce ½” overlay doors to 3/8” overlay using the same MB 2.1 boring pattern. With Mepla hinge boring machine, bore hinge cup at MB 2.4 for ½” overlay or MB 2.1 for 3/8” overlay. All the major hinge companies make a pie-cut corner hinge that will work just as well provided you follow their procedures for mounting the hinges and plates, and bore the cup holes as required for that set of hinges.

©2000 David Erhart, Classic Woodworks

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Once the hinge screws are installed, you will notice that the hinge does not want to fully open. This is because the tape is holding it shut. Open the hinge enough to slice the tape with a razor knife and free the hinge.

Finally, trim the tape close to the hinge and peel off the excess. Notice that the doors are separated by about 3/16” when the doors are hinged open. It is because of this “non-precise” space separating the doors that the hinge is best installed with the doors closed and the hinge folded to its 90° stopped position.

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To install the hinge, either fashion a way to clamp the doors with the bevels closed or enlist the help of an assistant to hold the doors in place while drilling the pilot holes and installing the screws.

Place the hinge on the doors as shown with sufficient space above and below the hinge so that when the door is closed, the hinge will not hit the frame of the cabinet. Use a 1/16” drill bit for the pilot holes and be sure to drill the holes at an angle that nears parallel to the beveled edges so that the screws do not protrude through the door stock – 30-35° is about right. The screw heads will not meet the hinge face flush but this is of little importance in this application. Install the screws as you go along. Should any screw tips come through, simply file them flush to the wood surface.

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Trim the hinge with a hack saw to proper length so that when installed, there is sufficient space to allow for the overlay, (usually ½”) where the door must meet the frame of the cabinet, above and below the hinge. Lay the doors out face down with the long points of the bevels just touching, then tape near top, bottom, and center with wide masking tape. The tape will help hold the doors together during the hinge installation process. DO NOT INSTALL THE HINGE WHILE THE DOOR IS IN THIS POSITION, as the hinge will not function properly if done so.

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After using several methods of assembling the pair of doors needed to produce the door required for a 90-degree base corner cabinet, I have chosen the continuous (piano) hinge as the best solution. It provides a strong hinge that allows the doors the flexibility to open and fold at the beveled joint when the door is in operation. Installation of this simple hinge in not intuitive, however; so I have provided instructions below:

Before you begin, bevel the inside edges of the doors to 45, purchase a 1-1/2” x 30” continuous hinge, which will most likely have to be cut to the proper length before installing.


Viewer Comments:

Posted By: Michael Alton     [12/30/2003]

The same type of door installation could be done by ripping the width of the door (usually 3/4") off the edge of one door and then butting it into the other door so that the same amount of stile is showing. The hinge could then be place on and this might be an easier cut for some to make than trying to match two bevels up nicely. Thanks, Michael.

Posted By: Dave Erhart     [12/30/2003]

Michael, unless I misunderstood your idea, I have a couple of concerns with that type of door assembly. If you have an outside edge profile on your doors, butting them together will not mate properly at the edge profile. Also, if you butt the doors together, you will have a door that will be rigid at 90 degrees and when opened, the outside half of the door will hit against the adjacent cabinet and significantly limit cabinet access. In an effort to gain access, the customer may well apply heavy pressure on the door joint (with arm or shoulder) and damage or loosen this joint and/or break the door.


Posted By: Moses Yoder     [12/31/2003]

Nice project, with good pointers. One point I have to make, if the L-shaped corner cabinet has an appliance beside the door that protrudes significantly beyond the cabinets, this door will not work; it will hit the appliance as it swings open. I use the hinge on the back as you show when there is nothing in the way of the door opening. If there is an appliance there you can still hinge the door to open by cutting the two doors down 3/4" in width and hinging with the hinge pin at the front where the two doors join, instead of at the back; the right hand door swings open (to the left), (held shut by a magnetic catch) before the left hand door moves.

Posted By: Mick Dugan     [12/31/2003]

Well done Dave. Thanks for sharing.

One small alteration I might employ is to use wider piano hinge to eliminate the possibility of screws coming thru. This will allow you to keep the screws at 90 degrees to the surface as well.

Also, if any screws did project a bit, I think I’d tend to remove them, snip the tips with a pair of wire cutters, and reinstall, in order to avoid the inevitable “shiny spots” filed down screw tips would result in.

Again, nine technique.


Mick Dugan

Posted By: Michael Alton     [12/31/2003]

Dave, I didn't mean that I butt the doors together and attach them in that position. I butt them together and still use a piano hinge just as you did. Sorry I might not have worded it correctly. I also didn't mean to say that your doors don't look nice, I just find it easier to match two straight long cuts that two long bevel cuts. Thanks, Michael.

Posted By: Michael Moore     [12/28/2005]

Has anyone tried this type of an application with inset cabinet doors?

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