Saturday, July 19, 2008

Worst Doors Ever!

Ugh! What a nightmare. I’m not sure where I went wrong, but these cabinet doors are not working. Unfortunately, I have so much invested in them (More time than money) that I must make them work. First they were too narrow, and, if the truth be told, and bit crooked. Fixing these issues took a lot of time.

I knew they were too narrow because I cut the rails a little short. Even before I glued them up I fit them in place and saw the problem. What surprised me was that they were a little crooked. The trick to making sure they are square is to measure the two opposing diagonals. I did that and they all came out at 42-inches. I think maybe as I tightened the clamps at the end something slipped. I’m not sure, but they needed to be fixed.

I trimmed the two ends to square them up. Its not so much that it will be noticeable, but it was time consuming. My table saw is not big enough so I had to do this with a straight edge and template bit on the router. It is a lot of clamp-trim-fit-clamp-trim-fit-clamp-trim-fit. Before you know it, half of your life has gone by.

I decided to put a 1/8-inch bead around the edges to make up for them being too narrow. Its called an 1/8th-inch bead but its actually a ¼-inch wide. I think the 1/8th-inch is the radius or something. Anyway, what I ended up with was more like 5/16th-inch wide trim around the edges. This ends up adding 5/8th-inch to the total width and height. This means I need to trim even more. Very, very time consuming.

To make matters worse, I installed the panels before doing all of this. With the panels in, these doors are kind of heavy and the back of the door where the panel is kept getting hung up on the edge of the router table. It just did not go smoothly at all.

Noooooooow I have them straight and with the bead on and they are a little too big. I’m talking very little here. One fits in the opening and will stay there with not visible means of support. It’s a little too snug. The other is equally as snug in width but won’t even go in the opening for height. Like I said, it’s a disaster.

So tomorrow I’m going to plane down the hinge side and bit and install the hinges and then I will plane down the other three sides until I get a nice fit. I’ll just keep 40 watt bulbs in the ceiling fixture and maybe know one will notice.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you about the spinning blade of death {No, its not a Buffy thing}


Gary said...

You know, if it gets too troublesome you can always do what the Victorians did and make the doors out of beadboard! They would at least match the wainscoating!

Greg said...

Well sure, and in fact I did beadboard cabinets in the kitchen for the lowers. That style is very appropriate for the kitchen, scullery, or butler's pantry. It would not be appropriate for formal rooms of the house, though.

Its not that its too troublesome. This was a learning experience and that is what it was really designed for.

I did not want to be making the raised panel cabinet doors for the dining room without getting more experience in doing it. Butchering store bought fir is one thing, but doing that to burl and curly redwood would be another.

The real lesson learned here is that I need more practice. I was going to do solid panel doors for the butler's pantry side of the dining room. Now, I think I'll do more of these exact same doors. This will give me 3 more tries to get it right before I move on to the dining room side.