Quadrant Hinge Installation for Jewelry Boxes

The quadrant hinge can be one of the most tricky hinge installations. The quadrant hinge is a complicated L-shape commonly used on jewelry boxes, cigar humidors, and other fine small wooden boxes.

As pictured, quadrant hinges are installed in the rear corners of a jewelry box and serve both as a lid support and hinge. Now let’s get straight to the installation.
Since the retainer portion of the hinge must recess into the sides of the box, a drill press or small router bit is required to create this recessed area. The picture below illustrates the type of router bit that can be used. The sections of the hinge running along the sides of the box and lid will require a mortise the exact shape of the hinge wing and must be appropriately deep as well. If done properly, this will have the hinge sitting flush with the top of the box and the bottom of the lid.
Free handing this mortise cut is not advised. Set up a simple straight line guide for your router with some scrap wood. Here is a link to someone that has already set up a jig or guide to help you install your quadrant hinges: http://lumberjocks.com/JakeBrain/blog/23937
This jig will take a few minutes to set up, but it will save you from ruining your box with a sloppy mortise. Measurements are of the up most importance. The first step is to determine the depth of the cut. Figure in the gap you want between the box and lid and subtract this from the barrel diameter of the hinge and divide the result in half. The router cutter should then be set to this depth of cut.
Carefully line up the lid with the bottom and mark the areas to be routed with a pencil.
Now measure the box side and set your router against a straight fence to ensure a smooth straight cut up the center of this thickness. This setting will make a mortise for the forward arm of the hinge on the upper edges of your box.
PRO TIP: Remember when using a router with the fence on the right hand side the router must be pushed away from the body and when working from the left hand side the cut must be drawn towards the body.
Point A in the picture above illustrates the end of this cut and is measured off the hinge for allowance of half the barrel hinge to project out of the back of the box. This can simply be marked off.
After these cuts are made you can reset the fence to make a short cut at Point B. The fence will be set against the edge of the box and will be long enough to define the third cut.
The third cut will connect the other two with the fence setting against the back of the box.
The pocket cut will provide equal depth in both the box and the lid. As with the first cut, you’ll need to set the fence to cut along the center of the box edge. An approximately 3/16″ router bit will generally work for this. You may want to make a few passes to ensure a smooth cut due to the depth required.
PRO TIP: This final cut will be covered by the hinge and you should be able to freehand its length, but know that if it is longer than needed you’ll lose crucial wood in front of the forward most screw.
Now that you’re finished hopefully the hinge will fit into the pocket and install correctly. The hinge should screw into place and operate without binding.
If you intend to install these hinges regularly, crafting a template to fit the hinge size will save a lot of time with subsequent installations. 
gold plated quadrant hinges
Gold Plated Pair of Quadrant Hinges from D. Lawless

How to Install Partial Wrap Overlay Hinges

There are many, many different types of hinges for many different applications including inset, butt, concealed and European to name a few. In this article, we will be discussing partial wrap overlay hinges and how to easily install them.
install overlay cabinet hinges
Partial wrap overlay hinges come in different types – 1/4” overlay, 3/8” overlay, 1/2″ overlay and variable overlay. They also come in many different finishes such as nickel, chrome, bronze and brass, and can be spray painted, if desired, to match any décor or cabinet pulls.
1/4″ partial wrap overlay hinges are for doors that will overlay the sides of the cabinet opening by 1/4″ and are mainly used in cabinets without face frames. They are great for tight spaces, and are the hinges used in the installation example.
3/8” partial wrap overlay and 1/2″ partial wrap overlay hinges are basically the same as 1/4″ partial wrap overlay hinges except that they allow the cabinet door to overlay the sides of the cabinet opening by 3/8” and 1/2″ respectively, and are used on cabinetry with face frames. Though they can be used on cabinets without face frames, there is the possibility of not having enough space and the hinge will hang over the side of the cabinet. They also come in a variety of finishes, and are really easy to install.
Variable overlay hinges can be used with any type of cabinet door regardless of the overlay and they do not have a “wrap”. They can be used with doors that overlay by 1/4″, 3/8”, 1/2″ or even 1”, if necessary. These hinges also come in a wide variety of finishes (even in white!) and are easy to install. They have a flat plate that secures to the door and a sort of oval shaped “wing” that attaches to the cabinet face frame.
How to Install Partial Wrap Overlay Hinges:
Partial wrap overlay hinges are hinges that partially “wrap” around the cabinet side then secure to the door with a plate. The “wrap” is an L-shaped piece on the hinge that, in my opinion, makes installation a breeze!
Step One
Mark the position for the hinge on the back face of the door. Pre-drill the holes for the screws, then install the screws securing the hinge to the door. Do this for both hinges on the door.
install overlay hinges
Step Two
This step may require an extra set of hands… Open the hinge and position side of the door over the side of the cabinet. Mark the position of the hinge and pre-drill the holes. Repeat the process for the other hinge. Secure the hinge to the cabinet using the screws, then make any necessary adjustments.
How to install overlay hinges
That is all there is to installing partial overlay hinges… To me, they are the easiest to install and making adjustments with these hinges (so the doors line up, etc.) is even easier. Stay tuned for future articles where we will discuss a different type of hinge and its installation!

