Is it OK to remove divider stile in this kitchen cabinet? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-26-2010, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Is it OK to remove divider stile in this kitchen cabinet?

calling you cabinetmakers, here's a routine question. We've got a troublesome kitchen cabinet. I'd like to cut out the portion below the drawers and mount the removed part to one of the doors. But is that stile structural?

The box is 27 wide x 24 deep x 30 high

Thanks for input.

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Peeking in from outside
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Inside view, looking back at top of stile.... I propose to cut it about at the bottom margin of that photo.
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Last edited by SteveEl; 09-26-2010 at 10:38 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-26-2010, 11:39 PM
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Steve, you can do that but one thing I would do before cutting it would be to glue and screw a piece of 1/4- 1/2 plywood or what ever you have to the back of the rail and stile against the bottom of the counter top in between the drawer slides in the last picture.

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post #3 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jim!

If I surprise my wife with that completed job while she's at work one day it will greatly reduce the number of batches of brownies I owe her. (That is a debt I never expect to fully repay, however...)

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post #4 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 06:51 AM
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I would cut off the center stile at the bottom edge of the cross rail . Then sand flat the remainder of the center stile and the two rails under the drawers, and where they meet the outside stiles. Then glue and fasten a horizontal add on piece of plywood, ĺ" preferably, from one side of the inside to the other. IOW, install an inner full length add on rail.






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post #5 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 07:58 AM
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C-man has it!

All you're trying to do is support the weight of what's ever in the drawers and unless you put all the table ware in the neighborhood in them a full width stile across the inside the same width as the existing one and glued on will distribute the weight to the edges of the cabinet. This should be a piece of 3/4" hardwood in my opinion, not plywood. Any weight placed on the top of the counter will distribute across OK, but I wouldn't stand on it.
Now as to the gap that will be left by removing the center post, you can either reattach it to one side, rip in in half and make it symetrical, and attach the 2 pieces on both sides, or just attach it to the back side of one of the doors. Yes, you'll have to open the other door first, but small price to pay and much less work. Maybe she will throw a fit tho, I donno? bill

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post #6 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
This should be a piece of 3/4" hardwood in my opinion, not plywood.

I got into the habit of using plywood in place of hardwood in certain situations, and I'll tell ya why. In this situation, the add on transverses four (4) intersections of wood perpendicular to each other. Hardwood may develop a twist or bow that could distort the joints its there to solidify. In actuality, the add on piece just creates more rigidity to those intersections which are supports for the drawer box openings.

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Any weight placed on the top of the counter will distribute across OK, but I wouldn't stand on it.
I would stand on mine. Even with frameless cabinets, the top rail under the countertop is stout enough to support the top. When I deliver those base cabinets without the top installed, they get picked up by that rail, and/or other cabinets are packed on top of the rail. When installing, I install the base first, and without a top, I lay on a loose piece of ĺ" ply and stand on it, holding the upper cabinet to install.

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Now as to the gap that will be left by removing the center post, you can either reattach it to one side, rip in in half and make it symetrical, and attach the 2 pieces on both sides, or just attach it to the back side of one of the doors. Yes, you'll have to open the other door first, but small price to pay and much less work. Maybe she will throw a fit tho, I donno? bill
That would be an acceptable fix to take care of the gap due to the missing center stile. Done that way it becomes what is referred to as an "astragal". In looking at the photo, it appears there may not be enough width of the stile to attach one piece to one door, or split it and attach a half to each door. If there is enough, you could have a minimal gap in the center of 1/16"-3/32", and then each door would open independently. Worse case scenario, you may have to make a wider piece, or pieces.






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post #7 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 09:25 AM
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Cabineman and woodnthings, you two guys know what you are talking about, another thing I didn't think about was ripping the stile and I didn't know it was called that even after all these years.

What I was talking about using the plywood for was I noticed there were no pocket holes where the stile connected to the rail at the top in the last picture, that way we don't know if the stile is glued, screwed or nailed to the rail at the top so I figured the plywood glued and screwed to connect the stile to the rail might be a good idea. If a piece goes all the way across wouldn't it show in the drawer opening? Just a thought, I'm not trying to be a smart alack.

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post #8 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
If a piece goes all the way across wouldn't it show in the drawer opening?

It's underneath the drawer, and the drawer would cover it. Of course, if you're a contortionist, and very athletic, you could get on your knees and look up under the rail and see a build up thickness.






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post #9 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
It's underneath the drawer, and the drawer would cover it. Of course, if you're a contortionist, and very athletic, you could get on your knees and look up under the rail and see a build up thickness.






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I went back and read your post and you are right, I was at the top rail and you were talking about the bottom rail, yep, that would work and no it couldn't be seen unless I could fold up all this fat and get in there to look up.

Cabinetman, I just looked at some of your projects in your album through the link at the bottom of your post, you are good that is for sure. That is some fine art.

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Last edited by BigJim; 09-27-2010 at 10:00 AM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Wow thanks for the great responses! If I ever get done fixing things that need fixing we may come back to form concrete countertops. Nice to know you stand on yours, cabinetman.
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post #11 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 10:30 PM
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I cut out my stile to put in some pull out shelves, and have had no issues with sagging. I never even thought to reinforce the cross rail, but something I will put on my TO DO list.

I glued the stile to another piece of oak with a 1/8" offset so that it would sit flush with the cross rail still while still giving the door the same look as the other door that still had the rubber bumpers on it.

Its not as pretty as most of your guys work, but it gets the job done for me.




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post #12 of 15 Old 09-28-2010, 08:22 AM
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Looks pretty good to me.

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post #13 of 15 Old 09-28-2010, 08:59 AM
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Nice

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post #14 of 15 Old 09-28-2010, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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oh swell..... now a standard has been set! Very nice, hope mine measures up.
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post #15 of 15 Old 09-28-2010, 07:57 PM
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This is a little different Steve

In this application the bottom stile run completely through on the horizontal, much better and stronger. On your application the vertical cuts across and divides the horizontal, that's why we are recommending a "backer" plate behind the intersection.
C-man recommends plywood, I like hard wood, and don't forget the glue or liquid nails and clamp it up overnight. Either way it's a simple fix and you should be all set. bill

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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