Understanding European-Style Hinges and How to Install the Hardware
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Understanding European-style hinge hardware Many woodworkers don't like using European-style hinges on their furniture, but you shouldn't fear them.

Many woodworkers find European-style hinges to be confusing and even a little frightening. One reason may be that they don’t look anything like “real” hinges — at all! And while that is true, I have found European-style hinges to be not only easy to use, but also forgiving in their nature.

Drilling cup holes for European-style hinges Use your drill press to cut the cup holes for fitting your hinges.

Simply stated, their designers have built a superior amount of adjustability into their function. The first thing you need to know about these hinges is that the cup part goes in the door and the mounting plate goes on the cabinet wall. (When I first saw this hinge system, my brain told me it should be the other way around.)

Using a square to keep a drill press aligned Before and as you're drilling the holes for the hinge, use a square to make sure you stay properly aligned.

With full-overlay doors like these, the easiest way to locate the hinges is to use a story stick to transfer exact location to both door and carcass. Check the directions for your hinges; for the ones I selected, the cup holes were located 7/8" in from the edge of the door.

Marking out hinge location with a story stick Mark out where you're going to place the mounting plates by using a story stick.

It’s very important to be sure that the cup hinge section is mounted squarely in the door, so I use a square while drilling the screw holes to keep everything properly aligned.

Rockler's Jig It Hinge Drilling Jig Rockler's Jig-It system will help you line up the holes you will be drilling.

I always reach for Rockler’s Jig-It® system to drill the holes for the mounting plate — it makes the task easy as pie. Once the plate and hinge are mounted, you just clip the two together, and the door is hung. Not quite right? Not to worry: you can adjust the position of the door on the cabinet by screwing the adjustment screws (see hinge packaging). Using those screws, the door can be moved right and left or up and down (and in and out to boot!). Not confusing at all!

posted on December 1, 2007 by Rob Johnstone
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5 thoughts on “Understanding European-Style Hinges and How to Install the Hardware”

  • Robert Johnson

    I've got 27 doors to hang and have selected the #32894 and #33603 for the job. I've purchase the hinge cup and mounting plate jig and a set of each hinge to do some practice with. What did not come in the instructions, a bit sketchy that they are, is an explanation of which adjustment screw does what once the doors are mounted. Anyplace I can get that info on your site or will you send me a graphic showing how to adjust? Thanks for your help. Been the VP of Marketing for a number of consumer product companies over the years and believed strongly the customer needed precise instructions on all aspects of a product if they were to install something. The adjustment instructions are a must here!..surprised they are missing.

  • Bob Andrews

    Making kitchen cabinets with a front face frame of 1-1/2" material - want to use Euro hinges but find the available data very confusing. Would like to find some printed instructions on how to choose the right hinge and install them.

  • Robert Brunner
    Robert Brunner March 8, 2015 at 4:58 am

    Need euro style hinge for 3/8 inset door. Door has rabbeted edge that extends 3/8 inch into cabinet. Remaining portion of door overlays the frame of the cabinet. I need this hinge for both frameless and face frame applications. Do these hinges exist?

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