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Thread: Refacing Kitchen cabinets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Leominster Mass
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    Refacing Kitchen cabinets

    Now that I am a master woodworker I would like to tackle refacing my kitchen cabinets. I was not sure what style I was going to do this in till I noticed at breakfast this morning that I liked the doors and drawers on the hutch we have in the kitchen and thought, why don't we have them match

    It looks like they are a simple frame using a tongue and grove with a center piece made of 3/4 wood routed down at the edges to 1/4 to fit into the frame.

    I can sort of guess how I am going to do this and I know there is going to be some trial and lots of error to get it right

    Looks like I will need to join pieces together to make the panels for the doors and without a jointer or planner it will be more difficult but not impossible.

    My question is what would be the best wood to use. I would like a wood that would be easy to work with but would also stand up. The cabinets do not take to much abuse. Also looking for a wood that would be fairly inexpensive, but I do not want to be cheap with it either since we will be looking at them every day.

    Your help would be much appreciated.
    Dan
    Dan Thibert
    Leominster MA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    17,472
    well are you looking at refaceing or replacing the doors? and if your replacing then once figure in your materials and time,, you might be further ahead to buy ready made doors there are many companys that sell just doors and drawers for this reason.. but if time is no object and the dollars are good then by all means make your own..as for what to use that is a question that only you and your better half can answer.. we the members here all have differnt tastes and may not be the same as yours or hers
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    St. Louis, MO
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    I suppose some of the answer depends on what finish you want. Are the hutch doors painted, stained, or finished natural? If painting, i'd go with a close grained stable wood such as poplar for the frames and a birch plywood for the panels. Of course, if the panels are raised panels instead of flat panels, plywood won't work. If they're raised panels and you'll be painting them, you might consider something like mdo or mdx (waterproof mdf). It machines and takes paint quite well. It's also dimensionally stable, so you won't need to deal with seasonal expansion/contraction.
    If you're staining or finishing the doors naturally, why not match the wood of the hutch doors? For flat panel doors, you can generally order plywood with the top veneer in a variety of choices - oak, clear pine, birch, maple, cherry, etc.
    If you really want the doors to match the hutch doors, your answer may be staring right back at you.
    If you're staining the wood, i'd recommend buying an extra length of the wood to do a series of test samples - trying different combinations of stains and finishes until you get one you feel works the best with the existing doors.
    Have fun with it.
    I had planned on doing the same until i realized how cheap and deteriorated my kitchen cabinets are. There's no saving the partical board boxes. They were cheaply made, badly installed, and abused. I'm toying with having new custom boxes made at a local cabinet shop while i make the fronts myself.
    Keep us updated on this project - should be fun to follow.
    paulh

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
    Location
    Leominster Mass
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    Replacing, I do not know all the lingo

    I know I can buy ready made doors, but they would not be my own, that would not be a a project to work on.

    There is no rush I figure I can work on a couple of doors at a time and even if it takes months no big deal. Money is an issue with us right now but I would think that if I use something like Poplar the cost would remain low. I have about 20 or so doors and 7 drawer faces. There are several different sizes so I may work on one size at a time so I can cut them together!

    I will have to figure out a better finish since I am not to happy with the water based poly I have been using. The hutch doors are stained. Maybe the Danish oil I have been hearing about? Not sure where I would get it though

    Would Poplar be a good wood to use, it seems reasonably priced and easy to work with?
    Last edited by Dan Thibert; 05-12-2009 at 02:01 PM.
    Dan Thibert
    Leominster MA

  5. #5
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    The doors are raise not flat. Of course I do not have to match the hutch exactly I could match the frame and its routered edge with a flat plywood insert? That woudl be alot easier and less expensive and still look good?
    Dan Thibert
    Leominster MA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    can you get us a pic of what you have and then we could do better in making suggestions popular isnt much for staining in my opinion its more paint grade lumber and in some places its not cheap. where as the oak or cherry or maple is more the norm for cab doors.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
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    Mar 2009
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    Leominster Mass
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    My wife said she will take a couple fo pics this afternoon and I will post them. I thought about it this morning and quickly forgot, it is tough getting old
    Dan Thibert
    Leominster MA

  8. #8
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    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
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    Dan

    This is the cabinet I built for my Dad to go over his washer & dryer it has frame & panel doors the are made of red alder with a 1/4" birch panels. I used a table-saw, jointer, planer & shaper. I don't envy you trying to make doors like this without any one of these tools these were my first doors of this type & even with the right tools it was a struggle with many mistakes. With out the proper tooling I would probably buy the doors. Balance out the costs of a jointer, planer & if you don't have one a router table against the cost of buying the doors.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dad's Cab.jpg  
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 05-12-2009 at 02:58 PM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  9. #9
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    Mar 2009
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    Leominster Mass
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    My wife took the pics, here they are.

    She took two pics of the hutch and one of the current doors on our cabinets.

    Thanks
    Dan
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hutch.JPG   Door.JPG   Kitchen.JPG  
    Dan Thibert
    Leominster MA

  10. #10
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    Apr 2009
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    Dan , take one of the doors apart. Then you will know who to put them together.

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