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Stumped on installing self-closing hinges

I'm in the middle of a kitchen refurb and I'm replacing the old, worn out 3/8" self-closing inset hinges with new ones. Naturally the new one's holes don't match up with their 50 year old fore-bears so I had to fill all of the holes. Attaching the hinges to the doors was pretty straightforward (thanks to a vix bit), but I cannot figure out how to get the doors to stay put while I flex the spring loaded hinge to get it to sit properly on the face frame. All I've accomplished so far is scraping the new paint off with the hinge and having the doors hang too far towards the center of the cabinet. before drilling any more holes in the wrong place I figured I'd ask if there is a jig or a technique to hang these accurately. My second attempt is going to involve buying a new hinge of the same type but with out the self-closing feature and, assuming the holes are identical, use that one to locate the holes on the face frame.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

Re: Stumped on installing self-closing hinges

Put a flat toothpick in the pinch point of the hinge to hold the leaf out enough to line it up properly. If that's not quite enough, try whittling a matchstick to the correct thickness. Just don't start a fire!

(By the way, the term 'leaf' refers to the hinge plate where the screw holes are. Most standard hinges have two leaves joined by a pin.)

A. Spruce
Re: Stumped on installing self-closing hinges

It is easiest if you've got a helper, but not impossible to do yourself.

What I do is mount the hinge to the cabinet door, then carefully hold the door in place with one hand while I open the hinge slightly to sit flat on the cabinet face frame. Adjust either door or hinge as necessary to achieve the fit you want, then mark the center point of the screw holes. Set the door aside to pre-drill the screw holes, then install the door.

I like FP's suggestion to use a toothpick to open the hinge slightly, which may facilitate the job a bit.

Re: Stumped on installing self-closing hinges

Fencepost, our brains work alike. I just read your post and actually tried a similar idea last night. I found an aluminum trim nail that fit in the hinge joint just right to make the hinge sit flat like it would after installation. An additional step I took was to add several layers of masking tape to the inset surface of the hinge that would rest against the inside of the face frame when closed. It seemed like the tolerance was just too tight and I was worried about it binding there so I hoped it would give a little relief. And wouldn't you know it worked well! I have to reduce the amount of masking tape a bit as the center of a two door cabinet was a little too tight but everything lined up and they swung easily. Now I just need to find some help to hang the upper cabinet doors.

Thanks guys.

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