Hanging a Cupboard Door
Cupboard doors of this type are best hung with butt hinges and these are shown below. Two hinges are required for each door and these are let into the edge of the door by cutting a recess the same size as the hinge. A corresponding recess is let into the side of the cupboard on which the door is hung. The position of each hinge should be roughly the length of the hinge from the end of the hanging side of the door; that is, if the hinge is if in. long there should be a space between the end of the hinge and the end of the hanging side of the door of approximately 1-1/2 in. the length of the hinge is marked across the edge with a square and pencil the handle of the square held securely against the face side of the door.
The width of the recesses for the hinges is marked on the edge of the door with a marking gauge which should be set from the wing edge of the closed hinge to the centre of the knuckle, as shown in the illustration. With the gauge set, the face of the stop should be held firmly against the face side of the door, and the gauge drawn along the edge to mark a line between the pencil lines defining each end of the hinge. The depth of the recess at the front, which should be marked with the gauge on the face side of the door, is the width of the hinge on the knuckle. This is shown in the illustration.
With the position of the hinges marked on the edge of the door it should be placed in a bench vice to remove the waste within the marked lines. The first tool used is a tenon-saw which is worked to make a series of cuts along the length of the hinge position, as shown in the illustration. The waste is then chiselled out; the ends of the waste should be cut through with the chisel held as shown in the illustration, then the edge is gradually pared away to remove the waste.
Accurate fitting of hinges is essential if they are to perform their function properly. If you close a hinge and look at it endways on, you will see that it is tapered from the knuckle to the wing edge when the hinge is closed. The recess into which the hinge fits should also be tapered, so that the hinge fits snugly and squarely into the recess cut. If the recess is cut too deeply it may be packed with strips of paper, but this should not be necessary if care is taken when using the chisel, if the blade is sharp. With all the recesses cut the hinges are secured to the edge of the doors in their recesses with 1-in. No. 10 countersunk.
Hinge recesses are also cut in the sides of the cupboard. These are not cut so deeply as the recesses let into the edges of the door. The side recesses should be just deep enough to take one wing of the hinge only and the shallow recesses should taper, being deeper towards the back of the cupboard. The position of the hinges on the sides of the cupboard is marked by placing the doors in position in the framework and marking the ends of each hinge with a pencil. The door is then removed and the end lines of the recesses marked with a square and pencil with the handle of the square firmly held against the face side of the front of the cupboard. The width of the recesses is marked with the gauge in the same way as for the door recesses.
The waste should be removed with a fine-toothed saw and a chisel to make the tapered recesses, as detailed in the illustration. Doors hung this way will not bind at the hinge side when closed and there will be no strain on the hinges. After cutting the shallow recesses, the doors should be tried in place. To do this, hang each door with two screws only, driven through the centre hole of each hinge. The screws should be tightened and the door opened and closed a few times to find if any final adjustment to the position of the recesses or the screws is necessary. When satisfied with the hang, the remaining screws should be driven through the hinge-holes. The screws should be dipped in oil before driving them home; this will make them easier to work in and will prevent them rusting in the wood.
The method of hanging described above for simple cupboard doors is the same for all kinds of doors hung with butt hinges. When a pair of doors is hung as described above, it will be necessary to devise some arrangement to prevent the doors being pushed in beyond the face of the cupboard. This is done by fitting wooden stops inside one door as illustrated above, and finishing the front edge of the other door with a piece of half-round moulding, attached to lap the edge of the door, as shown in the image.
There are many different kinds of catches and handles for cupboard doors. The small doors of the types described above may be held in their closed position with simple ball catches, but the most suitable and efficient types of closures, which are very easy to fit, are magnetic catches. This simply consists of a steel plate and rectangular magnet which is let into the back of the door, the plate is then screwed to the stop and closing of the door completes the magnetic circuit holding the door firmly in place. Magnetic catches are obtainable from localstores.
A simple type of handle for doors of this kind, which is especially suitable for kitchen doors, is a moulded wood handle cut from shaped strips as shown in the illustration. The length of the handle required is cut from the strip and the edge is then finished with a scroll-saw and glass-paper. Handles are secured with screws driven through holes from the inside surface of the door.