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How to a choose the right hinge.

When working on cupboards and cabinets, selecting the right hinge for the job is quite simple and you should be able to find what you need - as well as some good advice - at most DIY stores.

Simple butt hinges are found on everything from jewellery boxes to front doors but there are many other purpose-built hinges to choose from. Here we take a look at the different types available and what they are good for.

Butt hinges. These are traditional hinges that you are likely to have noticed all over the place at home and need a shallow recess cut into the door and frame. If the door of the cabinet is panelled, line up the hinges with the front edge of the rail.

The thickness of the hinge flap dictates the depth of the recess, so mark it onto the cabinet when you mark on the overall position of the hinge. Scoring along the marks you've made before you set to work chiselling away to create the recess will effectively cut the surface of the wood and prevent it splintering.

Ensure your chisel is sharp, then hold it vertically with the bevel facing towards the recess and tap around the outline of the hinge shape. Make a series of cuts across the wood at 5mm intervals trying to avoid making them any deeper than the thickness of the flap.

Remove the chips of waste wood by chiselling along the line on the face of the draw, but don't use anything other than hand pressure to keep the bevel of the blade facing upwards.

Check that the hinges fit flush with the edge and then make a starter hole using a drill bit slightly smaller in diameter than the screw. Then use just one screw per hinge to fix it loosely down.

Flush hinges. Flush hinges have a recess cut out of one side and therefore fold together into a single width. This means that they can be screwed directly onto the surface of the cupboard edge and door. Ideal for fitted wardrobes and cabinet doors that don't need to be sprung.

Piano hinges. These are used to support doors along their entire length or to give extra strength to things that get a lot of wear and tear, such as blanket boxes or fronts of doll's houses. They are usually made from brass or steel and run continuously.

Cranked hinge. At first these specialist hinges look like standard but hinges but in fact they allow the door to which they are attached to open 180 degrees rather than the standard 90.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 1, 2004
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