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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice/help from the professionals on the site. Apparently I failed at flattening the material I was using to make my cabinet doors and now, when I hung them, I'm reaping the "rewards" of my lack of focus.

I have two doors for the cabinet. One door has a pretty decent bow in it from bottom to top, apparently. When I try to close the doors, the left door matches at the bottom with the right door but at the top, the right door is proud of the left. I have attached two pictures. my question is...how can I fix this even though i have it all finished and have put on multiple topcoats? I doubt I can truly "fix" the issue but I'm hoping to at least hide it when closed in some way to make the top of the left door closer to being even with the right. I have considered using a sliding barrel bolt that, when slid into place would prevent the top of the door from sliding back any further. really just looking for ways to make it appear as though everything is even when closed. don't really care how it holds together when the doors are open.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. as you can imagine, at this stage, this is super frustrating but I can only blame myself.

This picture shows the difference in the two doors:


This one shows how they are flush at the bottom:

 

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It may be salvagable but you need first to find out what the problems is. I know the doors don't fit but the cabinet may be twisted the opposite direction the door is. I would take the door off of the cabinet and lay it on a flat surface like the cast top of a table saw to establish if the door is the problem. If it is the door you might be able to strip the finish off of it and while wet twist the door to flat and let dry. If the cabinet is part of the problem sometimes you can adjust the legs to twist it back to square. It just takes a lot of tinkering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Steve,

I've placed a flat edge against the stile and found the door to be the issue. so the only real option is take it off the cabinet, strip the finish, wet the stile, and try to shape it flat presumably by clamping it to my work bench. is that the correct interpretation?

Before I do that, I'm hoping for other "ideas" that help me to trick it visually when it's closed.


Cabinetman...would the sliding barrel bolt I mentioned be an acceptable mechanical touch latch in your mind?
 

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Cabinetman...would the sliding barrel bolt I mentioned be an acceptable mechanical touch latch in your mind?
No. I was referring to hardware like this. When you close the door it pulls it in and locks. To open, touch the door and it pops open. Another choice would be to put an astragal on the right door if there is room behind.








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Steve,

I've placed a flat edge against the stile and found the door to be the issue. so the only real option is take it off the cabinet, strip the finish, wet the stile, and try to shape it flat presumably by clamping it to my work bench. is that the correct interpretation?

Before I do that, I'm hoping for other "ideas" that help me to trick it visually when it's closed.


Cabinetman...would the sliding barrel bolt I mentioned be an acceptable mechanical touch latch in your mind?
For the most part when I encounter a door that fits like that is on a antique piece of furniture. Usually it was in my shop to be refinished anyway so after stripping the finish the residue was rinsed with water and dripping wet. At that time I would clamp it on my work bench twisting it slightly the opposite direction and just let it dry. 9 times out of 10 the door fit perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the replies, guys. I solved the problem with a ball catch at the top of each door. One to prevent the top of the left door from "pushing back" and one to pull and hold the right door flush with the left.

of course this is a "fix" and is not 100% but as I said, I just want to make it look right when the doors are closed. I don't necessarily care that it is not actually perfect. I'm bummed about that but it's something only I'll know.
 

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when i encounter this problem, i try to tweak the hinges to take half of it out. then half of the twist is on one side of the door/frame. euro hinges are great here. it also shows less if you have a round over on the door edges.
 

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thanks for the replies, guys. I solved the problem with a ball catch at the top of each door. One to prevent the top of the left door from "pushing back" and one to pull and hold the right door flush with the left.

of course this is a "fix" and is not 100% but as I said, I just want to make it look right when the doors are closed. I don't necessarily care that it is not actually perfect. I'm bummed about that but it's something only I'll know.
It's good the ball catch worked. I didn't suggest it because some may not have been strong enough.







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I've had this happen with many of the doors I've made. In my case, it was because the door wasn't perfect flat to begin with. You can take it off and lay it on a perfectly flat surface (like a table saw) and see if it's flat or if it rocks.

What I did to make flatter doors:

Buy quartersawn wood if you can. Make sure you get dry wood and give it time to acclimate to your shop or house. Joint and plane it once just to square it up, then let it sit for a couple of days. Joint and plane again. After a couple more days, mill it to the final shape. I also discovered that a big part of my problem came from the way I was clamping it. Uneven clamping pressure can introduce a twist in the door that you won't see until it's hung. Switching to Bessy bar clamps helped a LOT. They keep things nice and flat. Also, make good joints so you don't need to overtighten the clamps to bring things together.
 

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I've had this happen with many of the doors I've made. In my case, it was because the door wasn't perfect flat to begin with. You can take it off and lay it on a perfectly flat surface (like a table saw) and see if it's flat or if it rocks.

What I did to make flatter doors:

Buy quartersawn wood if you can. Make sure you get dry wood and give it time to acclimate to your shop or house. Joint and plane it once just to square it up, then let it sit for a couple of days. Joint and plane again. After a couple more days, mill it to the final shape. I also discovered that a big part of my problem came from the way I was clamping it. Uneven clamping pressure can introduce a twist in the door that you won't see until it's hung. Switching to Bessy bar clamps helped a LOT. They keep things nice and flat. Also, make good joints so you don't need to overtighten the clamps to bring things together.
There are ways to minimize the possibility of twisting/warping. For those that are wanting to maintain some visual appearance and grain orientation, quarter sawn might not fit the project. For those in the business, they may not have the time to employ straightening methods, whereas an alternative to the problem might be fixed with some type of hardware.






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