Customizing Cabinets

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Forum topic by Dr_Unix posted 07-22-2008 04:38 PM 1200 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dr_Unix's profile


49 posts in 4117 days

07-22-2008 04:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cabinet doors finish question

Long story short—we got hand-me-down kitchen cabinets for free.

There’s a 15 inch space over the range hood that we want to put a cabinet, but the smallest cabinet that will fit width wise is 30 inches tall. I’m confident I can reduce the size of the carcass, but I’m concerned about the doors. Anyone have any suggestions on how to reduce the height without messing up the finish?

I thought maybe I could cut out a section and glue the pieces together with biscuits or something. Like this:
Cabinet Door


8 replies so far

View gizmodyne's profile


1779 posts in 4086 days

#1 posted 07-22-2008 04:55 PM

Not to be pessimistic, but that would not work. You are trying to get a glue quality joint on a variety of profiles.

You really need to make a new door and finish it to match. You might be able to salvage some of the parts to make a simpler flat panel door, but it is probably more trouble than it is worth.

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

View Timber4fun's profile


218 posts in 3596 days

#2 posted 07-22-2008 06:34 PM

Gizmo – there is always hope. :)

Mark – I don’t think you want to cut the middle out and try to re-glue. That would not be natural. You’ll want to pull the cabinet door apart, and remove the panel. At that point you’ll want to cut the appropriate amount off one end of the panel and side pieces. At that point you’ll need to re-route the panel and side pieces on the ends that were cut off. To complete the process, you then put everything together and re-finish the areas that need it. Of course, everything will fit perfectly and the finish will be an exact match. :) All this assumes you can locate the corresponding router bits for this cabinet design. I don’t see another way around it. Others may have some good ideas for you. As Gizmo states, you might be better off starting from scratch as it may be more trouble than it is worth. Certainly worth a shot.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3724 days

#3 posted 07-22-2008 07:25 PM

if you go with what timber4fun suggested, I’d add that working on the top portion of the door might be best. Since it would be above eye level, any minor differences in fit/finish would hopefully be negligible.

View Loren's profile


10381 posts in 3644 days

#4 posted 07-22-2008 07:26 PM

Order new doors. Cutting down a Frame and panel doo will
be difficult to do well, you’ll probably break something, you
won’t have the right router bit to raise the end of the cut-off
panel, and the finish will get cracked.

You can get a couple of small doors for under $50 from a
door manufacturer and even if they don’t have the same
profiles chances are they’ll have something close and you
will be the only person who notices.

Another solution is to get some textured stained glass… opaque
glass even, and mount it is a couple of simple square door
frames. A little variety like this looks nice.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3724 days

#5 posted 07-22-2008 09:06 PM

Since I’m assuming that you are trying this on a door you have anyway and won’t be out anything if it doesn’t work, you could even modify timber4funs idea. you could pull apart the frame and take out the panel. Then cut off the top edge of the panel. Cut the rest of the panel to size, and clu the top edge back on so the “seem” is right along the routed edge. The only part of the seem that would be noticable would be about 1 inch on either sied where the routed edge is. the fram could be cut to length and reassembled using biscuits or dowels or whatever. Just some ideas assuming that a failed project won’t really cost you much. If you’ve only got one shot at this, I’d go with the more experienced members advice. LOL

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3663 days

#6 posted 07-22-2008 09:52 PM

Can you turn any of the doors sideways and get a top lift hinge? This is assuming you have more cabinets than you need.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View SteveB's profile


57 posts in 4054 days

#7 posted 07-22-2008 10:14 PM

I build cabinets for people. I don’t make my own doors, because I found a cabinet shop that can make them cheaper than I can buy just the wood.

You can probably get a custom-made unfinished door for $20-$30. I just bought a pair of raised-panel paint-grade doors for $20 each. You might pay a little more for finish grade. Sherwin Williams will help you match the finish if you ask the cabinet shop for some scraps for testing.

-- Steve B - New Life Home Improvement

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3749 days

#8 posted 07-23-2008 02:31 AM

Can you tip the door on its side?

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

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