Saturday, 26 July 2008

Cabinet Hinges - Tips to Keep Yours in Tip-Top Shape

Cruelly underestimated and for a long time denied their rightful place in the fitted kitchens' hall of fame, cabinet hinges have only recently been recognized in the priority pecking order of the kitchen cabinet compendium. And yet, the humble cabinet hinge is the kingpin that allows millions of kitchens to function properly, day after day, month after month and year after year.

Toiling away unseen, bearing the brunt of a heavy load, the cabinet hinge really would be more conspicuous by its absence. It's a hidden hero. Not only does it allow you to smoothly open the cabinet door, but it also puts up with the said door year after year, without complaining. Such loyal service should be rewarded. Here's how you can show your appreciation:

A Good Lubricant

Your average kitchen cabinet hinges will only go on being smooth operators if you help them out from time to time with a little oil. Just a little goes a long way. A drop now and again on the hinge will prevent that horrific grinding noise as you open the cabinet. This preventive measure will also drive out moisture (moisture and oil really don't get on together) and thus help to prevent rust.

Many people ask "how much oil and how often?" It's a matter of common sense. There's no point in drowning the hinge and its supporting wood in oil, especially as oil may have undesirable effects on supporting wood, into which the cabinet hinges have been fixed. Oil that leaks into the fiber of wood will soften it and reduce its ability to retain screw fittings or to resist stress. Like water, oil soaking into wood may also lead to bloating, warping and paint shedding, all of which can either stress or pollute the cabinet hinge even further.

No Improper Stress

Cabinet hinges are made to open at right angles compared to the doors that they carry and the cabinet elements to which they are attached. Pulling downwards on cabinet door that is fixed above close to the ceiling or upwards on a cabinet door that is fixed below on the floor will bend the hinge. Little by little, deformation and metal fatigue set in. Over time, the repeated and improper stress shortens the useful life of the cabinet hinge. So make sure that you avoid these damaging actions and open doors at right angles so as to protect cabinet hinges.

Don't Let it Get Damp or Wet

The cabinet hinge itself should remain dry to avoid any problems of rust that we mentioned earlier. But just as important, the support into which the hinge is fixed needs to remain dry as well. This is crucial if the support is made of wood. The difference in resistance and tensile strength between wet and dry wood is immense. If you want an indication, think of the difference between wet and dry paper. Dry paper resists tearing, wet paper falls apart in your hands. So keep everything dry to ensure that your cabinet hinge can carry on doing the job it was designed for.

Author Jennifer Akre is an owner of a wide variety of online specialty shops that offer both items and information on how you can easily furnish and decorate your space. Whether it's your living, bedroom, or even your deck or patio, there are many tips you can use to make those spots both functional and beautiful. Today, she offers advice on how to create a fabulous indoor area by using sturdy cabinet hinges, dependable door hinges, and classic hinges.

Article Source: