Cabinet Hardware Design Question ?

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Forum topic by majeagle1 posted 01-04-2010 03:55 AM 4570 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1426 posts in 3496 days

01-04-2010 03:55 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cabinet design autocad sketchup hardware closure curly maple purpleheart

O.K. fellow LJ’s out there…......... with all the years of experience, all the skill etc. I just know that someone out there can come up with an answer to my challenge here. I have designed a cabinet for a friend and he likes the design and now I have to come up with a hardware solution for the doors.

The design that I have imbedded is only the basic “shell” of the cabinet, there will be further inlay, detailed work etc. done later. ( I also didn’t know how to get it into sketchup, how bad is that…..) Don’t laugh Dave !!! LOL

Basic Cabinet

Here is a 2d Autocad image that may help visualize the cabinet details:

Autocad Image

The image on the right shows the doors pivoted back and along side the cabinet. What you see in the cabinet is a small drawer in the bottom and a false front at top to hide a small light.

The cabinet is about 30” tall, 20” wide and 8” deep. It will be made with Curly Maple and Purpleheart as an accent / inlay. The challenge is that there is limited space for the cabinet to go in the apartment so he would like for the doors to open, and then pivot and slide back along the outside of the cabinet. I was originally going to use some kind of a knife hinge, but couldn’t think of a way to make that work. I have seen similar “ideas” with entertainment centers, but that hardware is big and bulky. If I absolutely have to, I could add/design a “pocket” for the doors to go back into I guess. I hope I am being descriptive enough.

Any help / suggestions / ideas are much appreciated,

Thanks, Gene

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

20 replies so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3304 days

#1 posted 01-04-2010 04:46 AM

gene, i haven’t built a cabinet using the hardware for basically pocket doors, but with the width of the cabinet door and the width of the hinge hardware you probably only looking at 2 1/2 to 3 inches for the door problem, im not an expert , but Ive never seen anything that would do what your thinking..but doesn’t mean it still cant be done..i just don’t know of it myself..but i think you could make it very attractive doing the pocket doors..wish i could be of more help…maybe another jock will see this thread and have a better answer…grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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1426 posts in 3496 days

#2 posted 01-04-2010 05:01 AM

Dave: Thanks for not laughing at my “sketchup” creation….......... you like that “faux particle board” huh !!
I guess I need to play a little more with finishes….......... I’ll go through your tutorials again. Any Sketchup books or tutorial locations you can recommend for learning to do this right?
The 270 degree swing won’t work in his case and I thought about bi-fold but didn’t like the “effect” of the split in the middle of the inlay / front doors…..We’ll see what comes up here…......... worse comes to worse, I may infact build a “2nd” case / pocket for the doors to go into.

Grizz: Thanks for the support and willingness to help. We’ll see what comes up with this thread….....

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3348 days

#3 posted 01-04-2010 05:03 AM

If I understand the math correctly 8” depth (plus thickness of the cabinet back) will be less than the 10” width of each door which means that even if there is room for the 270 deg swing the doors will project beyond the back of the cabinet when in the open position which would mean that the cabinet would need to be placed a couple of inches away from the wall in order for the doors to fully open… not a typical detail.

I am not aware of any off the shelf hardware that would provide the type of pocket door movement and yet be visually acceptable to leave exposed on the side of the cabinet. I am pretty sure you could develop a custom one off solution but it would require some experimenting to get the kinks worked out and add more than a bit of custom labor to the project.

Seems like an adjustment of the cabinet dimensions and design may be in order. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View bibb's profile


327 posts in 3531 days

#4 posted 01-04-2010 05:23 PM

I think off set knife hinges would be perfect. My cabinet
is very similar and they worked great
That’s what Krenov would have used!!!

-- you may only live once, but if you do it right that's all you need

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3496 days

#5 posted 01-04-2010 08:38 PM

Thanks Bibb, I actually looked at your cabinet before in the projects section and I really liked the way it looked with the doors open. My challenge is that my client doesn’t have the “swing” space for the doors and that is why I am trying to find a way to just open them to a straight angle out and then slide them back…..............

Maybe I am asking for the impossible??

Thanks for your help bibb…..........

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View molarman's profile


46 posts in 3818 days

#6 posted 01-06-2010 03:32 PM

Gene – I am totally stumped! I do not know of any hardware that will accomplish what you are needing. When I first saw you Sketchup, knife hinges of course came to mind, but I do not know of any that will act as a kind of pocket door hinge.

Good luck and let us know what you go with.

-- Woodworking is not a's a joinery !!!

