Making 3" cabinet pulls fit doors drilled for 2.75" pulls - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 04-10-2010, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Making 3" cabinet pulls fit doors drilled for 2.75" pulls

I recently purchased my first house. The kitchen cabinets are the original 1974 cabinets and the doors are drilled for 2.75" (70mm) cabinet pulls. I have looked all over for pulls to fit, but there are an extremely limited number of options in the 2.75" size, and anything that looks good with my cabinets cost $5+ each. There just is not room in my budget for $150 worth of cabinet pulls (30 pulls total in the kitchen).

If I were to be able to use 3" pulls, there are many inexpensive options that look good in my kitchen. To make 3" pulls fit, I see two options:
1. Use one of the original holes and drill a new hole 1/4" away from the original hole. The original hole would be visible and ugly (in my opinion)
2. Elongate each original hole by 1/8". My fear with this option is that over time the elongated bolt holes would allow the handle to wiggle slightly and would slowly wear the holes to the point the handle would be sloppy.

How would you guys handle this situation? I would prefer to use option #2 if you guys don't think I would have a problem with the holes wearing out.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-10-2010, 06:44 AM
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Fill either one or both holes with a dowel then drill for 3' centers, lightly sand remaining dowel ends , stain, and enjoy your new house.... Congrats!
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-10-2010, 07:57 AM
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Here's my opinion. Almost the same as Jim Tank's but slightly different.

I'd do a plug job with a plug cutter. If you plug it by making your own plugs, you can get same kind of word, plus you can make them out of the face grain. This is what I do when I mess up and get the holes a bit out of alignment. Looks much better then a dowel or putty. You could use epoxy, but I think the plug looks much better. I like the tapered cutters best.

Good luck
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-10-2010, 08:22 AM
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Painted or natural or stained wood?

Painted would be the easiest to fill the hole with a 1/8" dowel and match with a dab of paint.
Same approach on the stained wood.
Use the body of the handle itself to cover one of the filled holes by carefully locating it and drilling a new hole. You need to make a drilling template from clear plastic for your new holes so you can see exactly where to drill. Locate the template by a screw in one of the original holes, whether it's an upper or lower cabinet and where the line of sight will minimize the ability to see the repair.
Use whatever method will make the most invisible repair. bill
BTW elongating the hole is difficult unless with a roto zip bit.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-10-2010, 08:22 AM
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Another option would be a plate behind the pull.

Or maybe, a thin piece of matching or contrasting wood between the door and the pull with the edges rounded over.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-10-2010, 08:32 AM
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An alternative choice would be to find back plates with a 3" spacing. Here are more backplates. There are many in different styles, and finishes, maybe something to go with your handles.

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-12-2010, 11:29 PM
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I like Cabinetman's idea best myself. I would recommend that you use the smoothest back plates and the simplest cabinet hardware. It is much easier to clean than some fancy hardware with a lot of twists and voids. Ask me how I know.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-06-2010, 03:41 PM
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using two plates

I am having trouble finding hardware for the same reason. I would prefer to not use a back plate. However, I found a website that uses two small pieces to connect 3" pieces to 2.75" holes. I seem to have lost the website, though. Does anyone have a suggestion of where to find such things?
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-07-2010, 07:01 AM
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I gather from your post that the new 3" pulls will cover the entire hole if the holes are enlarged so that you have the 3" span. The people suggesting the back plate must also think this way.

If this is true then another option is to plug BOTH holes and redrill for the 3" span. No better than the back plate, just another option if you do not want a back plate..

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post #10 of 12 Old 06-07-2010, 06:54 PM
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Just spend the 5 bucks a piece and be done with it. This is a one-time expense for a lifetime. The $150 (Total) sounds like a lot right now, but you might be sorry 2 months from now if you get the less expensive ones. The price differencial should be less when you are buying 30 at a time. These are your cabinets and your home is a reflection of you. How much additional are the $5 ones going to cost more than the cheap ones?
If your are married, what does your wife think about it?

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, and now full time cruising the waterways on my boat.

Last edited by Tony B; 06-07-2010 at 06:59 PM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-08-2010, 04:54 PM
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I agree with Tony B. The amount you would save by buying 3" pulls won't seem like much money if you have to fix every cabinet door and drawer face.

I just put hardware on all the cabinets in my new construction house. Nice hardware is worth the price difference over the cheap stuff.

The scary part was drilling the first hole in my brand new cabinets.
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post #12 of 12 Old 06-08-2010, 11:37 PM
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Don't buy the pulls till ya got the buck fifty.
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