I’m thinking about making a simple garage shelf out of 2x4’s with the 2” side facing forward. It won’t have side walls or a back so will essentially be four 2x4’s with some shelving on it.

If I want to put doors on it, how do I know which hinge to get? I want full overlay doors and I think I’d use 3/4” ply for them. Can I use any full overlay hinge? Based on my research a standard full overlay hinge is made to overlay 3/4” side panels however mine will be 2 inches.

I’m a new woodworker and this will be my first build with doors.

Looking for guidance on this.


  • Welcome to WSE. A sketch of your project might generate more ideas.
    – Ashlar
    Aug 29, 2022 at 13:46
  • 3
    Have you considered plain old butt hinges? They would make all your concerns moot. Aug 29, 2022 at 13:48
  • How does one put doors on a shelf? I'd really like to see a sketch of this
    – FreeMan
    Aug 30, 2022 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


Many makers of full overlay hinges with different details. Consult diagram for each hinge. For some there is max/min thickness for door, but no max for sides.

I’m a new woodworker and this will be my first build with doors.

Full overlay hinges are not simple to fit perfectly and most require large Forstner bit to drill cup hole, which is maybe expensive. For simple garage cabinet other hinge types are good choice -- cheaper, will make installation easier and quicker + no loss of internal space.

Choosing The Right Cabinet Hinge For Your Project
Choosing Cabinet Door Hinges
18 Different Types of Cabinet Hinges

  • Your statement about not having a max thickness for the sides is what I’m struggling with. I’m assuming that the thickness of the side walls would affect where the offset hole is drilled on the door, especially for full overlay doors. The thicker the side wall, the greater the offset would need to be from the door edge. How would I figure out what the offset is and where to drill the hole for the hinge on the door ?
    – Ed S
    Aug 29, 2022 at 12:02
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    @EdS, I'm not familiar with all full-overlay hinge designs — here, a very generic type is used almost everywhere...... I can go down to my kitchen to see exactly that :-) and for those side-wall thickness is irrelevant. Think about where two cabinets are mounted side by side, effectively making those sides 1 1/4" thick. But seriously let me be the 3rd to suggest you sidestep this worry and just use a different hinge! Unless you plan to do a lot of similar hinges in your immediate future the cost of that Forstner/wave-edge/sawtooth bit is money you'd be better off investing in something else...
    – Graphus
    Aug 29, 2022 at 19:14
  • If you look at diagram for most full overlay hinges only relative position of surface of sides to door matters, so thickness of sides not important.
    – Volfram K
    Aug 30, 2022 at 8:42
  • have you looked at price of good Ø35mm Forstner bit? Not safe to drill these holes freehand so if you do not own drill press + drilling guide.
    – Volfram K
    Aug 30, 2022 at 8:50
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    I'll chime in to suggest that if the OP is planning on building some cabinetry for the kitchen or bathroom, the garage furniture is the perfect place to practice installing these hinges and that now is the time to go ahead and make the tool investment! Of course, that's only if there are reasonably concrete plans to do more of this work, otherwise, it may well lead to frustration and wasted money.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 30, 2022 at 18:10

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