Tips on Building Cabinet Doors

Hinged doors can be flush-mounted, full-overlay, or lipped. Below are tips on building each style:

Flush Doors

Cut doors to match the size of the opening; they will lie flush with the outside face of the frame. With this type of hinge, holes are bored on the inside of the door to accommodate the wafer section of the hinge so that it will fit snug and flush. The other section of the hinge mounts on the inside of the cabinet. Although it costs a good deal, this type of hinge is popular because you can make wide adjustments to align the doors. Butt or pivot hinges are a less expensive option.

Full-Overlay Doors

Cut the doors to match the outside dimensions of the face frame. You can also use butt hinges screwed to the front face of the frame and the inside face of the door, or angled or flat pivot hinges screwed to the top and underside of the cabinet and the inside face of the door.

Lipped Doors

These are a combination of full-overlay and flush doors. The inside face fits inside the opening, and the outside face overlaps the frame. Cut the doors to a size that gives the desired amount of overlap; then cut rabbets around the edges. If there is a divider in the cabinet, or if the cabinet has only one door, rabbet all four edges. If there are double doors but no divider, do not rabbet the edge that butts against the other door. Use semi-concealed 3/8-inch inset self-closing hinges for mounting the doors. The narrow leaf will be exposed on the face frame.

Most hinges nowadays are spring loaded and do not require any special type of catch. However, in cases where special catches are needed, there are many types to choose from. Mount each catch beneath one of the shelves or on a mullion or stile, so that it will be out of the way. The choice of knobs, pulls, and handles is also a matter of personal preference. To mount, carefully mark all doors so that the knobs align horizontally and, if possible, vertically as well.

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