Overlay Hinge Question

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Forum topic by Matt Przybylski posted 10-08-2012 08:44 PM 9369 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matt Przybylski

539 posts in 2312 days

10-08-2012 08:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hinges overlay face frame

Hello everyone,
I recently purchased some overlay hinges from Rockler (, to be quite frank, because they are on sale and seemed like a good fit for my project. The problem here is that this is the first time I’m using overlay hinges and really had no idea that there were so many different types. Let me first outline the scenario that I foresaw when using them and then if you can chime in and tell me if I’m way off base and need to construct my face frames a bit differently that would be greatly appreciated.

I am building a cabinet out of ply and making face frames for it that are going to be 3/4” x 3/4” (basically frameless I think is the proper term here, it’s basically just using the wood to make “edge banding”). The door, when closed, would be 1/4” offset from the edge of the cabinet inward so only 1/2” of the door would be on the frame itself in this setting. I thought I’d be able to use the above hinges but then after a conversation with a colleague realized that there are many different types and then went back to look at the link. Turns out they are 1-1/4” face frame overlay hinges which to be quite honest I’m not sure what that means. Does that mean my face frame, to still sit the same way I wanted it to originally, needs to be 1-1/2” wide and 3/4” deep?

If someone could shed some light on my particular setup I’d really appreciate it.

-- Matt, Arizona,

6 replies so far

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Matt Przybylski

539 posts in 2312 days

#1 posted 10-09-2012 05:47 PM

Anyone? :/

-- Matt, Arizona,

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3219 days

#2 posted 10-09-2012 06:22 PM


If you have the hinge that’s the same as the link, yes; that hinge is designed to overlay your faceframe 1 1/4”. If you want to use them on your cabinet, then you will need to make it a faceframe and if you want a 1/4” reveal then you should make your faceframe 1 1/2” wide. The thickness is fine with being 3/4”, that’s what it should be.

Before you do anything I would take a sample board and drill a 35MM hole and mount a hinge so you can better understand how it would lay on the faceframe.

Did you receive any drilling instructions with the hinges? If you didn’t, then I would make the edge of my 35mm hole approx. 1/8” from the edge of the sample board, mount the hinge and see if it will open all the way without binding on the edge of your board. you may be able to move the hole a little further from the edge, so if you have lots of clearance, try another hole say 1/4” from the edge and see how that works. I don’t work with Liberty hinges, but the principle is pretty much the same from manufacturer to manufacturer.

The more you play with the hinge the more you will understand how they work. The further you drill the 35mm hole from the outside edge of the door, the more it will overlay the faceframe. If your hole is too far from the outside edge of the door, then the hinge will bind on the door when you go to open it all the way.

If you don’t want to build face frames, then you will have to order more hinges. Some manufacturers make that style hinge with a 1/2” overlay or 3/4” overlay. They all have some adjustment that you can use to get the exact overlay you want.

Good luck

-- John @

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2619 days

#3 posted 10-09-2012 06:39 PM

you are into one of the most confusing subjects in cabinet building (at least for somebody like me). conventional wisdom says to buy the hardware first, then build around it! I’d say with your description that you need “frameless” hinges where one piece attaches to the cabinet box, the other to the door (generally a 2 piece set-up).

Overlay hinges…usually one piece…picture an “L” (the closed position) mount the cup to your door stile using a 35mm forstner bit drilled just deep enough to accept the cup. The other “leg” has a plate 3/4” wide with little tabs on it to align on the EDGE of the face frame.

The overlay distance refers to how much of your door extends beyond the “L” AWAY from the opening (1 1/4” is alot! I used a combination of 1/2, 5/8 and 3/4 in my kitchen cabinets meaning the door extends beyond the opening by those distances). You really can’t “cheat” on these since the cup needs to be drilled pretty close to the outside edge of the door to achieve those distances…you can’t shorten the overlay because you would be drilling outside the edge of the door.

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2410 days

#4 posted 10-09-2012 07:53 PM

Matt, what huff said, here is a drawing. I realize the hinge style is different but it shows the overlay and the hinge cup. You got a really wide overlay so you need a face frame or different hinges. If you are going to use 3/4” x 3/4” and 3/4” ply you would use frameless hinges I believe. You likely wanted (1/2” overlay) hinges for frameless euro style. Fi9nd Blum webpage they have lots of pdf’s that sort of explain things, the drawings help.

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Matt Przybylski

539 posts in 2312 days

#5 posted 10-09-2012 08:17 PM

@huff/teejk: thank you for the detailed responses, that is exactly what i was looking for. It sounds like I need to make my face frames 1-1/2” for these hinges to work properly.

@Jonathan: the second drawing is what I’m after except now knowing what i know the face frame will need to be the proper size, not 3/4” (frameless).

@casual1carpenter: that is a great diagram and further reinforces what huff said.

My hinges did not come with mounting instructions or anything (not even hardware), they just came in a plastic bag. I suppose for $19.99 on sale I shouldn’t have expected much more than what I got…

-- Matt, Arizona,

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2619 days

#6 posted 10-09-2012 09:14 PM

matt…I have a pile of 3/4” overlay hinges in the shop because I had never used them before either and didn’t heed the advice about buying the hardware first (I learned before I bought the drawer slides!). I built the cabinet doors before the hinges arrived and only then did I figure out “hinge speak”. not a problem because they only cost me about 93 cents each and I ordered a mix of 1/2 and 5/8 to get the kitchen done. Now that I understand things, I’ll plan later projects accordingly and use the other hinges.

On “full” overlays, you need 3/4” thick face frames. Since the hinges mount on the inside edge of your face frame, they don’t need much (the tabs might require maybe 1/8” into the inside of the box but I’m sure if needed you could pound them in if you have a face frame). However you do it, the face frame defines your opening. A 3/4” overlay will mean that your door extends 3/4” beyond the inside edge. It comes down to how much face frame you want showing. If 2 inch face frame and you only want to see 3/4” of it, then your 1 1/4 hinges will work. If you want to see 1 1/2” inches of the face frame, then go with a 1/2” overlay hinge.

I forgot to add that I’ve bought most of my hardware from no disclaimer required since I have no affiliation with them…they are Wisconsin based and they cater to the commercial shops hence it is usually one or two day shipping for me.

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