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    Euro Hinges and Hinge-Mounting Plates

    more on woodworking safety

    Tools and Materials

    By Robert J. Settich

    This article originally appeared in Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Choosing and Installing Hardware (2003).

    Euro hinges offer a variety of woodworking possibilities. Here, I'll outline a quick guide to installing euro hinges and hinge-mounting plates, along with a few variations that might better fit your project.

    Photos by Robert J. Settich

    How to Make

    Installing Euro hinges

    click to enlargeLoosen the stop collar to prep the jig

    Use a drill press for initial jig setup: Using a jig is a quick way to locate and drill hingecup holes into doors without repetitive measuring. This economical jig from Rockler is also great for job-site work where you don’t have access to a drill press. But a drill press is handy for initial setup of the jig.

    Euro hinge mounting plates

    click to enlargeCustomize settings to fit hinge locations

    Make adjustments and drill: Referring to the installation data supplied by the hinge manufacturer, find the diameter and depth of the hinge-cup hole, and use your drill press to drill a hole of those specifications into a scrap board. In this case, the hole’s diameter is 35 mm and its depth is 13 mm. Take the scrap board to your workbench, put the jig plate atop it, and add the drill assembly. Loosen the stop collar on the drill and push the bit to the bottom of the hole, fully compressing the spring. Tighten the stop collar, and you’re ready to use the jig. Label the hole in the scrap board, and save it for future setup reference.

    click to enlargeVerify that the hinge arm is square to the door

    Check and secure the hinge: Mark the hinge positions on the door. Make certain to screw the jig-plate assemblies to the wood mounts so that you’ll get the required hole setback from the edge of the door. Assemble the jig by sliding two or more plate assemblies plus an end stop onto the rail. Adjust the plate assemblies to coincide with the hinge locations, and turn the knobs to lock the plates and end stop in position. Use the toggle clamp attached to the wood mount of the plate assembly to lock the jig onto the door. Chuck the drill assembly into your drill and engage its rim onto the plate. If you have a substantial number of holes to drill use a corded drill.

    click to enlargeUse a drill bit to establish the offset

    Tip- drill hinge-cup holes: Remove the jig after you drill all the holes. Insert the hinge into the hole and make certain that its arm is square to the door. Drill pilot holes and drive screws to secure the hinge.

    click to enlargeThe Ecodrill, from Blum

    Variation- the Ecodrill eases hinge-cup construction: To drill hinge-cup holes at the drill press, you can establish the offset by using a drill bit with a diameter equal to the offset. Simply place the bit between the 35-mm drill bit and the fence.

    click to enlargeA versatile Rockler jig

    Prepare the jig: The Ecodrill from Blum drills the 35-mm hinge-cup hole at a variety of offsets.You can simply dial in the offset sing the orange cams (visible against the edge of the door). In addition, you can drill 8-mm holes for press-in bushings that expand by driving a system screw.The Ecodrill is particularly well suited to jobsite work.

    click to enlargeMark the masking tape to guide you

    Mark the centerlines and drill pilot holes: If you use a jig to help you drill holes for hingemounting plates, be sure that the jig absolutely matches the hole pattern in the plate. In addition, you’ll need to pay attention to the different positions required for hanging a door in an inset position compared to overlay. For example, the Rockler jig shown in the photo has two ways that it can be attached to its wood baseplate, depending on whether you’re using the inset or overlay position. Strip the brown protective paper off of the plastic, and position the plastic so that the scored centerline will be against the cabinet when the jig is in use. Insert the bolts, and tighten them.

    click to enlargeGet rid of the tape and secure the plates

    Screw in the plates: Mark the centerlines of the hinge locations onto tape on the inside of the carcase, and place the jig so its scored line is over the mark. Use a self-centering drill bit to drill pilot holes for the mounting screws.

    click to enlargeThe finished product

    Attach the arm and adjust the fit: Strip away the masking tape, and screw the hinge-mounting plates into position. With this baseplate, an arrow points to the front of the carcase to help avoid mistakes.

    click to enlargeVariation 1

    Variation 1- the baseplate jig: Snap the arm of the hinge onto the mounting plate, and adjust the fit of the door. In the photo, the screwdriver is in the screw that will adjust the amount of overlay. By moving this screw by different amounts in the upper and lower plates, you’ll set the overlay and level the door. Next, adjust the screw at the top of the mounting plate to raise or lower the door’s position. Finally, adjust the screw at the rear end of the hinge arm to move the door in or out.

    click to enlargeVariation 2

    Variation 2- the Quick Fix jig: The photo shows an incredibly well-designed baseplate jig from Blum. After you mark the centerline of the hinge’s location in the carcase, you position the jig so that the line meets the apex of the V-shape in the jig. Using a stop collar to prevent the 5-mm bit from drilling too deeply, you drill the first hole. Rotate the jig toward you, and position the metal pin into the first hole. This re-centers the jig and ensures perfect hole-to- hole spacing.

    click to enlargeVariation 3

    Variation 3- a jig for postlike mounting plates: The Quick Fix is another useful Blum jig. The vertical metal channel holds as many of the orange jigs as you wish to use, and you can easily lock them at any location. The pin at the bottom left of the jig registers against the inside bottom of the carcase, while the flange at bottom right holds the door at any overlay or inset you wish to set. Tap the point of the supplied metal stylus through the jig’s holes, and you can mark hinge and mounting- plate positions in doors, carcases, or even in components before assembly.

    Yet one more Blum jig uses screws to register the position of a postlike mounting plate screwed to the rear face of a face-frame cabinet. Use the holes in the side of the jig to position a mounting plate that’s positioned on the edge of the face frame.