Built-In Kitchen Cabinet Stripping & Restoration ... Let Me Draw on Your Expertise - Page 3 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #41 of 93 Old 04-13-2018, 03:31 PM
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A labor of love if there ever was one. Good for you. When I was a renter, I always improved the place I lived because I LIVED there and I wanted a nice place to live. I totally get that. After having been booted out too many times (once, because the owner decided to move in after 17 years as a rental, and didn't even offer to reimburse me for the work I'd done on the place) I now rent from the bank because as long as I make my monthlies, they won't boot me out. And I still improve my space, little by little.
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post #42 of 93 Old 04-13-2018, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Mike, I'd thought about making large drawers for the base cabinet previously for both function and due to the out of square frame/doors. But if I did that I'd want to source a router bit with the same profile as the doors so everything would match. The other option is scavenging some doors from other apartments if/when they get renovated and cutting off the profiles to use as decorative molding.

Toolman50,
The blue cabinet top is where my microwave now resides (I have a butcher block counter top for it); I'm not sure how to increase the height to accommodate a larger microwave. Increasing the depth of the cabinet a couple inches would be easy. ... however I'd have to drop the countertop lower which would probably look odd against the sink and which would also make accessing the two flatware drawers more of a stoop. Conversely, I'd have to attack the horizontal face frame member above it, redo that cabinet's bottom shelf, and alter the length of the upper cabinet doors ...


??
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post #43 of 93 Old 04-13-2018, 04:27 PM
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Mike, I'd thought about making large drawers for the base cabinet previously for both function and due to the out of square frame/doors. But if I did that I'd want to source a router bit with the same profile as the doors so everything would match. The other option is scavenging some doors from other apartments if/when they get renovated and cutting off the profiles to use as decorative molding.
When I mentioned the 1/2 inch overlay doors, I had in mind they would help reduce the out-of-square openings. The Blum hinges (and other brands as well) have three adjustments so the door can be relocated slightly to help with alignment. And that would solve your obsolete hinge search.
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post #44 of 93 Old 04-13-2018, 04:48 PM
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There are 12 cabinet doors (24 sides) and all but about 6 side sides have been stripped back. All the frames and cases have been stripped. Leaving some of the primer or paint on them is fine as after the scraping and sanding it wont telegraph through a new paint job. The next step is a deeper stripping of the profile details of rails ands stiles, which will just take some patience and is the last stripping operation left. Then some filling and patching; then tuning the refitting. Yeah, I've been using Bondo primarily and a touch of Ready Patch. (Btw, instead of stripping one technique I used a few years ago on some cruddy baseboards in a hallway was to skim coat them with Ready Patch and then sand the Ready Patch flush ... because they are at floor level and seen from 5'-6' away, they look perfect.)

The baseboards are all stripped. The sheet metal sink cabinet has been stripped except for some a few touch up spots ... and it's doors. For the latter I was planning to just grind them off and make two new doors from wood ... however, I think I'm going to revert to my 1st option which was to strip them and try filling/smoothing the dents with Bondo (if that doesn't go well I'll make new ones and get new hinges). It's a good area to practice my nascent body-filling skills and I can screw up without serious consequence. An educational opportunity.

The drawers are shot. I only posted the one pic but they are missing several tails from the dovetails (one joint is missing nearly all the tails). I've recently got some new soft maple for the drawers and it has been several years since I've cut dovetails or done any quality hand tool work ... so I'm actually looking forward to that ... it'll be fun as opposed to the labors of stripping. As mentioned, I've already sourced some extremely nice Blumotion soft-close slides for the two drawers. All of this is a sort of warm-up to get re-familiarized with my machinery and hand tools after a long sabbatical, to tune them up, plus make the acquaintance of some new tools (ex. I recently got a 100 year old Stanley #80 scraper and totally adore it), learn their use, improve my skillset, and set the stage for some furniture design and fabrication.

Uniformity of door-to-frame gaps are a concern, I'll tackle that at there tuning/fitting phase.

I've got exceptional respiration equipment (and have done damage there in the past), including acid gas canisters for the respirator, a supplied air system, plus a serious exhaust fan. This time around I got a correct pair of PVA gloves for dealing with the methylene chloride, instead of pickling & dissolving my hands in the inadequate PVC or rubber gloves.

