It can be frustrating. A client needs a door to swing a certain way, or drawers to carry an unusual load, and the local warehouse or big box store simply doesn’t have a solution. Fortunately, most off-beat problems have been encountered before and somewhere, somebody has already come up with an ingenious solution. The only challenge is finding them, so here’s a quick run-down on possible candidates who supply specialty hinges and slides.
Accuride International (accuride.com) is based in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. and offers a host of movement solutions beyond standard drawer slides. There are double extension slides that provide two-sided access where, for example, a cabinet serves two rooms through a wall (think clinics, retail and so on). The company makes linear track systems with aluminum tracks and re-circulating ball carriages that can be used for sliding screens, panels, or partitions. Accuride’s flipper and pocket door slides have steel ball bearings and load ratings up to 75 lbs., and they’re easy to install.
Accuride’s catalog also includes media access slides that move vertically instead of horizontally, to hide and reveal TVs, monitors and the wiring that goes with them. There are keyboard slides for built-in offices, and a Tilt-Track System where a drawer slides out and then tilts down for easy viewing and retrieval of stored contents. Several of Accuride’s slides support pocket-and-bayonet mounting, including the light-duty 3820 and heavy-duty 9328E. And slides are available with stainless steel and aluminum finishes for applications in harsh environments.
Cabinetmakers are familiar with the four families of hinges from Blum (blum.com), which include CLIP and compact units in both standard and Blumotion (soft closing, silent) versions. Blumotion adapts to the dynamics of every door so that all doors close smoothly, regardless of size, weight, or the force used by the client. The feature can be deactivated on one or both hinges to ensure that doors close at the right speed. A woodworker can also snap the doors on and off with CLIP technology and make easy three-dimensional and cam adjustments.
Rev-A-Shelf (rev-a-shelf.com) has taken Blum’s drawer slides to the next level by using them to create its Glideware product line. This is a series of pullouts that can include hooks for clothing, kitchen pots and pans, cleaning mops and brushes and pretty much anything that can be suspended in a tall, thin cabinet.
Fulterer USA in High Point, N.C. (fultererusa.com) has Austrian roots and has been solving hinge and slide problems for half a century. The catalog includes flipper door mechanisms; slides with capacities up to 1,100 lbs.; Progressive slides that have a smoother action than standard two-step telescoping versions; a large selection of stainless-steel slides; multiple drawer-locking systems; and slide-out swivel bases for televisions and store fixtures.
Grass (grassusa.com) in Kernersville, N.C. offers a full catalog of cabinet hardware including institutional hinges with zinc, die-cast construction. The system is designed for frameless cabinetry and offers high loadbearing capabilities, tool-free snap on mounting, and opening angles from 180 to 270 degrees. The company offers half a dozen metal drawer-box/slide options, including Nova Pro, Nova Pro Scala, Vionaro, DWD-XP, Zargen and ZBox. The latter combines the strength of ball bearing slides with the Zargen’s steel construction, to create a drawer solution designed to save time and money with quick construction and simple assembly. The new ZBox offers standard drawer and deep drawer heights, a railing system, and Pendaflex filing systems.
Among the latest specialty hinge and slide offerings from Häfele America (hafele.com) is a chrome-plated wire shelf pull-out (item 549.37.200) that is full extension with a soft closing mechanism. Designed for 5-7/8” wide base cabinets, it can carry 26 lbs. and includes the frame, baskets, top and bottom runners, and the front brackets. Häfele has also introduced new sliding door hardware (Slido F-Line21 12D, item 402.33.037) with two glass retaining profiles at the top and bottom plus a concealed guide, or else with a glass retaining profile at the top and a visible guide at the bottom.
Kits and combinations
Located in Bossier City, La., Hardware Resources (hardwareresources.com) has been designing, engineering, and manufacturing products for the kitchen, bath, and closet industries since 1990. The company sells its own - and only its own – products and delivers direct to its customers. Among the newest items in its catalog are 100 lb., full extension, undermount slides (item USE58-KIT) that now come in a kit that includes the clips, rear brackets, and screws. There’s a comprehensive online comparison guide to all of HR’s hinges, which makes choosing the right one a lot easier. They have done the same thing for all the drawer slides, including the new 303-200 push-to-open slides that can handle 100 lb. loads and come in 14” to 22” lengths.