View Ryan Shervill's profile

Ryan Shervill

278 posts in 3813 days

#7 posted 01-06-2010 04:32 PM

I got your PM….Sorry it took me so long to reply….just got back :)

You could use a knife hinge, but with a twist :)

Instead of mounting the knife hinges into the carcas, you could mount them into hardwood blocks which would sit in dado’s that run front to back on each side of the cabinet…...that way, the doors could swing normally, but also, when the doors are pivoted out to 90 degrees, the blocks could slide back in the dado’s accomplishing what you want…..

Best idea I can come with off the top of my head :)


-- Want to see me completely transform a house? Look here:

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2734 posts in 3592 days

#8 posted 01-06-2010 05:12 PM

Hi Gene, This is a great Question!

In my HAFELE Book are you could go on line at

On their page 565 product # 408.01.009 it’s called a “Pivot Sliding Door Fitting”, that might work.

When I can’t find hardware that doesn’t work. I engineer it up on AutoCAD and I have a local custom metal maker, make it for me. But it’s really expensive. I hope I was of some help. Let me know how it goes for you. Here is the link

-- Dennis Zongker

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3807 days

#9 posted 01-06-2010 05:18 PM

Hi Gene,

Here is an example of the “Over the top slides used for flipper doors that I mentioned in my PM. I don’t think that the size will work but if you do a search for them you can find other sizes. of course you would be using it in a different orientation.,43614,43620&ap=1

Let us know how this quest turns out will be very interested to see what you end up using.

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3807 days

#10 posted 01-06-2010 05:52 PM

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dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4315 days

#11 posted 01-06-2010 06:06 PM


View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2734 posts in 3592 days

#12 posted 01-06-2010 06:41 PM

I think this link will work, the last one would not let me go to the link.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3874 days

#13 posted 01-06-2010 07:05 PM

Maybe what you need is a pin at the top and bottom of each door that fits into a slot. The slot would go from front to back along the underside of the top piece (and topside of the base). But I’m not sure this would work because if it wasn’t pulled out exactly straight it would bind.

Personally I think its a bad design idea overall. You may need to speak with your client and lay down the law. “This is not an entertainment center.” Approach the problem with a different solution altogether.

Why not just use S.O.S. hinges and allow the doors to pivot all the way around and against the sides of the cabinet? What is going to be in the cabinet? Why do the doors need to fold out of the way anyway? The reason entertainment centers do that is so you don’t look at the doors open like wings while you watch TV. Are they going to be staring at this cabinet with the doors open for extended periods of time?

Hey Dave, I becha can’t beat this ;)

-- Happy woodworking!

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3496 days

#14 posted 01-06-2010 08:03 PM

Wow, thanks ever so much for the time you guys have invested in helping me.
ALL very good ideas, I am thinking about each and every one of them.

First, let me tell you more about the cabinet:
It is called a “Butsudan” and it is used as a shrine to house a “Gohonzon” which is a buddhist prayer scroll.

I want to thank Dave for creating for me a sketchup of my Autocad design of the cabinet. One of my new years resolutions is to follow along with Dave and get off my butt and “LEARN” Sketchup ! .....

Dave: you asked what that thing at the top of the Autocad drawing was; it is a “false front” which will hide a very narrow light, necessary for lighting up the prayer scroll. There will be another decending piece behind that one to actually hang the scroll from.

Dennis & Brian: Thanks for the link to HAFELE, there is some very nice hardware there. I do think that the pivot sliding door hardware “could” work, however I do have the same concern that Blake pointed out in regards to it binding. I think it is one of the best possible sollutions yet.

I checked out the over the top hardware Brian, and I liked that also, just concerned about the “appearance” of all the exposed hardware.

Ryan: very creative solution, I was trying to think along the same lines but I think I would also run into the same “binding” issue that the sliding pivot hardware might present.

Blake: I think you may be right, I need to contact my client again and really see if we can’t use, what I will call the typical/nice hardware on something like this as opposed to creating something that may not work as well.
As I mentioned before, the reason for trying to do this was because he has very limited “door swing” space available. I like the idea of the soss hinges….......... any opinions / preferences for soss hinges as opposed to knife hinges?

I have never used either so would like to know the pros and cons…........

Again, thanks so much to all of you for your responses and assistance, this is what makes this site just so fantastic…........ !!!

BTW – I will let you all know what the final outcome is and also post the completed cabinet as a project…...


-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Ryan Shervill's profile

Ryan Shervill

278 posts in 3813 days

#15 posted 01-06-2010 08:38 PM

Upon revisiting my suggestion, I think it could actually work….but I would use a dovetail instead of a dado, and make the sliding DT block as long as practical….if you get your tolerances close, binding shouldn’t be an issue.

either way, good luck!

-- Want to see me completely transform a house? Look here:

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