I also have a seriously outfitted spray setup with top quality guns (but will likely brush on the cabinet finish) except for the metal sink. There's also a dumb waiter and other period details that have been stripped and will be sprayed. It's nice to keep a lot of the kitchen's stuff from the original era, for example I love the look of the cabinet latches (I'll need to source new brass ones) which would be lost with overlay doors.

Overall, it's getting knocked out.

The remaining obstacles are sourcing brass hinges (no luck at all on that and it's seeming hopeless) ... and finding a suitable crown molding.
The loose pieces like the doors you might look for a furniture refinisher in your area. A furniture refinisher would likely have a flow over stripping system which would be a lot easier to strip paint.

A flow over system is a 4'x8' tank with short sides which you use a more liquid remover. The tank has a drain in one corner which drains into a bucket. From the bucket a the stripper is pumped through a hose up to a scrub brush. With this you can easily keep the paint wet with stripper and does a very thorough job and isn't near as labor intensive.
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post #45 of 93 Old 04-13-2018, 06:20 PM
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Itís hard sometimes to count paint layers when white is painted over white, but for the record, how many paint layers would you guess were on those cabinets?
Iím guessing youíre in a multi-level apartment and over the years, those cabinets were subjected to water from above.
Also I think one of the past tenants had access to free caulk. Ha.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #46 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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My guess would be around 25-50?

There's a cream color at the base (these lower start are no doubt lead), there's a deeper beige, there's a dark green (I'm trying to imagine the kitchen in dark green ...a fashionable color in the late 20s/early 30s?), there's a blue, in areas there's a vermillion, there's bone, there's white. Yesterday while workers were skim coating the back wall inside the cabinets - where some former tenant had applied what duct tape to seal the seams between the shelving and the walls/case sides, you can for example see an early green layer. I excavated the hardware at an earlier date.

Yes, there's been extensive leaks from both the sink and also a dishwasher from the apartment above. For a period there were regular leaks and the fix was usually plaster and paint to cover it up, until the water damage reappeared, then rinse/repeat, until things worsened and it had to be 'addressed'.
For many years this was rented near a college to students so lots of turnover, abuse, neglect, and frequent painting as the cure for all problems.


Steve Neul:
"The loose pieces like the doors you might look for a furniture refinisher in your area. A furniture refinisher would likely have a flow over stripping system which would be a lot easier to strip paint.

A flow over system is a 4'x8' tank with short sides which you use a more liquid remover. The tank has a drain in one corner which drains into a bucket. From the bucket a the stripper is pumped through a hose up to a scrub brush. With this you can easily keep the paint wet with stripper and does a very thorough job and isn't near as labor intensive."

That's like the most perfect dream, or the cruelest fantasy.
Trust me, if I could afford to hire someone (whether to scrape, remove sludge, dip, sand, or any other voodoo) I wouldn't have spent even a single minute doing the stripping. Just the prep work and the periodic clean up is extensive, not to mention the stripping itself.
I spoke with one of the guys in here now doing the skim coating. He showed me a pic of a recent job he was sent on, stripping a single window and a little paneling below and bordering the sides. He said it took him two weeks.

Last edited by Lovegasoline; 04-16-2018 at 03:34 PM.
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post #47 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
When I mentioned the 1/2 inch overlay doors, I had in mind they would help reduce the out-of-square openings. The Blum hinges (and other brands as well) have three adjustments so the door can be relocated slightly to help with alignment. And that would solve your obsolete hinge search.
It's a good option. If you read through my initial posts, that was option #2 ... to make new overlay doors.
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post #48 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Another hard part is coming up ... deciding on the kitchen colors.

That darkish green paint deep underneath the other layers (going back to the 1930s?) had always repulsed me... it wasn't easy imaging a darkish green kitchen.
However, I painted the blue one countertop years back and had also put a few robbins egg blue accents around.

The green is starting to grow on me ... I'm understanding it better.

Here's some green kitchens:
https://www.remodelista.com/posts/tr...reen-kitchens/

My original idea was to just go with whites. The room gets good natural light ... I thought it would be fascinating to use a range of whites and slightly off whites, along with different sheens (gloss through matte) explored on the different surfaces: walls, ceiling, door & window trim, door, metal sink cabinet, porcelain farmer sink, backsplash tile, cabinets, light fixtures, etc. ... plus the metallic cabinet hardware and the effects of lighting both natural and artificial ... to work together to produce subtle temperature and tonal shifts in the whites so that it becomes fuller, richer, and deeper. There's a newish oak floor in the kitchen. The light fixtures are original and they are a sort of off-white/putty color.

