ikea furniture
March 4, 2012 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Ikea cabinet hinge adjustment help needed.

I've just finished putting together an ikea 'hemnes' cabinet with glass doors, and the doors aren't exactly lined up. Supposedly, the hinges are adjustable in three directions: up and down, left and right, and how deep they are in the cabinet. This site makes it look easy, but I'm having trouble getting it to happen.

Does anyone out there have experience adjusting this kind of hinge? Any tips? I'm in that deep, dark place that only botched furniture assembly can force you into.
posted by umbĂș to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Which way do you have to adjust the doors to align them?
posted by carsonb at 11:31 AM on March 4, 2012

My husband and I had exactly the same problem with Ikea cabinets in December, but I'm afraid I may not be very helpful. Here's the bad news: We're pretty experienced flat pack conquerors, but after three solid hours of fussing with it, we simply could not get the dratted things to align and feared we were heading for madness and/or divorce. We poked around on Yelp and found a family business that puts together Ikea furniture. The guy they sent charged us $6 a door and was done in less than 20 minutes. He said they do an absolute ton of door work, so clearly they're tricky.

So depending on where you live, if you can find someone to do it for you, it's completely worth it. But I guess the good news is, it can't be totally impossible or the dude who helped us wouldn't have been able to do it so fast. Plus, it's not like everyone on earth has wonky Ikea cabinet doors, so obviously there's a trick to it. My only other tip is that when searching for tutorials online, don't include "Hemnes" in your searches. I think all the hinges are the same design, so I wouldn't limit your search to just that furniture family. Good luck!
posted by mostlymartha at 11:55 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is the hinge used at the site you linked the same as the hinges on the Hemnes? According to page 32 of these instructions, the method to adjust the hinges are slightly different.
posted by Bokmakierie at 11:56 AM on March 4, 2012

Are you sure the doors (and the space they go in) are reasonably flat and square? If they aren't I'd call Ikea and ask for a replacement of the warped / bowed / twisted piece, because if they are, no matter how good you are at this kind of thing, it's never going to look right.

After that, the trick is to figure out what kind of misalignment is responsible for which gaps and attack things one axis at a time, starting with the worst and playing with that one axis until it's as good as you can. After you've gone through all three once, you can repeat until you are satisfied.

Lifting the door is best accomplished with shims since you can make tiny little adjustments that stay in place before you tighten the screws. Home Despot and the like will sell you a little shrink wrapped bundle of these for a dollar or three (they're little wedges about 6 inches long, going from a narrow point to about a quarter of an inch thick).
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:43 PM on March 4, 2012

Obviously you first have to establish which way(s) the door needs to move.
The top adjustment (height) requires you to loosen two screws. Don't back them off too much--just enough so you can move the door up or down with a bit of effort, and it will stay put until you can tighten the screws again. Do the same thing for the depth adjustment, but here there is only one screw to loosen, then re-tighten. The third adjustment (side to side) involves turning a screw clockwise or counterclockwise and leaving it there--there is no "loosening" or re-tightening involved.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:48 PM on March 4, 2012

Oh, and you must adjust the height (first diagram) by loosening top and bottom hinges together. You obviously can't move the glass door up and down if only one pair of screws is loose. This does not apply to the last two adjustments.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:57 PM on March 4, 2012

also, the cabinet may be racked (not square) sometimes shilling up the cabinet bottom on one side or the other can help get more adjustment than the hunges allow for. Shim up the front corner of the side the door that is low. Assuming the doors are out of adjustment in relative height to each other
posted by Redhush at 6:43 AM on March 5, 2012

posted by Redhush at 6:43 AM on March 5, 2012

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