Combining both specialty hinges and tracks, Hettich America (hettich.com) offers the WingLine L folding/sliding door system includes a new feature that opens the doors as wide as possible and gives clients a panorama view of the contents of closets, cabinets, and specialty storage such as under stairs. The company says that “WingLine L lets you produce folding sliding doors in a completely new dimension of convenience. The revolutionary Push/Pull to move opening mechanism provides access to everything inside the cabinet with just one movement of the hand.” It has optimized running performance, soft opening and closing, tool-less installation and minimal door protrusion, which helps clients to efficiently organize the space inside. The doors can weigh up to 55 lbs. and measure up to 94-1/2” in height.
Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop (woodworkingshop.com) carries barrel, drop-leaf and no-mortise surface mount hinges as well as jewelry/humidor box hinges, lots of decorative brass and antique options, and some thick butt hinges in different metallic finishes. There is also a surface mount (non-mortise) chest hinge for 3/4” thick lift lids on projects such as stereos, toy chests, piano benches and headboard storage compartments. It has a brass finish, and it opens to 195 degrees.
In the spring of 2021, Knape & Vogt (knapeandvogt.com) expanded its product offering to include Samet hinge, lift and drawer box systems, and to expand its sliding door hardware and undermount drawer slide offerings. Knape & Vogt is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Samet is based in Istanbul, Turkey. The result of this alliance is a new category of KV powered by Samet products. The low-profile Samet Supreme soft close face frame hinge system has a one-of-a-kind, tool-free, track-Lock system that saves time during upper cabinetry installations. The new Solo Mech soft close hingeless door lifting system is available in four colors, and the Flowbox premium thin double-wall drawer box system has synchronized full extension and a soft close adaptive damper. Shops looking for a soft-close, low profile, by-pass door track system might want to check out the SMT 75T, and KV is also offering Jetfix expandable dowel and Samfix cam fittings for store fixture and furniture assembly.
When it comes to tricky applications such as installing thin-framed glass doors on frameless casework, Salice America (salice.com) has a smartly designed specialty hinge. Called the Air Push, this is a concealed hinge with a special spring designed to open handle-free doors. It’s inserted into the top and bottom of the cabinet and the door, and it’s practically invisible. Its small size means that the applications for Air include kitchens, bathrooms, living room and bedroom furniture, or display cabinets. It will handle doors up to 84” tall and 24” wide that weigh up to 44 lbs. Air Push is designed for doors with a minimum thickness of 3/4” in wood or aluminum.
Slides for doors
A new sliding door system from Sugatsune America (item MFU1200-40-L in the online catalog at sugatsune.com) features a two-way damper to avoid slamming open or closed. It’s easy to install and is designed to close flush against surrounding walls for a clean appearance. The slide has a unique movement where it first recesses in and then slides sideways. There are no floor tracks, which can be aesthetically pleasing, and no handle is needed on the door front for opening. The sliding system is intended for use with 1-3/16″ to 1-9/16″ (30-40 mm) thick doors, and it requires a space behind the adjacent wall for the door to slide into.
One of the more innovative specialty slide systems comes from Lockdowel (lockdowel.com), where the hardware is installed using the company’s signature green plastic barbed dowels. Simply pop the slides in place. Lockdowel says its customers can reduce both labor and shipping costs while doubling their assembly capacity, with no additional capital investment.
Wood Technology in Pittsboro, N.C. (woodtechnology.com) carries specialty tie, scarf, and clothing slides.
Sometimes a shop needs to see two or more manufacturer’s hinge and slide lines to compare products and give a client some choices. Resellers such as Cabinet Parts (cabinetparts.com) or drawer suppliers such as Decore-Ative Specialties (decore.com) may offer such an opportunity. If a specialty item isn’t in their catalog, they can usually find it.
Of course, some clients ask for specific brands, and most of those have been mentioned above. However, they may not always offer a specialty solution. For example, Amerock (amerock.com) has about 30 different hinges, many of which are available in up to six finishes, but they’re designed to address the needs of most mainstream customers rather than those who might have specialty hinge or slide needs.
This article was originally published in the February 2022 issue.