George Vondriska

Installing Barrel Hinges

George Vondriska
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Duration:   3  mins

Watch this video and you’ll learn how to install invisible barrel hinges. Invisible? Yes, when a door fitted with barrel hinges is closed, you can’t see the hinges from the front or the side. Consider installing these disappearing barrel hinges on your next project.

What is a Barrel Hinge?

Barrel hinges are an excellent choice when you don’t want the woodworking hardware showing on the outside of the finished piece. For clean lines and simplicity, barrel hinges are perfect. The drawback to barrel hinges is that they are trickier to install than standard hinges.

Installing a Barrel Hinge

When you learned how to build cabinets, you also learned how to install standard hinges. It’s time to learn something new!

There are several things to remember when you’re working with barrel hinges. First, they come in a variety of sizes and the sizes are metric. You absolutely must drill an exact-match metric-size hole for a barrel hinge. And, those holes must be correctly located or the hinge won’t operate properly. Meticulous layout is a must because there’s no room for adjustment after the holes are drilled. Take your time marking and measuring to make sure everything is aligned correctly before you drill.

Insider’s View

Watch as we show you close-up how the unique barrel hinge mechanism, that includes a slotted screw inside the barrel, locks the hinge into the predrilled hole — it’s ingenious!

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9 Responses to “Installing Barrel Hinges”

  1. Horacio

    Do the Concealed barrel Hinges come to open the lid 180 degree?

  2. Jay

    I urge caution with these. If installing very plain, basic cabinet doors, they might work. But if you have edge treatments on the doors, such as Roman ogee, etc., the barrel could intersect it, leaving the barrel coming through or weakening the hole when the door thickness is 3/4" or less. The European hinges can have the same problem with the cup drill-out potentially intersecting the edge treatment. The closer to the outer edge, the more you will be able to open the door, but with resulting weakness and potential failure of the barrel holes. These types of hinges are not ideal.

  3. Chris Sipes

    I second all the comments here this video was no help in installing barrel hinges. This is one of the first videos that I watched I hope the rest are more helpful.

  4. Mike

    So the screw that expands the barrel inside the that expansion designed to eliminate the need for glue for easy removal? Or should they still be glued in place with, say, epoxy?

  5. Jay

    How did you line up and drill the holes for the hinges? Anything over 9.5 mm will not fit in a 3/8" hand drill chuck, so I assumed that you used a drill press for those holes. Also, 12 mm drill bits (slightly less than 1/2") are more expensive than the hinges and you will want to purchase a set with 1/2 mm increments. They are not recommended for use in wood side thicknesses of less than 3/4" and it apparently took quite a bit of practice installing them when reading comments about these on the Rockler website. All of the cabinets professionally installed in our house use the European type hinges (Blum), which are hidden as well as adjustable.

  6. Mark G

    OK now I know what they are but the video does not address HOW to install them, just what to watch out for??? Allignment etc???

  7. leninsebastopol

    George, you told us WHAT and thanks, but the HOW is important especially with the precautionary warnings on importance of placement. And after all, the title is INSTALLING Barrel Hinges.

  8. Mick Sandine

    Well, the hard part is the layout. How about going through that on the next video?

  9. Peter Axton

    It wasn't mentioned in this video nor have I seen reference to it on the Web but there is also a partial countersink and grooving on the edge of the hinge. That was visible on your hinge. Not being able to confirm it, it is only my opinion on how they should be installed but, when I installed a pair of barrel hinges, I drilled a countersink into the timber beside the one on the hinge, completing the recess. A small hole into the recess, then inserted a small screw. This added to the security of the hinge installation.

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