Hinge 101 & Applications

by Yun-Han Lin

Our studio just finished a small cabinet remodeled with an old window frame, and it was our first time using hinges. The following are what we have learned and some feedback to share with you!

※There are various kinds of hinges you can find in a store, and here are some basic types you may see most often.

1. Traditional hinges

Traditional Chinese-style furniture are often designed with hinges installed on the front of the door, and they come in gorgeous patterns. Today, there are also patterns of modern styles that are also lovely and can add to the bright distinction to the furniture.

Traditional hinge
Modern style

2. Leaf hinge

平面鉸鏈・合頁鉸鏈的選擇・訂購| MISUMI【台灣三住】

Leaf hinge is most commonly seen in stores today, where there are two square metal pieces with several screw holes and an axis in the middle. This type of hinge can be found on most of door of houses in Taiwan. Many cabinets or small boxes also use this model, as the hinge is installed at the gap between the door and the wall. Unlike the traditional one that is completely exposed on the surface, users can see only the axis. To minimize the gap between the hinge and the wall, users can cut out a small dent on the door and the door casing to accommodate the square metal plates. When it comes to small boxes, some people will fix the hinge on the outside of the box, just to save trouble, as shown in the clip below.

Video for hinges fixed on small boxed:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OR5-KwLuLw

Hinges on the door panel

3. German hinge

6分吋15 油壓緩衝西德鉸鍊後扭丁雙鉸鏈35mm 木工裝潢家具| 露天拍賣

The German hinge in the picture is often found on system furniture. Different specifications come with different prices, which usually range from NT$20 to hundreds of dollars. For DIY enthusiasts, this kind of hinge requires compatible large-sized drill bits for installation. The biggest advantage is that it can be hidden on the inside of the cabinet, so that the whole piece of furniture appears easy and clean.

The following are some common types of German hinges:

1.  Hydraulic hinge: a system whose working process is a result of fluids under pressure, with the door closes slower with the speed decreased by the fluid. In comparison, a door with non-hydraulic hinges closes with a strong force that swings the door right into the frame. The hinge used in the video below is a hydraulic one.

2.  Based on the amount of hinge body covered by the door panel, there are three types: 1/3 embedded, 3/5 embedded, and total embedded (as shown in the pictures below). The one installed in the video is a total embedded one. That is, the one whose body is not covered at all.

3.    Based on the thickness of the door panel, there are two types:

35mm: for a door that is 17.5~18mm thick, which requires a 35mm dent for installing.

40mm: for a door that is 24mm thick, which requires a 40mm dent for installing. The one in the video is the 35mm model. To accommodate for the door thickness for this type of hinge, a dent must be made properly, so that the door can open and close smoothly.

Tutorial on the installation of German hinges

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