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How to Use a Concealed Hinge Jig on New Cabinet Doors

Give your kitchen or bathroom a huge update without the huge price tag by replacing just the doors! This tutorial will show you how to install hinges for your new cabinet doors with the easy-to-use Kreg concealed hinge jig.

How to use a concealed hinge jig
Kitchen and bathroom remodels are crazy expensive, and most of that cost is the cabinetry. Save a boatload of cash by just updating the doors! I'll show you how to use a concealed hinge jig to bore holes in your new doors, so they'll line up with your existing hinges perfectly.

This post was sponsored by Cabinet Door Mart and contains affiliate links. Purchases made through these links may earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Longtime readers may recall the kitchen musical chairs we did a couple years ago. Our back door was moved from the kitchen to the dining room, then we moved the fridge to the old door spot. This left an awkward space where the ductwork soffit and the fridge meet. Right now it's a cluttered mess of invitations, photos and our automatic vacuum.

awkward kitchen corner space

It's not deep enough for a full cabinet, but we need all the storage we can get in our small kitchen. I've been thinking about building a shallow pantry cabinet, but more exciting projects always seem to come first!

When Cabinet Door Mart approached me to collaborate on a project, I knew it was time to bring the pantry build to the front burner. Putting together a cabinet box is pretty straightforward. It's the doors that pose a challenge! I was happy to have that task taken care of by the professionals.

Choosing the Cabinet Doors

When I chose the style of doors for my pantry, I kept our future kitchen remodel in mind. While I'd love to replace all those melamine cabinets with oak trim, I just painted them a couple years ago and they're holding up surprisingly well (I have a follow-up post coming soon!)

painted melamine and oak trim kitchen cabinets

I certainly wasn't going to try to match the new doors to the old ones (no one makes those grab bar doors anymore, for good reason!) Instead, I chose the simple, modern look of Cabinet Door Mart's Artesia line in anticipation of our future kitchen remodel. These doors are similar to the shaker style, but with the little added detail with a bevel on the inside panel.

Shaker style cabinet door with bevel

When I ordered the doors, I wasn't sure where the hinges would go. Their placement depends on where the shelves are, but the pantry hadn't been built yet! Luckily, the Kreg concealed hinge jig makes drilling your own hinge holes easy!

Kreg concealed hinge jig

Drilling your own holes can be more cost effective when you have a lot of doors to replace. It's an extra $10 per door to have the holes pre-bored, so I've recouped the cost of the Kreg concealed hinge jig after this one project!

Cabinet Door Delivery

I was so excited to see a stack of flat boxes from Cabinet Door Mart on my front porch one day! Each door was double boxed and carefully wrapped to ensure they arrived in pristine condition.

cabinet doors in boxes

The Artesia doors come in a variety of wood types, but I went with the pre-primed MDF panel with a hardwood frame. The pantry will be painted the same white as the rest of the kitchen, and I was happy to leave the priming step to Cabinet Door Mart!

new cabinet door inside open box

Video of How to Use the Kreg Concealed Hinge Jig

Check out the video below to see how easy it is to use the Kreg Concealed Hinge Jig!

Testing the Concealed Hinge Jig

This was my first time using the Kreg concealed hinge jig, so I didn't want to start boring holes in my gorgeous new doors all willy-nilly! I happened to have a scrap of plywood (actually, it was a miscut piece from my outdoor storage bench) that was almost exactly the same size as the smallest door, so I used that to test out my holes.

plywood under new cabinet door

I ordered these Blum soft close hinges from Amazon, but they didn't come with any instructions. After reading way more about overlays and reveals than I cared to know, I decided to just test out a few different positions to see what worked best. I drilled holes for hinges at both the 5 mm and 6 mm setting and installed the hinges on the plywood test piece.

testing the spacing of a concealed hinge jig on plywood

Where you install cabinet hinges will affect where the cabinet door sits on the box. I wanted a minimal amount of space showing between the edge of the box and the edge of the door. This space is called the reveal.

Here you can see the difference in the reveal between the 6 mm setting on the right and the 5 mm setting on the left. The 6 mm setting is the one I want!

test between 5 mm and 6 mm settings on the concealed hinge jig

Drilling with the Concealed Hinge Jig

With the concealed hinge jig set to 6mm, I was ready to drill the holes in my cabinet doors. I'm glad I did a few tests first, because drilling into that beautiful new door was a little nerve-wracking! You really only get one shot!

changing setting on concealed hinge jig to 6 mm

To keep things simple, I set my hinges four inches from the top and bottom of the door. This is the distance from the edge of the concealed hinge jig to the center of the hole. If you're replacing old cabinet doors, measure the spacing from the top and bottom of the door to the center of the hole on the previous doors. Then use the ruler on the top of the jig to ensure proper placement with the existing hinges.

Use clamps to hold the concealed hinge jig in place on both sides of the hole. You don't want it twisting on you mid-cut!

concealed hinge jig clamped on door

The drill bit comes with the jig, as well as the guide and a stop collar. Assemble all the pieces together according to the instructions, and tighten it into the chuck of your drill.

concealed hinge jig drill bit

Insert the drill bit guide into the jig and rotate it to lock the guide in place. This will keep the drill bit perfectly vertical while you bore the hole.

concealed hinge jig with drill bit secured in place

Set your drill to the fastest setting, and drill the hole. Make sure to bore all the way down to the stop collar for the perfect depth.

drilling a concealed hinge hole with a concealed hinge jig and bit

Back the drill bit out of the hole and remove it from the jig. But don't remove the clamps yet! Load a 1/16" drill bit into the chuck, and stick it into the tiny holes on the sides of the jig. This allows you to drill pilot holes for the hinge screws in the perfect position! Make sure you don't drill too far and poke out the other side of the door. Just a little hole will help get the screw started.

drilling holes for hinge screws in concealed hinge jig

Ta da! The perfect hinge hole!

hinge hole created by the concealed hinge jig

Install the New Hinges

Now that the hard part is out of the way, it's time to install the cabinet hinges. Just drop the rounded end into the hole and screw it into place. Use a square to make sure it's installed parallel to the edge of the door.

installing concealed cabinet door hinge with square

If you're replacing your old cabinet doors, (and you measured correctly) the two hinge halves should clip together easily. I'll show more of this process when I install new cabinet doors on my bathroom vanity next month.

Check out our new pantry cabinet! I'm so excited to get more storage in our kitchen!


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How to use a concealed hinge jig

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concealed hinge jig in action

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