I still like that idea but the green has triggered something. I'm starting to lean towards keeping that range of whites, but extending it to include some subtle earth tones accents and maybe set the cabinetry off by an extremely light terra verte green but desaturated and maybe warmed up a bit and/or with a subtle mint infusion ... or maybe a greyed robbin's egg blue.

When this is all done and if I an find the time to complete my unfinished workbench, the next project will be to build a kitchen table. I've never built a table and I've not used oak. For the past few months the idea of a quarter sawn oak with prominent ray flecks light and cool in tone with a flat sheen has been gripping me ... that or some sort of very dark grey or black oak table in a flat finish could anchor the space.

I think the kitchen would work in whites/creams/subtle earth tones-light greenish-greys/ + wood + brass. Deciding and committing on this sort of color thing is always hard for me, lol.


Top pic is of my kitchen's light fixture.
2nd pic: I'm starting to like this sort of light green cabinet color.
3rd pic: looks to be the same space as pic #2, but some weird color correction/lighting issue going on with the lower cabinets, which makes them appear slightly cooler and more grey in color ... I actually like the shift between warm and cool. Maybe the sink cabinet could be a light tone slightly cool grey. My floor is a warmer tone wood which would provide a warm balance to space. ( I actually like the cooler subdued wood tones).
4th is a table with the black sort of finish which features the grain.
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post #49 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm...I just noticed something in your pictures. The bottom cabinet (see your picture posted below) is a good candidate for an update. Modify it so it will contain two wide and deep drawers for pots and pan storage. You can thank me later! Or cuss me.

See the images I have posted. That is exactly what the homeowner wanted. I modified the cabinet and built new drawers. That is the two drawers next to my wife's knee in the picture.
I'm reviewing this option again ... the base cabinet face frame's left stile is about 2-7/8" wide and the right is about 1-3/8" wide ... not sure how that would look with an overlay drawer, the right stile would be mighty narrow. Also, inside the cabinet on the right, the broom closet's stile projects travels through and projects about an inch into the space that the drawer would need to travel.
On the other hand drawers would make better use of the space. Earlier this year I sanded and refinished the floor inside the cabinet, painted the shelf, and reorganized the cabinet ... it's not easy accessing stuff packed in the back of the shelf.

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post #50 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Some other stuff:

Any NYC'ers out there who might have a tip on sourcing some suitable crown molding? I need about 15 ft or so.

I also need to figure out what paint product to spray the sheet metal sink cabinet with. Equipment isn't an issue as I have ample air (cfm/psi) and excellent guns so should be able to shoot any product. I've never sprayed metal before I'm a complete n00b, so any tips on prep regimen, primer, top coat (and clear??) feel free to share your suggestions. They'll be some Bondo touch up to the cabinet.

And I still not located a single hinge that's the same dimensions as the originals. Gulp.
Anu suggestions for sourcing hinges? Or is anyone aware of on online forum where hinge hardware stuff like this is discussed with more activity?

(and to before I get too excited ... I still have plenty of stripping left to do )
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post #51 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 04:06 PM
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I have sprayed a lot of metal

