Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Cabinet Hinges


Hinge side
Hinge side  

Cabinet Door Opening
Cabinet Door Opening  
Hi Jamie, I have 20 yr old kitchen cabinets. I would like to replace the visible hinges with hidden ones. There is only 1/4" overlap (door on frame) on each side. Are there hidden hinges that would fit my cabinets doors? The pictures shown were taken at an angle looking down in order to see the 1/4" overlap.

Hi Nan,

The kind of hinge that you're thinking about switching to is called a cup hinge.

They require a 1 3/8" diameter hole drilled on the back of each door, to mount the hinge. Usually, that hole is located about a quarter of an inch from the edge of your door.

The only problem that I see is that those cup hinges have different overlays, so they locate (hang) your door differently around the frame of your cabinet. There are basically three types– a full overlay, a half overlay, and inset hinge. What that means is that the doors will hang differently on your cabinet based on the type of hinge that you use. There isn't a hinge that will specifically give you a 1/4" overlay over your cabinet. So that's where you might run into problems.

It's a little bit difficult to explain this in an e-mail, but here is a link that will show you the different types of cabinet hinges and how they overlay on your cabinet box.

If you read this article and scroll down about halfway, you'll see some pictures that will be helpful in determining your hinges.

My best suggestion to you is to fully read this article first, before doing anything to your cabinet doors. Then - buy a sample set of these hinges, and try installing them on a scrap piece of wood, to see if you can get the correct overlay. It might be more difficult than you think. I've had a few clients try to retrofit their cabinet doors with these hinges, and it hasn't worked out. So - don't start drilling holes before you know for sure.

If you think you can do it, these cup hinges are readily available. But I would suggest buying them from a reputable woodworking store, instead of Lowes or Home Depot. One place to check out would be Rockler Woodworking - their website is actually great for showing you exactly what you need. (

Okay, I hope this helps. You really need to do a lot of research before you switch over your hinges. This isn't a completely simple job. You need access to a drill press, and some power tools for installing the hinges on both the cabinets and the doors. Good luck.

Jamie in Vegas

Jamie Yocono
Wood It Is! Custom Cabinetry
Las Vegas, NV  

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Jamie Yocono


Woodworker, Furniture designer/builder, industrial arts educator. Bachelor degree in Furniture Design, and journeyman carpenter, with a 4 year apprenticeship. Currently owner of custom furniture/cabinet shop in Las Vegas, NV. Can answer most woodworking questions EXCEPT those regarding repairs, refinishing, and antiques.


Bachelor in Furniture Design - Ohio University (1980) Journeyman Carpenter, Local 639 Adult educator - Developed adult education woodworking program for the University of Akron, and taught classes there for 9 years. Opened a private woodworking school in Las Vegas, NV and teach private and semi-private lessons. In 2011, I will begin teaching UNLV woodworking classes at my school. Sweet!

Furniture Society

Tile Design and Installation Magazine (Article on inlaying tile into wood)

Journeyman Union Carpenter Bachelors degree in Furniture Design (Ohio University) College of Hard Knocks!

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