Craftsman Bungalow Restoration #22: Custom Refrigerator Panels 2

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Blog entry by gizmodyne posted 04-17-2009 05:24 PM 5954 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 21: Custom Refrigerator Panels 1 Part 22 of Craftsman Bungalow Restoration series Part 23: Making Kitchen Cabinets: Overview Design Phase »

Fitting the doors
The doors are held on with a piece of metal trim that protrudes from the sub door of the fridge.

I decided to use a method where a 1/4” backer board is inserted into the trim and then my doors are screwed into place from the back.

I soon realized it is much easier to fit my doors when the fridge doors have been removed and are laying flat.

In the above picture I had already fit the freezer door. I did not take photos of this but you will see the entire process on the upper doors.

I reattached the door to the fridge box.

You can see a center line in the above picture. I sized the freezer door with the desired side reveal of a 1/4.

Aligning the beadboard
My goal was to align the beadboard of the upper doors to the freezer door. When I built the upper doors I made them roughly half the size of the lower door. Each door contains a full piece of beadboard that I could reference to the center line of the freezer door.

Here are both untrimmed fridge doors resting on the installed freezer door. The centers and horizontals are perfectly aligned, but the edges are too wide on the uppers.

I marked the overhang.

Then I trimmed the edge.

I had earlier built a prototype door (basic frame cut to exact size).

Based on the new reference edge of the outside, I came back and trimmed the interior edges for the size of the prototype.

Installing backer panel
I cut 1/4” baltic birch to the specified size.

I then persuaded the panel into place.

Note: Unsafe stool standing.

Rabbeting the doors
The doors are rabbeted to create a 1/8” relief. This allows them to recess into the panel. I set up a single flat bottom blade and carefully nibbled the distances.


Rabbeted doors. Rabbet on top, bottom and right edge.

Then I held the pieces on temporarily with clamps…

... to check the reveal…

Looking good.

Next time
I fancy up the backer board and start finishing. Plus making stainless steel trim go bye bye.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

6 comments so far

View Partridge's profile


296 posts in 4131 days

#1 posted 04-17-2009 05:53 PM


-- I get out in the shop when I can

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4274 days

#2 posted 04-17-2009 09:38 PM

Hey Giz, you’re doing a great job it looks totally pro. Your techniques and process look pro too.

I would recommend that you finish the backside even though it is not seen. I have noticed in my remodeling that this helps prevent projects like yours from cupping. An even finish on all sides helps alleviate this issue.

This is something that I noticed in old work that I usually demo. I always pay attention to what lasts over time and what does not.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4265 days

#3 posted 04-17-2009 11:39 PM

Thanks guys.

Todd, I am going to give the back a coat or two of shellac, but not stain and poly. This is what I did for the dishwasher panel. What do you think?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4274 days

#4 posted 04-18-2009 01:26 AM

Now that you say that, didn’t I bring this up on the dishwasher cover?

It does not need stain on the back, the color does not need to match where it is not seen. I would skip the shellac and put the poly on, it actually offers the protection and adhesion will not be a problem for this wood. The color does not need to match where it is not seen.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4172 days

#5 posted 04-18-2009 08:27 AM

Wow – you’re still at it! Looks like you’ve been doing a lot of good work!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3848 days

#6 posted 12-24-2009 07:31 PM

This a great blog.

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