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Thread: hanging recessed inset door with butt hinges. question

  1. #1

    hanging recessed inset door with butt hinges. question

    Building some Cherry nightstands for my wife and I based on a Stickley Ellis design we both like. I am having the doors and drawers recess below the front face of the nightstands by about 1/8 inch. I have both doors built and am about to begin installing thehinges on the doors. When mounting the hinges to the side cabinet sides what changes if any need to be made compared to flush mount inset doors. Do I need to let the hinge knuckle into the cabinet side to allow for the knuckle and ball tip. or does the hing mortise angle to allow the knuckle and ball tips to sit on top o the cabinet side but he single plate to be mortised in ?

    Hoping someone has hung doors like this and can comment.

    Thanks

    below is a picture of a door hung in a similar fashion to what I want to do. notice there door sits lower than the face of the cabinet. Also notice the hinge knuckle does not seem to be let into the cabinet side..
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Joel, this is just some observations on the image.

    There appears to be a rabbet/rebate along the vertical edges of the frame around the door.

    Letting the hinge knuckle into the door (about half of the barrel diameter at most) will help to make the hinge mortise not show.

    When questions of this nature come my way a few pieces of scrap are used to try the different options.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
    Nightstands_Closeup2.jpgNightstands_Closeup1.jpgHmm. I have been puzzling over what I thought was done to the cabinet in this in this image. The rabbet you mention does now seem likely. although at other points it simply looked like a shadow.

    I am past the point wanting to add a rabbet on my piece due to the way I designed it. At this point the tow option I consider are to cut out space in the cabinet side for the knuckle/ball tips or mortise at an angle that hinge leaf to allow the knuckle to sit flush with the inside of the cabinet. I will try some scraps out but if anyone has come done this before and found a preferred solution I would appreciate any feedback.

    below are pictures of my work in progress.

  4. #4
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    Hi Joel,

    I’m gonna preface this by saying I’ve installed lots of euro hinges on cabinets and butt hinges on boxes
    but I’ve never done what I think you are asking about before. So, this advice might be worth as much as you paid for it…

    If I understand you correctly, you would like to mount the front face of the door back about 1/8” from the front face of the face frame (or front edge of the cabinet box). If it where me, I’d plan to mount the hinge to the face frame just like I would if I was installing a flush door. Then I would simply subtract 1/8” from the depth of that mortise (measured from the front surface of the face frame or carcass to the back edge of the mortise) and mortise to door at that depth. You will see more of the leaf attached to the door, but I’d probably prefer the look of that over trying to inset the ball tips into the face frame or carcass.

    No matter your choice, Jim’s advice on making a sample out of scrap is the way I would proceed if there is anything of value involved.

    Let us know what you come up with.
    Last edited by Andrew Nemeth; 08-30-2021 at 7:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Joel, just a thought that may or may not help you with your decision. when mortising out for the hinges, I would mortise the depth for both leaves out of the door panel, and none from the cabinet. This would keep the knuckle from being interfered with at all by the cabinet and if your hinge has finials like the first photo you posted, they'll just sit proud of the door as they normally would for a flush face door.
    My thought process is this, if you lay a hinge down on your bench, you can open and close it no problem, even the finials aren't an issue. So close the hinge, and that is the depth of the mortise into the door. And you would only notice the hinge isn't recessed into the cabinet if you open the door all the way and look in. I have a few old pieces of furniture here in my home that have the hinges mortised only in the door frame.
    Hope that helps, I can try to explain a little differently or post a photo if needed.
    Sam

  6. #6
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    What I have seen, and have used myself on a couple of pieces, is a 1/4” spacer to provide clearance for the knuckle.

    21C035CE-C2C7-4EAA-897C-A4A2A2E4EF5A.jpg

  7. #7
    First decide how far the doors need to open-90, 180 or whatever. That will determine where the hinge barrel has to be. If you want to partially mortise the knuckle into the cabinet side it will best to use plain butts w/o finials. Draw the plan view showing the door rotation. Do a mockup.

    It looks to me as if the cabinet in the photo has a beaded opening on the sides which eases recessing the door. I usually set doors even with the arris of the bead. If you hold the door flush to the front the reveal appears (is) bigger. Hinges with finials are set with a slight clearance between the finial and bead.

    Mortising into the door only is not what I would do. I think it looks awkward and a butt hinge is stronger inlet even slightly than surface mounted.

    Ernest Joyce's Encyclopedia of Furnituremaking shows various hinge applications in detail.
    Last edited by Kevin Jenness; 08-30-2021 at 9:39 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Aubuchon View Post
    What I have seen, and have used myself on a couple of pieces, is a 1/4” spacer to provide clearance for the knuckle.

    21C035CE-C2C7-4EAA-897C-A4A2A2E4EF5A.jpg
    I think that is what was done in the original picture too. I’m another vote for mortising both sides of the hinge.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Ellenberger View Post
    I think that is what was done in the original picture too.
    Yes, I did not look closely enough at the original picture. The more I look at it, the more I believe that I've made that exact cabinet. I have used non-mortise hinges for this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Goldsmith View Post
    Joel, just a thought that may or may not help you with your decision.
    [edited]
    Sam
    Sam, welcome to the Creek and congrats on contributing to the aid of another in your first post.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  11. #11
    You guys are awesome. Excellent input. Various solutions proposed and Iíve got a bit of figuring to do. Thanks all and Iíll post when the doors are hung..

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    If you make a couple of test solutions we'd like to see them also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    If you make a couple of test solutions we'd like to see them also.
    Ditto

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
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    A hinge mortising plane is a great tool to have for fine tuning such fit. I even use one for re-tuning the hang of very old house doors.

  15. #15
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    I canít help you, but I built a vanity and wanted to set the doors back - just like you. Didnít think about hinges until the frame was complete. Then I glued 1/4Ē thick strips to the frame where the hinges would go to make room for the barrel. Then ultimately, I used some Blum soft close hinges and didnít need the 1/4Ē strips I had glued on, but left them in place rather than remove them. It was a cluster caused by rushing to build and complete the vanity to complete the bathroom remodel before the kids came home for Christmas and not getting everything thought through before I started.

    The 1/4Ē strips would have worked though. Iím confident in that.

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