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Office Cabinet #12: Whew... Hanging the Doors

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Blog entry by Tom posted 06-01-2021 06:04 PM 405 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Raised Door Panels Part 12 of Office Cabinet series Part 13: An Interesting Top »

I was really sweating the door hanging process. I have never hung doors that are inset. The other cabinet doors that I have made were overlay type of doors with adjustable hinges. I really took my time on this part of the project.

There are two very good Youtube videos from Paul Sellers and I pretty much followed that process with a couple exceptions. I used the router plane to finish off the hinge mortise. I found that this was more precise and gave me a cleaner mortise and I was able to tweak the depth of the mortise. It is a little bit challenging to use the router on a 3/4” wide surface, but it still works well with a sensitive touch. Also, I was careful to ft my doors so they had a gentle tight fit in the frame. This really helped when it was time to mark the mortise locations on the case. Here are the links to the Youtube videos:

Door Fitting

Door Hanging

I finished up the doors with glue up and sawing off the excess. Before final assembly, I sanded the bevels on the raised panel which cleaned up any rough edges and prepared the surface for finishing later. I also sawed off the excess on the stiles.

Then I cleaned up the ends and leveled the joints with the plane. I always love to see those joints after they are cleaned up.

I left about 1/16” all the way around the door for fitting. That is probably a bit too much, but I was worried about the inset and having enough to work with in case something was out of square or just plain out of whack. The rest of the door fitting process just followed the method from Paul Sellers. If you plane a leading edge as he directs, you can get a nice fit in the case frame. FYI, I allowed my doors to rest for a week in the shop before I started the fitting and hanging process. I wanted them to be as stable as possible and to make sure that they did not develop a twist or warp. They did twist very slightly, but I will compensate for it with the hanging and some light planing.

I recommend a very sharp hand plane. You should get some curls of end grain which will give you very nice control of the process. I mostly used a jack plane with a straight sharpened blade for this. I have better luck getting straight sides with a longer plane.

Then I hinged and hung the doors in the same way as Paul Sellers directs except I brought in the router plane. I don’t have the chisel control that Paul has, but I try to get as close as I can with the chisel before using the router plane. FYI, after the first mortise was complete, I did not reset the router plane so that every mortise was the same depth.

By the way, my hinges are from Horton Brasses. They have some very nice brass hinges for cabinets, but they are a little bit pricey. After all the effort on this cabinet, I was willing to pay a bit more for quality hinges. They send both steel and brass screws. It’s great to have the steel screws for the initial installation. I have had trouble with breaking brass screws on other projects and that is a real drag. Also, I will switch to slotted screws on the final install.

I have to say that it is a lot of back and forth screwing in the hinges while you fit the doors, so the steel screws are a life saver. The brass would not stand up to the abuse, at least not for me.

I plan to add a third hinge to each door for looks and for stability to help keep alignment. I am happy with the result. I will tweak the gap around the doors before I finish.

Now I can move on to a top, base and an adjustable shelf. Whew, that was nerve-racking…. :)

-- Tom



4 comments so far

View Arcola60's profile

Arcola60

118 posts in 3547 days


#1 posted 06-02-2021 11:07 AM

Thank you Tom. A really good practical approach that is so helpful. As I move forward, I have incorporated most of these techniques into my work. I have not made any inset doors yet.

Your and Paul Sellers methods make perfect sense.

Ellery

View Tom's profile

Tom

289 posts in 1054 days


#2 posted 06-02-2021 11:19 AM

Hi Ellery – Thanks for the nice comments. Being systematic gives me the best results. Paul Sellers is the king of systematic woodworking. I tend to be more rough and tumble like Roy Underhill, but most times being systematic gives the best results, but not the fastest for me. :)

-- Tom

View Arcola60's profile

Arcola60

118 posts in 3547 days


#3 posted 06-02-2021 03:44 PM

You are very welcome. He is the king of systematic woodworking. I started out being rough and tumble, still am at times. I am learning to be more patient with hand tool work. It has helped me very much, and actually increased my productivity.

I am recently retired. In the process of building the fully functional shop of my dreams. It has been a long journey. I am looking forward to the next chapter. Now I will be able to accomplish projects that I could never do, due to space restrictions. I am very excited. I always look forward to seeing what you create and how your work.

Thank you

View Tom's profile

Tom

289 posts in 1054 days


#4 posted 06-02-2021 05:19 PM

I think woodworking will be a great hobby for retirement. It’s also great before retirement if you don’t mind taking 10x as long to finish a project. I still have a couple years to go, but I’m getting close. :)

-- Tom

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