Mats Bengtsson More Advanced Wood Working and Do It Yourself

To adjust Blum hinges, consider different mounting plates

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When adjusting Blum hinges, use different mounting plates

Blum hinges can be bought in many locations. Sometimes they are packed under the name of Blum, sometimes they are packed under another name, for example Stabilit. Sometimes they come as part of something else, for example many IKEA hinges are Blum hinges. Sometimes a simple template is included, showing where to make holes for screws and for the hinges, and what sizes.

What is almost never shown other than in Blum catalogues, is that the Blum hinges consist of two parts. The plate where the hinges are mounted onto the inside of the cabinet comes in different heights. The last part is the clue towards easily mounting a Blum hinge in the right way, getting the door to move freely when being opened and closed, and fit nice along the edge of the cabinet when closed.

With the zero height hinge mount, a standard clip top Blum hinge (107 or 120 degree opening) can be made to fit onto a door, overlapping between 14 to 17 mm of the cabinet side. This is a limitation with the hinge. If another distance is needed, the solution is in buying another hinge (for example the 170 degree hinge has a higher span) or using another mounting plate. There is an adjustment screw, which can help with about two millimeter of incorrect hole positioning, but it might be needed, so using that for achieveing another distance is taking a risk. It is all defined in the below table, available at Blum web site, and we will soon go through it.

Blum hinge table defining what mounting plate to use to achieve a desired overlap between door and side of cabinet

There is a minimum and maximum door thickness

The door can hardly be thinner than 15 millimeter (due to the depth needed for the hole used by the door part of the hinge, which is a little more than 12 millimeter). The tables in Blum normally specify the possible door thicknesses as 16 to 22 millimeter.

There is a maximum overlap of the cabinet side

If more than 17 millimeter of the cabinet side need to be covered, the hole position in the door need to be more than 6 millimeters from the edge of the door. If mounting the door like that, then the door will not be possible to open, since the edge of the door will hit the cabinet side when the door is opened. Thus, more than 17 millimeters can not be achieved with the standard hinges (unless you route away a little of the cabinett side, getting the hinge closer to the outside of the cabinet side).

The Blum mounting plates come in different heights, allowing for different overlaps

The overlap of the cabinet side can hardly be less than 14 millimeter with a standard hinge and a standard mounting plate. To get to 14 millimeters, the big 35 millimeter hinge hole in the door need to be only 3 millimeter from the edge. Moving it closer to the edge will create a risk for the side of the door breaking behind the hinge.

The overlap mentioned above, 14-17 millimeter, corresponds to placing the hinge hole in the door 3 to 6 millimeters from the door edge. This is the secret behind mounting Blum hinges. Always place the hole 3 to 6 millimeters from the edge of the door. If the overlap of the cabinet side should be less than 14 millimeter, use a mounting plate which is thicker than standard. Such a plate means that when earlier a gap to the door edge gave 14 millimeter coverage of the cabinet side, a mounting plate with an additional 3 millimeter height now gives a minimum of 11 millimeters, and the coverage span now is 11-14 millimeter.

The mounting plates come in thicknesses of 0, 3, 6, and 9 millimeters additional height, allowing for a span of 5 to 17 millimeter with the same hinge.

Revisiting the Blum table over mounting decisions knowing the above

Blum hinge table defining what mounting plate to use to achieve a desired overlap between door and side of cabinetLet us now revisit the Blum table with the above knowledge. At The horisontal bottom of the table is the bore distance. It is in orange, and varies between 3,4,5, and 6 millimeter. For the standard hinge, this is the only distances the 35 millimeter hole for the hinge should be drilled from the edge of the door. At the vertical left most side in grey is the mounting plate additional heights. It varies between 0,3,6 and 9 millimeter. There is actually a 4.5 millimeter height as well, but it is not used in Europe.

The white part of the table now specifies what overlaps you can achieve using different mounting plate heights and varying how far from the door edge the 35 millimeter hole is drilled. Top right is the maximum overlap, 17 millimeters, and that is achieved when the hole is as far from the door edge as is possible while still being able to open the door (6 millimeter). In the bottom left is 5 millimeter, which can be achieved with the maximum height mounting plate, and the door hole as close to the door edge as possible.

The maximum of 17 millimeter means that 17 millimeter is the maximum cabinet side width you can use if the door is to be flush with the outside edge of the cabinet side. A slight indentation from the edge can look good, so the width can be a little more than that.


It is also possible to use another hinge, the twin door hinge

Besides using different mounting plates, it is also possible to change hinges. Some hinges (the 170 degree hinge) can handle a bigger mounting span (how far from the door edge to drill the 35 millimeter hole for the hinge). Some hinges are built with an additional height within the hinge. They are often called twin door hinges (or half-cranked hinges). It is easier to think of them as hinges with an additional built in heght. There is nothing in their construction that assures they are coming close to covering half the cabinet side (which is what you want if you have two doors meeing over a cabinet side).

In fact, the twin door hinge has a built in height of 9.5 millimeter extra. Reducing the maximum overlap to 7.5 millimeter instead of 17 millimeter, and reaching a minimum overlap of 4.5 millimeter already with the zero height mounting plate. Thus, the 9 millimeter mounting plate height can always be replaced with usage of a twin door hinge.

Do not try fitting a Blum hinge using measurements from the hinge itself

It is hard to figure out the best distances to use based on measuring the hinge. It is also hard to get them right by using a supplied template with markers for the holes. You should start with deciding the overlap needed, and from that the maounting plate and the distance from the edge of the door. With that done, deciding the placement of the hinge in height is not crucial.

It is important to have the mounting plate centered if you use the hinge itself to figure out the height of the holes needed for the cabinet side of the hinge, so you do still have the adjustment possibility also for height. Length from cabinet side edge should be 37 millimeters, do not try to fit it with other measurements.


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