The Gap Between the Cabinet Door & Face Frame

We get this type of call often and recently a customer sent us some pictures of the problem he was having. So, we thought we’d make it a post…

What gap & why the gap is there?

We usually get this question from customers that have just bought and installed euro hinges. Most notably, compact hinges like the overlay, face-frame hinge below shown installed in the second image.

Euro Hinge

Installed Euro Hinge

This particular customer was nice enough to take photos of his problem.

Cabinet Gap

From the top view you can see that the hinge has created an uneven and unsightly gap.

With the door in the open position, you can see that the gap between the door and the face from is minimal.

The gap is created by a 3/16″ factory setting at the side of the hinge. This is standard for face frame cabinet hinges. This gap is usually intended to be offset by door bumpers that are typically used on the other side of the door. Door bumpers are usually either felt or plastic and are around 3/16″ high, so the door sets evenly after the bumpers are on.

The purpose of the gap is to allow clearance as the door swings open so that the hinge side of the door does not scrape the front surface of the face frame. You can see in the customer’s photo that there is almost no space between the edge of the door and the face frame when the door is fully open.

Alright…BUT IT’S UGLY!

Usually this gap is only noticeable by those who are installing the door below eye level so that they are looking at it from above. As you can see by the customer’s photo, the drawer or false drawer front has not yet been installed. When the drawer front is installed it will prevent anyone from seeing the gap from above as it prevents a straight down perspective. The same is true for doors directly below the counter top overhang. Before the counter top is installed, the gap is noticeable. Afterwards, no one will ever have the perspective to see the gap.

My point is not to make an excuse for some sort of shoddy hinge engineering, but to point out that this “problem” is typical. The Liberty Hardware compact hinge used by the customer in this example has the same configuration and produces the same 3/16″ gap that is standard for Blum, Grass, Salice, and most other major hardware manufacturers. So, on installed cabinets, evidently no one really notices.

Is there anything I can do about the gap? It’s driving me nuts!!

If the gap is really driving you crazy, there are a few ways to minimize the gap. You can’t do away with it all together (the door would tear up the face frame if there was gap at all), but you can make it smaller.

The first and easiest way is to purchase the nifty (but a tad more expensive) 6-way adjustable compact hinge. The reduction in the gap using this hinge will be minimal, but maybe enough to satisfy some.

The second way would be to use a euro hinge designed for cabinets without face frames and use the adapter plate that makes it fit a cabinet face frame. This will give you a closer fit, but some homeowners object to the mounting plate sticking out the back and getting in the way.

The third way is something I recently read about on Woodworking Talk. Participants there have techniques for nipping out space for the mounting portion of the plate to recess further into the cabinet. They also discuss a few other workable alternatives. It is a good short series of posts by knowledgeable woodworkers about this situation. Gap Discussion

And finally, here are a couple of other links that reference this topic:

Sawmill Creek

Woodworkers Hardware