Inset Door Hinge Adjustment and Stops

A discussion of ways to make inset doors close flush using Euro hinges. January 13, 2008

Upon the advice of some of you, I tried out the Blumotion for doors on my most recent project. But of course nothing goes easily the first time out, and this was no exception. I used the face frame mounting adapters and installed them all pretty easily. Problem is that when the door closes, it doesn't stop flush with the face frame. Looking at the adapter itself, it's designed so the piston bottoms out about an eighth inch behind the face frame. I've looked through the Blum catalog, which doesn't have a whole lot of useful info, and I'm stumped by this design.

Is there a reason these are made so they don't line up with the face frame? If so, how does one counteract it? I'm thinking I may have to go back and install battens as stops, which of course makes the Blum product far less useful to me. How are you using this product?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
Cabinetry with inset doors should have a full perimeter rabbet to stop the door, Blumotion or not. This is the historic way these have been done for centuries. This also prevents seeing inside the cabinets. Paired doors will have reverse rabbets in the meeting stiles to prevent seeing inside the boxes.

From contributor I:
I am sure you did this already, but there is a cam to adjust the door in six directions and you should be able to move the hinge in or out until it is flush with the face frame. There is enough adjustment in the Blum hinges that I have never run into a problem as long as the door isn't terribly warped.

Are you using the Blumotion that attaches to the hinge, or the one you mount on the side opposite of the hinge that acts as a door stop? The former work great and the latter are pretty much worthless, in my opinion. I use the Blumotion that attaches to the hinge and use stops for the door to rest against.

From the original questioner:

Thanks for the response. Although the historical factor may well be true, I can't see that being a practical way to build cabinets today. I guess for furniture it would be a good way to go, though. Also, I'm not sure I'd like the look of the rabbet inside, by the sound of it. As far as seeing inside the cabinet, that's not really a concern of mine at all. I'd be impressed if someone could see through a 3/32" gap 7/8" deep from a foot away into a dark box.

I forgot they had the hinge mount version. I'm using the version that attaches to the face frame opposite the hinge. The hinge side of course is now in alignment - that's no problem - but where the door closes on the Blumotion device, it's inset about 1/8". If you're correct and I do need a stop in addition to the Blum device, then I'd have to agree that these are pretty much worthless.

These were referred to me on this forum, so I decided to give them a try. And it was in response to a question about door stops on inset doors, so I know they were not referring to the hinge mount version. I was under the impression that these would work as a soft close door stop. If that's not the case, then I can't see any real advantage to using them...?

From contributor J:
Couldn't you just put a 1/8" door bumper where the door hits the Blumotiom stop?

From contributor T:
We line bore (37mm) a long piece of solid stock - 2" wide - cut it 3"+ long and pocket screw it to the inside of the frame (base cabinet - mid rail - flush to bottom). Use euro screws to attach Blumotion stops - same ones, double and single, that we use on euro cabinets. Upper cabinets, a 37 mm setback drill block jig (our top and bottoms are 1/16"+ setbacks from frame).

From contributor F:
I seem to recall that there are a few different types of holders offered for the plunger units. They have worked well for me. I seem to remember buying just the cylinders, and doing a mockup to see how they worked, and then I was able to install them in a way that gave me some adjustment. I do believe I had to make a wooden component to get them to work as a stop. They have one that just snaps right onto a Blum hinge now. These won't work for inset, but they are a nice upgrade on overlay doors and the installation is five seconds. When I say the hinge model won't work for inset doors, I mean it won't work as a stop... It will still do its soft close function, which is cool.

From contributor W:
Pull the piston out of the holder, stick a small size self adhesive bump on the bottom, and put back in holder.

From contributor C:
Something seems wrong here, as I use them all the time (Blumotion with adapter) for inset doors. The front edge of the adapter is mounted flush with the edge where your box meets your face frame, but be careful not to let the little nibs in the bottom slip between the two. These are not worthless by any stretch. Worthless I would define as a hinge-mounted soft close with no adjustment for positive stop (for inset cab fellows). Also, sometimes you have to push the little cartridge hard to get it to seat in the adapter, otherwise it sticks out about 1/8th inch. I only know this because my six year old daughter "helped" me figure it out when I got my first shipment of these things.

From contributor E:
This may sound sort of elementary, but are your doors and frames the same thickness? We calibrate our frames to 3/4" (starting with 13/16" stock), but our doors (outsourced) come in at 13/16". For inset jobs, we need to set the adapter back from the frame to compensate. It's annoying that Blum has not seen fit to provide any front-to-back adjustment on these (it's a frameless thing, I think). Now that Blum offers the hinge-mount version of the Blumotion, we're thinking about using those and going back to a fixed stop.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. Contributors J and T, I could probably use your solutions, but I was hoping this was a one part deal, i.e. install the hardware and it's done, without any tinkering afterwards. That was the whole point of trying this hardware. Also, the holders I'm using are made to attach directly to the face frame. They won't work with battens, which again would make them worthless.

Contributor F, the holder I'm using is the face frame version which mounts to the inside and holds the cylinder just off the face frame. If it was an eighth inch longer or had an adjustment, it would be great. But so far I don't see any way to adjust; it's a pretty simple and straightforward design.

Contributor C, sounds like we're talking about the same holders - the nibs aren't hitting the box. I have them mounted at the top of the face frame, so have about 1" of wood inside the box. The problem is mine are actually in too far. I tried to pull the cylinders out a bit so they would stop flush, but after a few closings, they get pushed back in.

Contributor E, I build everything in house, so the face frame and door stock is milled to the same 7/8" thickness and ends up about 13/16" strong. So the thicknesses are the same, it's actually the mechanism that's the problem. As soon as you install the bracket to the inside of the face frame, you can see it won't be far enough out. I agree that there should either be an adjustment, or the bottom of the cylinder motion should be equal to the base of the bracket, which is what the Blum catalog shows, which makes it even more annoying.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. The most frustrating things are that I tried them on the advice of fellow Woodwebbers, so I assumed they had been proven in service for this application. And that the Blum specs for this adapter show it lining up flush with the face frame, but the product does not match up to the catalog??? I think at this point I'm going to have to think outside the box and come up with another solution.

From contributor F:
Hardware can be frustrating sometimes for sure. I always do some sort of mock up when I use anything new. Saves headaches. I am almost positive Blum has a solution for your application. If not at present, they are probably developing a holder for flush inset that has adjustability. I remember having to make a wood component when I used them to get my doors perfectly flush and I agree that they could make it more convenient.

From contributor G:
Blum does make a Blumotion for the half crank inset hinges that mount to the hinge. Give it a try, as it is miles ahead of the previous version. In fact, they came up with this because of the problems with the Blumotion in its original form. While you are at it, make sure you order the thick door half cranked hinges. They have a different pivot point than the standard half cranks and they will allow you to get a much tighter reveal without rubbing the stile on the hinge side.

They also make an adapter for the new Blumotion that you can mount on an adapter to the hinge side stile that allows you to locate the Blumotion anywhere on the stile. It adds to the cost but allows you to have access to the adjustment without removing the Blumotion.

The biggest issue that I had with the original Blumotion mounted as you have done it is that the self-closing action of the hinges starts to snap the hinge closed so early that by the time the door gets to the soft close, it has so much pressure you still get a thud when it engages and stops the door. With the new Blumotion, the doors close so soft and whisper-quiet that there really is no comparison.

I would use those and go back to stops on the handle side of the door. Much better setup.