Hinge Mounting Tips and Tricks

Low-tech and high-tech ways to quickly and accurately set adjustable Euro hinges. March 3, 2009

I'm trying figure out how to accurately position and mount Blum hinge plates to the panel cabinets I just made. The doors are slab, full overlay, with very tight tolerances. The Inserta hinges and plates adjust in three ways, so I have a little leeway. I'm new at this and don't want to mess up my curly maple doors or the waste the months I spent building the cabinets.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor P:
Blum sells a simple little metal jig to accurately position the plate mounting holes. Otherwise, assuming a typical Blum plate and hinge combination, 5mm (or screw pilot if not using system screws or dowelled plates) holes, 37 mm back from the cabinet face, 32mm apart (centered, of course on your hinge center line, so 16 mm above and below center).

If you don't have access to a Blum machine for door boring, you might want to consider using a screw-on hinge rather than the Inserta, which requires a dead-on relationship between the main hole and the 8mm dowel holes. With the screw-on, drill the main (35 mm) hole, square up the hinge, and then bore pilot holes.

From contributor I:
There are companies that make installation jigs that put the plates in the correct position and then you just have to drill the doors accordingly. If I were you at this point, I would take a 4 inch strip of scrap wood and cut it to the height of the door. Then drill for the hinges, install them on the piece along with the plates and then hold it to the cabinet to whatever reveal you are looking for on the top and bottom and then screw the plates to the sides. Now you can detach the hinges from the plates, put the hinges on the real doors, and snap them on in about 2 seconds.

If you haven't worked out the door sizing for certain you can start with a few scrap pieces of plywood cut to the door size and make sure the reveals and gaps all work before you drill the doors for hinges just in case you need to change the boring location to get the right reveal. You can also use different plates to get the same effect. If your reveals are really tight i would buy the Inserta thick door hinges. They have a different pivot point and allow 3/4 inch thick doors to open with very close tolerances.

From the original questioner:

I did purchase an aftermarket fixture to bore the 35mm holes for the hinge cups. I also bought the Blum jig that orients itself in the bored hole to drill the two 8mm dowel holes and both work great. Here's the question: how do you mark/position the hinge plates to the cabinet so that they match the hinge mechanism to the door?

From contributor P:
Match the centerline of the plate with the centerline of the hinge.