Strengthening Commercial Cabinet Door Hinge Connections

Advice on preventing or repairing screw pull-out where hinges are attached to particleboard doors. December 27, 2008

I have been asked by a good residential client to replace the doors on some cabinets in his restaurants. Cabs are laminate clad white melamine with half overlay Salice hinges. This being a high volume restaurant, the cab doors see a lot of use and the hinge plates are beginning to pull out. I know that this is primarily due to melamine's poor holding characteristics, and I am looking for some suggestions to eliminate this problem. Concealed hinges with half overlay are the only constraints, and we'll be making new doors.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor K:
Simplest and most effective method... hardwood plugs glued in the location where the screws were pulling out. If it ever happens again, repeatable.

From contributor A:
If the hinge plates are pulling out, the most likely culprit is employees using them as support when returning to a standing position. This happens on all hinges. European are weaker and are classified as grade II hinges; RPC type hinges are grade I.

From contributor R:
Remove the screws that come with the hinge plates and use 1 1/4" screws (assuming 3/4" material, and cases or end panels attached). You can Bondo the old 5mm holes before using the new screws. If they pull out, they will pull anything out.

From contributor J:
I do a lot of laminate casework in hospitals and have given up on European style hinges, particularly in high use areas. I was given the good advice on this forum to try institutional hinges. Now we use them when and where we can. We attach them with machine screws (all the way through the door) and lock nuts. Yes, you can see the screws, but the apes in these hospitals haven't managed to pull them off the cabinets. The hospital maintenance guys are much happier.