Good catch for inset doors?

I recently built a vanity cabinet for my in-laws, and this is one of the few times I have used inset doors. I usually build overlay drawers with self closing hinges, so it didn't cross my mind that the new doors would not stay shut.
So, I'm looking for a good catch hardware that I can install "after-the- fact" in the vanity I've already installed at my in-laws house.
All of the magnetic catches I see at the home centers are made to screw to something "above" the door. But since the doors are inset into the face frame, there's nothing above the door to screw into. I would need something that screws into the back of the face frame.
I saw some bullet catches that looked like a possibility, but a recent article in Fine Homebuilding made them sound finicky to install, and problematic with seasonal wood changes. I also wonder how easy it would be to install them on site at my in-laws bathroom.
Ideally I'd like something that stays mostly out of the way. No protruding brackets or anything to get in the way.
Anyway, what do you all use for inset doors when the decorative surface mount hinges are not self-closing? Web links to sources would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Anthony
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You can bite the bullet and use the magnet, and glue on a small... wait a minute magnetic catch would work fine, or a double ball catch... Many possibilities on this page http://www.rockler.com/CategoryView.cfm?Cat_ID 6
or something like this one http://www.mobilehomepartsstore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_CodeF0351

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Yep, I've seen those in the Rockler catalog. The magnetic catch for inset doors is about the only one I see that doesn't rely on a cabinet member or block of wood running perpendicular to the door. My biggest gripe with the magnetic catch is the bracket that sticks down in the way.
I may just have to resort to a small block of wood above the door to hold a normal catch.
Thanks,
Anthony
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wrote:

I usually try to plan ahead and turn or add to the face frame piece so that it is deep enough to mount a magnetic catch. Just finished three pieces that did not have the depth. Added a block to mount the catch.
In my case, you don't see it.
Frank
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I've never tried this idea, but with the strength of some of the neodymium magnets that are available today, it seems possible to install one or two on the _hinge_ side of the inset door that would be strong enough to hold the door in the closed position.
--
There are no stupid questions, but there are lots of stupid answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
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Tue, Oct 23, 2007, 9:34pm (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@unknown.com (HerHusband) doth sayeth: Yep, I've seen those in the Rockler catalog. The magnetic catch for inset doors is about the only one I see that doesn't rely on a cabinet member or block of wood running perpendicular to the door. My biggest gripe with the magnetic catch is the bracket that sticks down in the way. I may just have to resort to a small block of wood above the door to hold a normal catch.
It's just gotta be my upbringing, and my Army years. My first thought is almost always, "How can I do it myself, without buying something pricey?". And, always, KISS, KISS, KISS.
I'd say, a tack in the top, centered over the end of the door. Then, small magnet inset in the top of the door. Or, you could do it on the bottom instead. Or, even on top AND bottom. Or, use a screw-eye on the inside top of the door, fastening on a length of monofiliment fish line (or whatever), running to another screw-eye on the inside back of the cabinet, then a large lead sinker. Pull open the door, that pulls the sinker up. Let go of the door, the lead sinker pulls the door shut. No prob. KISS. If you wanted to keep the inside neat, you could drill a hole in the back, and have the sinker on the outside. No prob. None of it's rocket science.
JOAT "I'm an Igor, thur. We don't athk quethtionth." "Really? Why not?" "I don't know, thur. I didn't athk."
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wrote:

In the old days we would use the magnet catch and glue a little block for it to mount. Is there any reason you can't change the hinge to a self closing?
Mike O.
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Mike,

I used the block behind the frame approach on an earlier project I used an inset door on, but it would be a little more awkward now that the cabinet is already installed. I'm hoping for something I can install quickly and easily and be done with it.

My mother-in-law likes the current hinges... :)
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

You could always whittle out a nice little turnbutton and arrach it to the outside of the face frame so it can be rotated over the door when the door is closed.
If you want to be fancy, you could mortice it into the door edge so that when it is turned by an external knob/lever it rotates into a slot on the face frame.
Magnetic or friction catch is easier.
--

dadiOH
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Get a package of "rare earth" magnets and some 5 minute epoxy. Northern Equipment carries both but there are many other sources. Rare earth magnets have about 10 times the strength of regular magnets, such incredible strength that it is quite difficult to pull 2 of them apart.
Where the door and frame meet on the hinge side of the door mark and drill a counterbore in the frame and also in the edge of the door with a diameter and depth just large enough to hold the magnet. Now epoxy one of the magnets into the counterbore in the frame and another one into the counterbore in the edge of the door making sure that you get the polarity right so they are attracted to each other. Keep the door open for about 1 hour (more if possible) to be sure that the epoxy is dry (it sets in 5 minutes, but takes longer to dry). When you close the door the magnetic pull of both magnets attracting each other will hold the door shut and they won't be in the way when the door is open. You could do this on either side or the top edge of the door. They will hold better on the handle side or top, but they will sometimes grab metal items being placed into or removed from the cabinet. On the hinge side they are usually far enough away from these items to keep from attracting them. I prefer a location near the top, but several inches away from the hinge.
Charley
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I've used bullet catches with great success. I've not had seasonal changes casue me grief. Easy to install.
Thom

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HerHusband wrote:

A recent article in Fine Woodworking (issue #193, p. 16) shows a pair of small, round rare earth magnets being used as a "latch". Requires a shallow half-inch hole drilled in the door and the style and the magnets being glued in place (oriented with proper polarity). Looks simple, innocuous and effective.
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HerHusband wrote:

A recent article in Fine Woodworking (issue #193, p. 16) shows a pair of small, round rare earth magnets being used as a "latch". Requires a shallow half-inch hole drilled in the door and the style and the magnets being glued in place (oriented with proper polarity). Looks simple, innocuous and effective.
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I have used the small and medium brass double ball catch on small and large doors. This is the two piece type with the "v" shaped male part that latches between the two barrel and ball female part. The large doors such as my entertainment center required one at the top and one at the bottom. They used to be a couple of bucks each.
Good Luck,
Dennis Slabaugh, Hobbyist Woodworker www.woodworkinghobby.com

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After over analyzing the situation, I just took my air nailer and tacked some wood strips to the backs of the face frames. Then I installed some magnetic catches I picked up at Home Depot. Plain and simple. They worked fine. :)
Anthony
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