Cabinetmaker’s Special: Hinge designs and styles

Cliffside offers six distinctly different hinge styles for a variety of different installation applications. The question is, when do you use a specific style of hinge? Today’s blog attempts to address some of those pertinent questions.

What styles of hinges does Cliffside offer?

Cliffside offers six unique hinge styles in a variety of finishes. There are two beaded inset (mortised) hinges: BH2A and BH3NA; there are two flush inset hinges (non-mortise): BH2A-NM and AHI; and there are two offset hinges (3-8-OFFSET and AHO).

What are the specifications of your hinges?

BH2A

BH2A hinge shown in old copper with ball finial
BH2A hinge shown in old copper with ball finial

The BH2A hinges have a 2″ leaf and a 23/4” overall barrel length for the standard finial hinge. The barrel diameter is 3/16“, while the overall width of the hinge when laid flat is 15/8“. Each individual leaf measures 3/4” across, and the leaves are 1/16” thick. With a ball tip, the overall barrel length is reduced to 21/2“, but otherwise the dimensions are identical. The non-finial hinge also has the same specifications, but with a barrel length of 21/16“. 16 finishes are available in the traditional finial style, while 11 are available with a ball finial and 5 with no finial.

BH2A-NM

BH2A-NM shown in Venetian bronze with steeple-tip finial
BH2A-NM shown in Venetian bronze with steeple-tip finial

BH2A-NM hinges also have a 2″ by 3/4” outer leaf, while the inner leaf is 1/2” by 7/8“. The thickness of the leaf is also identical, at 1/16“, but the barrel diameter of 1/4” is slightly larger than its mortised counterpart. This is a three-knuckle hinge, as opposed to the BH2A’s five knuckles. The finial hinge has a barrel length of 213/16“, while the ball-tip version is slightly shorter, at 27/16“, and the non-finial hinge is merely 21/16“. The non-mortise finial hinge is available in 14 finishes, with 11 ball-tip and 2 non-finial finishes available.

BH3NA

BH3NA shown in antique english
BH3NA shown in antique english

The BH3NA, or “BH3”, hinges are larger versions of the BH2A hinges in most senses. The leaf width is the same, at 3/4“, but due to an increased barrel diameter (5/16“), the overall width of the hinge is 13/4” when laid flat. The leaf of the hinge is 21/2” tall, while the barrel is 31/2” long. The leaf thickness is 1/16“. BH3NA is available in 13 finishes, only with the standard finial.

AHI

AHI shown in silver satin
AHI shown in silver satin

The inset armoire hinge, or AHI, is a larger, two-piece hinge design that is crafted for ease of transportation and installation. The top and bottom halves of the hinges are separable; therefore, cabinet doors can be fitted at the shop, then shipped separately to the job site or installation location without a danger of swinging open, banging against other pieces, or falling off. Then, on arrival, the doors can be installed with a minimum of effort. The leaves of this unique hinge are 1″ wide and 15/16” long. The barrel is 515/16” in overall length, while the diameter is 5/16“. The AHI hinges are also non-mortise, and are available in 9 finishes to suit any style. Because these hinges are “faced”, you must specify left or right when ordering.

AHO

AHO shown in iron
AHO shown in iron

The offset amoire hinge (AHO) is a standard 3/8” offset partial overlay hinge. It features many of the same design elements as the AHI, in that it is two-piece and available in the same 9 finishes. The barrel diameter on the AHO is 1/4“, while the overall length is 61/8“. The lower leaf is 2” long, while the upper leaf is 21/8” long. Because these hinges are “faced”, you must specify left or right when ordering.

3-8-OFFSET

3-8-OFFSET in black
3-8-OFFSET shown in black

The second 3/8” standard offset partial overlay hinge in the Cliffside line, 3-8-OFFSET is now available in 8 attractive finishes, four of which were just introduced. The leaves of this hinge are 2″ long, while the barrel is 215/16“. The barrel diameter is 1/4“, and the hinge has an industry-standard 5-knuckle construction. These hinges are precision-crafted to meet exacting standards.

All hinges

Every Cliffside hinge is extruded solid brass. All hinges have 2-4 adjustable holes to aid in installation, and each style comes in a variety of finishes.

When should I use a certain hinge?

Use smaller hinges for standard doors.
Use smaller hinges for standard doors.

Use smaller-sized hinges for standard-height and standard-width cabinet doors. This includes floor-to-countertop-sized doors and countertop-to-below-celing-sized doors. The hinges recommended for these applications are BH2A, BH2A-NM, and 3-8-OFFSET, which are the three smaller-sized hinges in the Cliffside line. This offers a choice of a mortised inset hinge, a non-mortised inset hinge, and an offset hinge for your cabinet.

Hinges can be cabinet jewelry.
Hinges can be cabinet jewelry.

Use larger-sized hinges for oversized doors or extremely wide doors. The larger hinges are stronger because of their size and provide extra durability. We especially recommend larger hinges for doors that are from floor-to-ceiling in height, or doors that are from the floor to above the height of the countertop. The three hinges that Cliffside recommends for these applications are AHI, AHO, and BH3NA, providing you with the same three design choices as are provided for standard-sized doors.

Since the armoire hinges are “faced”, you will need to specify “left” or “right” when ordering. This designation indicates whether the hinge you are ordering is for a left-hand or right-hand door. Therefore, if you are building a cabinet with double doors, you will likely need two right hinges and two left hinges.

Design tip

Certain hinges can also be used as a design accent. This is one of the reasons that Cliffside offers a ball finial, a steeple-tip finial, and non-finial hinges in the BH2A and BH2A-NM. The armoire hinges are a particularly striking accent to any cabinet because they provide a large focal point for the eye, acting like jewelry for the cabinet rather than simply a functional piece.

How can I get Cliffside hinges?

Use our dealer locator to find a dealer near you, or call customer service at (800) 873-9258. To place an order, visit our website or send a fax to (800) 926-3435.

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