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How To
DIY - Hinges
Chinese fittings around your home may give you problems, especially in older apartments. The two most common problems are broken wardrobe hinges, and broken curtain rail supports.

These are jobs you should probably consider rectifying yourself, as they are quite simple to repair and basically require only a suitable screwdriver.

Replacing Chinese wardrobe hinges and curtain rail supports.

Wardrobe Hinges

Nearly all of these are of the recessed circle type (Pictured) as found in most kitchen cabinets, although flat surface mounted ones do exist.

The problem is that these hinges are made from poor quality materials, and often break at the hinge, or surface mounting plate.

They cannot be repaired, so must be replaced. Replacement hinges can be bought at some hardware stores or your local trade counter.
Image: Standard Chinese wardrobe hinge - Click to Enlarge

When buying replacement hinges there are two important considerations:
1. Size.
2. Quality.

As in the West, these hinges invariably come in two sizes, this relating to the circular cut-out. You better take an old one with you as a pattern.

The quality of replacements is more difficult to rectify, as most are either cheap, or very cheap. This in turn means they will probably break before you even finish fitting them!

What you are looking for is something with quality - as any DIY person will readily identify. Normally good quality ones will be relatively heavy. We suggest that if you are not sure, then you only purchase one or two sets to begin with ... and see if they work ok.

The fitting couldn't be easier, as all you normally do is unscrew the old hinge and replace it with the new one. Given you have checked the replacement hinge fits into the circular recess nicely, then start by removing all the old hinges so both door and interior are clear. If one hinge is still working, then leave this in place and replace each hinge individually.

Otherwise fit all the new hinges to the interior first. Using a chair or suitable packing for support, set the door at 90 degrees and align the hinges. You will probably only manage to fit one of the circle bits initially, so do this and add a screw to hold it (The weight is taken by the circle thingymagig). Use the screws you just removed, but pay attention to their size, as this may vary considerably.

It is best to fit the top hinge first if possible. Now remove the chair or support, meanwhile taking the weight yourself and keeping everything in-line. Put the bottom hinge into place next and secure with a screw. An extra pair of hands can help you greatly, bearing in mind that most girls are hopeless at this sort of thing (Exceptions). Now do the same for any remaining hinges (Normally there are three). Once all hinges are in place, add the remaining screws and tighten (But not too much).

These types of hinges allow you to reset the doors for perfect fit using the adjusting screws that are integral of the units - something that can keep inexperienced people occupied for hours.

This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends and various internet portals.
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