It's easier than wood because the surface is very smooth and a coat of primer is all you need to prep it. After it dries completely, sand it with 320 wet dry to eliminate pips on the surface. wipe it down with a tack cloth and now you are ready to spray. I use TSC enamel with hardener, mostly in John Deere green or gloss black BUT you can use the Majic paint in a spray can. Spray on paints are thinner, so you have to take caution that it will not run on horizontal surfaces.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #52 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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I also have a inquiry on mounting the BLUMOTION Tandem Plus slides in the base cabinet. The question is in a separate thread:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f17/m...8/#post1949970
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post #53 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 07:46 PM
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The blue cabinet top is where my microwave now resides (I have a butcher block counter top for it); I'm not sure how to increase the height to accommodate a larger microwave. Increasing the depth of the cabinet a couple inches would be easy. ... however I'd have to drop the countertop lower which would probably look odd against the sink and which would also make accessing the two flatware drawers more of a stoop. Conversely, I'd have to attack the horizontal face frame member above it, redo that cabinet's bottom shelf, and alter the length of the upper cabinet doors ...
As you know many new microwaves are now installed above the cook-top.
Maybe you can see a way to install the microwave high rather than lower.
Another consideration; if the MW unit is set on the cabinet itís considered a portable appliance. But if itís installed into the cabinet, it will most likely be considered a permanent appliance. I know you will want to take the MW with you if you paid for it.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #54 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 08:05 PM
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I'm reviewing this option again ... the base cabinet face frame's left stile is about 2-7/8" wide and the right is about 1-3/8" wide ... not sure how that would look with an overlay drawer, the right stile would be mighty narrow. Also, inside the cabinet on the right, the broom closet's stile projects travels through and projects about an inch into the space that the drawer would need to travel.
On the other hand drawers would make better use of the space. Earlier this year I sanded and refinished the floor inside the cabinet, painted the shelf, and reorganized the cabinet ... it's not easy accessing stuff packed in the back of the shelf.
If youíre custom making a drawer, it doesnít have to be a standard drawer but can be made to work in the space available. If itís a overlay drawer front for instance, it can overlay 1/2Ē on one side and a full 1Ē on the other side to give you the look you want with the drawer closed.
Also if one stile is wider than the other, you can add dimension to the existing stile. If you add add 1 1/2Ē width to the 1 3/8Ē side, you get a matching 2 7/8Ē. A good tight glue job will hide the glue line.
The drawer can be designed and installed in such a way to pass the broom closet side.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #55 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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It's easier than wood because the surface is very smooth and a coat of primer is all you need to prep it. After it dries completely, sand it with 320 wet dry to eliminate pips on the surface. wipe it down with a tack cloth and now you are ready to spray. I use TSC enamel with hardener, mostly in John Deere green or gloss black BUT you can use the Majic paint in a spray can. Spray on paints are thinner, so you have to take caution that it will not run on horizontal surfaces.
woodnthings,
Thanks for the tips.
If the cabinet has some either a.) corrosion, or b.) mild rust, what's the best way to handle that?
It's probably best to find a local supplier and who can do a color match (or has lots of colors sort of like an auto place, or house paint store?). I forgot to mention I'd like to get a durable product that's somewhat easy easy to spot touch-up down the road, if it's reasonable to do so (I realize that durability and ease of touch up are usually mutually exclusive). I'd like to steer clear of the stuff on the extreme toxic end of the spectrum like certain automobile paint formulations (one of my worst accidents was spraying a catalyzed lacquer when the correct respirator cartridges was accidentally switched).
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post #56 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
As you know many new microwaves are now installed above the cook-top.
Maybe you can see a way to install the microwave high rather than lower.
Another consideration; if the MW unit is set on the cabinet itís considered a portable appliance. But if itís installed into the cabinet, it will most likely be considered a permanent appliance. I know you will want to take the MW with you if you paid for it.

I don't have space for an upper mount. The stove hood will prevent that and there's no other available under cabinet space. (btw, I got my microwave on craigslist used so not a big deal either way).


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If youíre custom making a drawer, it doesnít have to be a standard drawer but can be made to work in the space available. If itís a overlay drawer front for instance, it can overlay 1/2Ē on one side and a full 1Ē on the other side to give you the look you want with the drawer closed.
Also if one stile is wider than the other, you can add dimension to the existing stile. If you add add 1 1/2Ē width to the 1 3/8Ē side, you get a matching 2 7/8Ē. A good tight glue job will hide the glue line.
The drawer can be designed and installed in such a way to pass the broom closet side.
Keep the ideas coming, it's making me think harder about many details!

