Door Stops for Inset Cabinet Doors

Cabinetmakers discuss door stop options and preferences. November 6, 2007

So I'm building a kitchen with beaded face frames and inset doors. One of the last design decisions to make is door stops. Do I use free swinging hinges with magnetic catches, or opt for a self-closing hinge with a batten fastened to the inside of the cabinet? Client has left this decision in my hands.

I don't do a lot of inset doors, but in the past I've gone with the magnetic catches and been pretty happy with that. So what are you using, and why? Or is there another option I haven't yet thought of?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
About 90% of my work is beaded inset. My system may not be the best, but it works well for me.

Hinges: Blum self closing 1/2 crank hinge with inset face frame hinge plate.
Stop: Use a 1 1/4" wide door stop (about 3 inches long" that is set back/rabetted 1/8" (thickness of the door bumper).

Additionally, I use the Blumotion softclose. In the past I used Salice's inset face frame plate and had multiple failures.

From contributor J:
I do the same as contributor D, but the stop runs the entire width of opening. I feel it has a more appealing appearance than the magnetic catch.

From contributor F:
We use Amerock 3175 and friction catches.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. I had forgotten about the Blum soft close devices. Had a salesman show me a while ago and guess they just slipped my mind. So do you use these in tandem with the wooden stop, or in place of? I think the Blums will be the way to go. Definitely add a bit of wow to the kitchen.

From contributor L:
I use the Blumotion soft close stops all by themselves; works great and looks great.

From contributor D:
The Blumotion I use clips on the hinge. I think to replace the door stop, you would have to use the Blumotion designed to be placed opposite the hinge. However, on inset, wouldn't the Blumotion device need to be set behind the face frame? You would need to block out the back of the face frame.

From contributor N:
I make some thin attractive wood stops 3/4" x 5/16" about 2" wide, and sand the tops down on each end, making a curved pattern - low key and not in the way. I glue and pin nail. Not the fastest way to do it, but no complaints. I thought about holding the bottom fixed shelf 1/2" up from the bottom rail of the face frame and edge banding it, so the door closes on that instead of a block. I saw this one on a furniture line over 25 years ago. I thought it looked odd, but didn't realize the line had flush inset doors. I thought they just couldn't read a tape measure. The number one custom cabinet shop here in Eugene takes a piece of hardwood 3/4" x 3/4" by 1 1/2" and just nails it on. I guess it's fast and they do a lot of flush inset cabinets, and they are the very best custom cabinet shop in town (this is what they tell everyone). So I guess appearance isn't that big a deal if it's behind a door.

What do you up-charge for a flush inset job (not with the bead) versus a standard overlay cabinet? I try for 10%. I don't get the higher upper end flush beaded jobs. People are too cheap around here.

From contributor G:
You charge more because it is more work. You have to meticulously fit each door so they have the same reveal around the edge. You have to make sure your cabinets and doors are perfectly square so they fit within each other the first time as to make sure you don't have a lot of extra fitting time. You need stops for the door to close on, which takes time and money.

With an overlay door, close is acceptable; with an inset door, close is what you need to have, and perfect is better. 3/32" margin around the doors shows discrepancies pretty easily. I would think 10% was on the low side.

From the original questioner:
Thanks again for the responses. Now I feel like a have a little more insight into what others are doing. I'm still up in the air between the Blumotion and the wooden battens, but am leaning toward the Blum's.

As for up-charge, it's hard for me to say. I do more Euro than face frame cabinetry, and with face frames it's always inset doors. The difference between a Euro full overlay and a beaded face frame with inset doors is roughly 100-150% more. But I also sell the clients on the fact that I build my own doors and drawers in house. Also I use mortise and tenon construction on the face frames. Basically I try to build their kitchen to furniture quality, and I charge for it. Which is why I haven't been thrilled with the magnetic catches. They work, but it just seems like something nicer could be done.

From contributor O:
Bullet catches.

From contributor I:
I agree with contributor D, with the exception that I have found the Blum half crank hinges for thick doors actually work better than the standard half crank hinges for inset applications. They have a different pivot point that allows you to have tighter reveals without the door rubbing the stiles. Order a pair and give them a try; I think you will agree they make life easier.

From contributor C:
I edgeband and raise the deck up 1/4"-3/8", run a strip of edgebanded 1/2" ply stapled to the back of the top rail, and increase the thickness of the frame to accommodate door + bumper. I occasionally go through the scrap pile and stockpile component parts like stop, ladder base rippings, etc.