Bits4Doors

Hinge jargon:

Angled cabinet hinge:

On some hinges the flaps are opened at right angles. This has the effect of bringing the pivot point away from the face of the door or frame, allowing the door to open wider. The longer leaf is recessed into the face of the door on one side of its angle while the other lies on the door edge.


Butt hinge:

This hinge is the most common type of hinge used in furniture making. One flap of the hinge is screwed into a recess cut into the side of the door, while the other flap is recessed into the side of the frame. The knuckle of the hinge protrudes just beyond the face of the door and frame, and when the door is closed, the two leaves are folded together.


Centre hinge:

On occasion, due to some special feature of the work it is not practical or possible to fit hinges at the butt edge of the door. Centre hinges are recessed into the top and bottom edges of the door and frame, and move the pivot point away from the edge. These hinges are supplied in pairs, and the hinge for fitting to the bottom of the door is usually fitted with a nylon washer to prevent the door from sticking.


Concealed cabinet hinge:

Often fitted on modern kitchen units, the boss of the hinge fits into a milled housing on the back of the door.


Double cranked hinge:

On a cupboard that has drawers, it is often necessary for the door to open wider to allow the drawers to be pulled out. The double cranked hinge is normally used is such situations.
The outer leaf of the hinge, which is cranked into two right angles, can be fixed to either the frame or the door. Both the frame and the door are given extra support with this arrangement.


Face-fixing hinge:

This type of hinge is screwed directly to the surface of the workpiece and therefore requires no recessing. It can be screwed to the interior of a cabinet, or to the exterior. This hinge is also available as a lift-off type, in which the flaps can be separated. The pin on which the leaves pivot is joined to one of the leaves, and the other leaf fits onto it. The pin leaf is attached to the frame, with the pin pointing upwards, so that the door can be lifted on and off.


Flush hinge:

The flush hinge serves the same purpose as the butt hinge, but because it is not as strong as the butt hinge, its use is restricted to light fold away doors and screens. The hinge is screwed directly to the surface of the door and frame, thus no recesses need to be cut. When closed, the smaller flap sits flush inside the larger outer flap. The larger leaf is usually attached to the frame, while the smaller leaf is attached to the door. Cabinet makers often use the decorative flush hinge to give their work an attractive finish.


Glass door hinge:

This hinge is used on the door of a bathroom cabinet. The hinge arm is fixed to the frame and the glass is secured in the body.


Lay-on pivot hinge:

This hinge is designed for use on doors that fit onto the surface of the cabinet frame rather than those that are flush within the cabinet or set back slightly in the frame. These hinges are screwed directly to the top and bottom edges of the door, needing no recesses to be cut, and have an opening angle of 180o degrees. The hinge at the bottom of the door is the opposite "hand" of the top one, and therefore are supplied in pairs of one right-hand and one left-hand hinge. Some pivot hinges allow the door to stay open in any position.


Mortise hinge:

The body of this hinge is completely concealed when the door or flap to which it is fitted is closed, and it is therefore also known as the 'invisible' hinge. The two sides of this type of hinge are in mortises cut into the side of the door and the frame, and the pivoting action arises from steel prongs which run between the two pieces. Mortise hinges are used on flush and lay-on doors and as they have an opening angle of 180o degrees, and no projecting knuckle piece, they are also ideal for concertina-type doors.


Paravent screen hinge:

This hinge is also known as the reversible screen hinge, and is fitted to folding doors and adjustable screens. The hinge consists of three sections, and pivots to allow the workpiece to move in both directions. It is recessed into the workpiece on either side and because this hinge has knuckles at each edge, it is essential that the distance between the pins is exactly equal to the wood thickness. If less, the folds of the hinge and the screen will bind, and if more then there will be a gap between the screen section.


Parliament hinge:

An ornamental hinge designed in Victorian times with a shape which gave extra strength when recessed into the wood. Used extensively on interior furniture such as writing desks.


Piano hinge:

The piano hinge is the same as a butt hinge, only longer, and is used to hinge cabinet and chest lids. It is supplied in standard lengths, but can be cut to any length required.


Screw-in pivot hinge:

This brass-plated hinge is mostly used on lay-on doors of self-assembly chipboard cupboards and other kitchen units. The arms of the hinge are screwed into prepared holes in the side of the door and the frame, leaving the pivot pieces of the hinge visible. Because this hinge is of the lift-off type, it allows a door to be removed easily for cleaning or painting purposes. The main drawback with this type of hinge is that it is difficult to fit accurately as the screw holes drilled into the door and the frame are not level with one another. Furthermore, the hinge has to be screwed into place by hand and if you hold the pivot pieces with pliers (to gain extra force) you risk breaking off the protective brass plating. If fitting this type of hinge, first plug the screw holes with chipboard fasteners.


Table hinge:

This traditional brass flap hinge is specifically designed for fitting to bureau and table drop-down flaps that have a rule joint. One of the leaves should be twice the length of the other to allow it to bridge the hollow section of the joint. The longer leaf is screwed into a recess cut into the underside of the flap, while the shorter leaf is housed into the adjacent workpiece. The knuckle of the hinge is recessed into the workpiece as well, so that the hinge is flush with the wood. Therefore the screw holes are on the opposite side to those on a normal butt hinge.


Table-flap hinge:

This hinge is designed to fit to tables with a drop-flap, and is unique in that it provides a flush joint in both the raised and lowered position. The pivoting section of the hinge is housed in a recess cut into the outside edge of the table and the leaf attached to it is fixed into place beneath. The longer projecting leaf is screwed to the underside of the flap. When in the raised position, the flap of the table is supported by a stay of some kind (often a leg of the table itself) which slides outwards into position. Table-flap hinges are supplied in pairs consisting of one right-hand and one left-hand hinge.

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