Actually the narrow right stile on the base cabinet makes sense, I can see why the cabinet maker did that ... it retains the continuity of vertical boundaries and optical balance of stiles left-to-right when one stands back and the eye takes in the totality of the cabinetry, including the main cabinets on the rear plane behind the base cabinet.
One other alteration that's crossed my mind is to convert the two flatware drawers in the base cabinet (presently 13" wide each) into a single wide drawer as the available space there is 28" wide... (maybe with two drawer pulls to retain the look ...if the BLUMOTION Tandem Plus drawers slides don't experience problematic racking when opened with a pull from just one side of a drawer?).
I could use more flatware drawer space and one wide drawer would allow me to allocate the space for more flatware and the remaining area for utensils (I have another utensil drawer in an IKEA cabinet). With one wide drawer it might also be possible to have a 12" +/- wide inset tray, laterally sliding, on wood runners or slides, inserted in the upper half of the drawer. This could hold additional flatware or small utensils.
However the drawer opening height is only 5-1/2". I need to review the measurements, but I think with the BLUMOTION Tandem Plus side mount slides and a 3/8" drawer bottom, I'll have 3-13/16" max interior usable drawer height. That's not too much especially for the addition of a sliding tray. However, I could easily increase the drawer height by lowering the rail under the drawers maybe by 1" or 1.5" (and trimming the lower doors if I retain the doors vs. lower drawers) . I'm not sure if 5"+/- is enough workable height to include a sliding tray?
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post #57 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Where the casing is suppose to be nailed to the jamb you might take a piece of 2x4 and a heavy hammer and see if you can close the gap. Then it could be caulked.
Over the years some of my tools have died. One was a beloved Bessey 'Big Orange' assembly mallet, a huge, heavy, but soft polyurethane headed mallet with a yellow fiberglass shaft (I think another company manufactured them for Bessey) which allows you to WAIL on wood as hard as you possibly can without leaving any marks. One day when I opened my tool chest the head was in two pieces, some sort of polymer failure over time. For years I searched for a replacement but could never find one ... until recently. I got a chance to use it on the door and window jams as you suggested. I've never had occasion to do work on door or window jambs or to see it being done, so oddly the construction was always a mystery to me. Duh? Anyway it cam together a little better in spot (plus venting a bunch of dirt). Is latex caulk the bet to use to fill the gap? And is it best to do that after priming, or now on bare wood?


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Some of the doors no longer fit the openings right. You might cut them where they are aliened with the openings again. The larger gap won't matter as much as being true to the opening.
Steve are you saying that alignment of door to frame (squared up) is the most critical, and even gaps top/bottom/left/right on each door, and gap width from door to door, is less critical in the finished installation, optically?
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post #58 of 93 Old 04-16-2018, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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It’s hard sometimes to count paint layers when white is painted over white, but for the record, how many paint layers would you guess were on those cabinets?
I’m guessing you’re in a multi-level apartment and over the years, those cabinets were subjected to water from above.
Also I think one of the past tenants had access to free caulk. Ha.
I wrote 25-50, but that's likely being irrationally conservative. Could be 50-100, or more?
I found some pics from just one day several years ago showing the aftermath of a typical leak and the resultant paint job. Last pic is of a simultaneous leak on an adjacent kitchen wall, not in the cabinets. This would be repeated every few weeks. Multiply this by 90 years of abuse in a rental apt. and you'll get an idea ... there's a ton of paint on these door.
Sorry for the poor focus.
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post #59 of 93 Old 04-17-2018, 06:18 AM
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Over the years some of my tools have died. One was a beloved Bessey 'Big Orange' assembly mallet, a huge, heavy, but soft polyurethane headed mallet with a yellow fiberglass shaft (I think another company manufactured them for Bessey) which allows you to WAIL on wood as hard as you possibly can without leaving any marks. One day when I opened my tool chest the head was in two pieces, some sort of polymer failure over time. For years I searched for a replacement but could never find one ... until recently. I got a chance to use it on the door and window jams as you suggested. I've never had occasion to do work on door or window jambs or to see it being done, so oddly the construction was always a mystery to me. Duh? Anyway it cam together a little better in spot (plus venting a bunch of dirt). Is latex caulk the bet to use to fill the gap? And is it best to do that after priming, or now on bare wood?




Steve are you saying that alignment of door to frame (squared up) is the most critical, and even gaps top/bottom/left/right on each door, and gap width from door to door, is less critical in the finished installation, optically?
A lot depends on the size of the gap between the doors. If it's a 1/4" or more I would probably joint the edge of the door and apply a strip of wood to fill in the gap. Really what I was talking about is how the doors fit the cabinet. This will catch the eye of everyone that it's not like it should be. In this picture the door on the right is pretty straight with the rail above it and the door on the left may be touching the rail. I would trim it to where the gap was uniform all the way across both doors.
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post #60 of 93 Old 04-18-2018, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Right, I see your point. Yeah, after I get everything stripped and get some replacement hinges, I'll do the door fitting.
I anticipate I'll need to add some strips to fill too any gaps that are too large. Is there an issue doing this at the top and bottom of the doors (i.e. issues of grain orientation and wood movement0 vs. the face frames?
I've added some rather large (a couple inches) spacer blocks to some French doors here a few years ago and they're seamless without ever having caused any problems.
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