I build my own kitchen cabinets. They’re relatively simple; basically a sturdy box. No complicated joinery or hardware. I’ll use either jelly cupboard–type hardware on the doors or a round knob and magnetic catch.

A magnetic catch consists of a magnet and a steel plate. The magnet attaches to the cabinet, the steel plate to the back of the door.

When installing a magnetic catch, set the magnet portion first. This is held in place by screws in slots that allow for horizontal adjustment. For the initial placement locate the magnet flush with the plane the door will land on. Place the screws centrally in the horizontal slots and set the magnet in place. The flat steel is affixed to the inside of the door with one screw. The plate has two small dimples. Place the plate on the magnet, dimples facing the door. If the door is one of a pair, reach inside the cabinet from the other door opening. Put the point of your pencil through the screw hole. As you slowly close the door your pencil will mark the screw location for affixing the plate to door. If the door is a single, slide the magnetic portion forward and tighten in place. Put the plate on the magnet, dimples forward. Close the door firmly. This will leave a faint impression on the back of the door. You should be able to make out the mark left by the dimples or edges of the plate. Use these as a guide for placing the plate.

Magnetic catches afford a good deal of fine tuning. Adjust the magnet outward for more grip, inward for less. You’re looking for the sweet spot where the magnet holds the door closed yet still opens easily.