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How to repair cracked kitchen cabinet door? Anyone with advice?

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Forum topic by Craftsman on the lake posted 02-20-2015 08:54 PM 2834 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Craftsman on the lake

2524 posts in 2905 days


02-20-2015 08:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: repair crack cabinet door

After two years one of my cabinet doors in the kitchen that I made has cracked. I suspect the unusually dry winter we’re having might have something to do with it. I also suspect that even thought the doors panels are floating as they should in the frame this one probably caught the edge of the glue at the rail/style miter and the corner is glued in place not allowing it to shrink/expand properly with the environment.

Particulars:
Wood: Cherry
Finish: Natural poly, no stain

So, the question is: apart from making an entirely new door and waiting for it to brown up with age to match the others what is the best way to repair the crack so that it shows the least and will not split the filler later on.

My thoughts is maybe a carefully whittled sliver to fit in and glued into it.

Anyone come across this type of thing and have experience in repairing it? I thought I’d ask so maybe I can just do it once and not make it worse. Thanks

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.


25 replies so far

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

617 posts in 1028 days


#1 posted 02-20-2015 09:06 PM

Have you tried to slide a single edge razor blade in the front and back to see if you can free up the split piece?

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2524 posts in 2905 days


#2 posted 02-20-2015 09:18 PM

yes that was the first thing I tried… then gave up. It’s not budging and blade points are breaking off.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

1196 posts in 1097 days


#3 posted 02-20-2015 09:21 PM

If you have a scrap of the cherry left, you might want to make some sawdust, mix it with wood glue, fill it and forget it.

And then you can get back to …

“The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let’s me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.”

:-)

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3868 days


#4 posted 02-20-2015 09:23 PM

My first thought would be to slice off the front piece of the rail to see if you could remove the front slice. If you could get that free you could slide out the panel. When putting it back together you glue in a filler piece that is the same as the saw cut that was removed when you sliced it.

Make sure that the saw cut doesn’t go through the visible portion of the stiles. The only visible portion of new cherry should be the very bottom of the door.

Using a sharp knife/blade to free up the the glue joint where the stile/rail intersection would be tough.

Good luck. But someone told me that if the wanted to age cherry a little faster would be to put it outside for a while and it will age faster that in the kitchen.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View jinkyjock's profile

jinkyjock

487 posts in 1042 days


#5 posted 02-20-2015 09:48 PM

Thinking along the same lines as Karson.
But perhaps try to make some kind of small “Relief” incision in the back of the door,
between the rail/stile corner and the panel.
And you can perhaps manipulate some room for panel to move back into position.
Then at least any repairs will be hidden from view and not on moulded side.
All the best.
James.

View willie's profile

willie

533 posts in 1922 days


#6 posted 02-20-2015 09:49 PM

I would cut out the backside of the dado in the rails and stiles enough to be able to remove the panel from the back of the door. After you remove the panel you can glue the piece back together and replace it in the door. You can cut new pieces to hold the panel in place and either nail or use screws to attach them to the door. That should leave the front of the door looking like the others and all your repairs are on the inside of the cabinet.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3868 days


#7 posted 02-20-2015 10:02 PM

Along the thoughts of jinkyjock do a mortise plunge in the end at the intersection of the stile/rail where you could get a 1/4 inch chisle to try and pry the piece loose. Then patch with a square plug.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2524 posts in 2905 days


#8 posted 02-20-2015 10:08 PM

I kind of like the idea(s) of removing the inner edge and either trying to squeeze the panel crack together and gluing it or if I have to completely remove the panel to fix or replace it. Great ideas everyone. Thanks!

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View NoThanks's profile

NoThanks

798 posts in 996 days


#9 posted 02-20-2015 10:30 PM

I don’t think you are going to be able to cut, slice, or anything else to free up that sliver without doing more damage to the door, in my opinion. If anything, put some glue in the crack and slide the main panel back to close the gap, if the panel will move at all. Hard to make the correct call without being able to actually see and feel it.
If it were mine, I would just mix up some lighter colored putty and fill it and color it in to match.
Cherry wood dust and glue won’t match.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1420 posts in 2332 days


#10 posted 02-20-2015 10:34 PM

I would wait until the humidity increases to see if it closes up. I have a piece of furnature that has a crack in it in the winter but by the time spring comes you can’t see the crack any more. “fixing” it when it is dry could result in something else getting cracked when the humidity returns to normal and the panel grows.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2157 days


#11 posted 02-21-2015 01:18 AM

Gluing a sliver in the crack was my first thought BUT if that panel is glued and not floating, I’m afraid it will crack or split again. Hard as it will be, I vote to ignore it and see what spring brings.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2091 days


#12 posted 02-21-2015 02:52 AM

I am thinking to bore a mortise in line with the panel on the edge of the door. This should break the glue bond. Then a careful tap tap with a dowel on the silver from the doors edge. Then just fill in the mortise

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2157 days


#13 posted 02-21-2015 03:58 AM

jumbojack for the win!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

13523 posts in 1324 days


#14 posted 02-21-2015 04:10 AM

If you want to just make a somewhat temporary fix, try some wax filler. Should be able to match the color.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View realcowtown_eric's profile

realcowtown_eric

565 posts in 1404 days


#15 posted 02-21-2015 05:46 AM

Here’s my take on the problem….

It looks like a split caused by panel shrikage,,,with the caveat that the split doesn’t seem to quite follow the grain.

Use a razor blade to cut the finish on both sides of the panel as that’s likely the adhesion points.

On the back of the panel, use a a knife edge to see if you can pry the errant piece back to closure. If you can, then all you have to do is work some glue into the crack with a$ 1.50 erasing shield.use the knife edge to hold it in place while the glue dries.

If you can’t, then the next step gets a little more damaging. Drill a 3/16ish hole on the back of the panel at the lower end of the split at ? 5/8” from the edge (just a guess) so that you can take a piece of wire clothes hanger with a tiny 90 degree bend in it (maybe 1/8”) and work it in, and then rotate it and see if you can force the errant piece back in place. If you can, then glue it as described before, let it dry, and fill the hole to hide the evidence.

The idea is that the 90 degree bend ends up between the bottom of the dado for the panel and the panel edge, and turning it will force the errant piece back to where it belongs.

I can see it working, but more importantly can you see what I mean?

My best thoughts.

Eric

-- Real_cowtown_eric

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