Installing a Piano Hinge

A close up on piano keys.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 30-60
What You'll Need
Piano hinge of appropriate size
Wood fastening screws
Measuring tape
Wood cutting chisel

The piano hinge is one of the most common recessed hinges in use. It was originally developed, as the name implies, to be the hinge on the door of the piano. Because of its original purpose, the piano hinge is very sturdy and dependable. It is great to use with heavy doors or cabinets and in very high-use areas.

Step 1 - Measure for Hinge Placement

A woman plays the piano.

In general, the hinges on a door will be placed 5 inches from the top of the door and 10 inches up from the bottom of the door. Once you have measured down to your starting point, put the hinge in place and trace or cut a line around its edge to mark where you will cut your recess in the door itself.

Step 2 - Cut Recesses

The recess for your piano hinge is meant to make the surface of the piano hinge and the surface of the door flush. To do this you must use your chisel in order to cut out a cavity for the door part of your hinge to fit into. This recess should fit your hinge exactly and leave the hinge and door surface completely even.

Step 3 - Install Hinges

A kid and teacher play piano.

Once your recesses have been cut, lay your piano hinge into the recess and mark the fastening holes. Once you have drilled your holes, simply fasten the hinge in place with wood screws.