Display Cabinet Repair Completed

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Project by Greg3G posted 11-17-2007 10:09 PM 2523 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, after a couple of frustrating things happening. I have completed this foot in mouth project.

After closer inspection and the fact that I would have to patch a section of the top, I ended up sanding down the finish to bear wood. Yes, I know I could have done that with chemical strippers but I chose to sand for a number of reasons: 1st, its not a messy, 2nd, I didn’t want to take the chance the stripper would drip on to any area that I didn’t want to refinish and lastly, it was really just faster and less expensive.

For the toe kick, I filled the chips up to the level of the bottom of the veneer. A couple of them were rather deep. I just sanded them down as well, stained and a couple coats of poly.I also sanded down the face of the doors and the shelves. The one door needed a patch and the scratches on the shelves were just too deep to touch up. Everything went rather well until last night.

When I started to reinstall the glass on the doors, my fat fingers struck again. I angled the nail too steeply and hit the glass. Yep, it broke. I had to go out and get a replacement and the only place open just happened to be the most expensive place in town. Oh well.

All in all, I am pretty pleased with the way it came out. The grain really came out and it looks much better now than it did at the start.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

13 comments so far

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4955 days

#1 posted 11-17-2007 10:15 PM

looks like a big improvement to me well done

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1427 posts in 4949 days

#2 posted 11-17-2007 10:21 PM

Wow, looks great! A beautiful repair job!

-- -- --

View Karson's profile


35273 posts in 5475 days

#3 posted 11-17-2007 10:56 PM

Greg Great Job. You did a fine match on the patch on the door.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5065 days

#4 posted 11-17-2007 11:29 PM

Wow Greg, this really turned out nice! And I see you didn’t take any shortcuts either. I’ll bet the Doc is pleased!

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5293 days

#5 posted 11-18-2007 12:25 AM

Great job! Now you have to hope he doesn’t have some more dilapidated pieces hidden away somewhere that he’ll want you to refurbish.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View 's profile

593 posts in 5046 days

#6 posted 11-18-2007 12:40 AM

You did a fantastic job Greg. Even if the cabinet it’s not a beauty in itself you refinished the piece perfectly, specially with the missing parts you matched. After seeing the initial pictures it seemed impossible to make it look like new again. But I have to agree with Charlie: maybe you did too good of a job and now you’ll find a new crappy piece awaiting for you next time!

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 5069 days

#7 posted 11-18-2007 12:48 AM

Real nice job, Greg. Did you brush or spray that poly on it? It turned out great.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 5160 days

#8 posted 11-18-2007 04:15 AM

Thanks ALL, I appreciate the nice comments. I will probably get a dining room table next. It has scratches in the clear finish from a chaffing dish being pulled across it without a pad. I have looked at it and the scratches don’t go down to the wood, they are just in the clear finish but they are pretty deep. I plan on filling the scratches with gloss poly and buffing the top out. I don’t mind taking on the junk, just as long as it’s real wood. I refuse to work on particle board peices, they aren’t worth the trouble.

Thank Tom, I did several coats of wipe on glossy poly…then wet sanded to 2000 grit, a little buffing compound and finally a good coat of wax. I probably spent more time on this than it was worth. I could have probably built one in the amount of time it took to refurbish this one. As I pointed out in the first post, it has more sentimental value than the actual value of the cabinet.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View slaphitter's profile


50 posts in 5000 days

#9 posted 11-18-2007 04:57 AM

That’s funny – I have an almost identical cabinet sitting my my garage awaiting a refurb. Nice job.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5140 days

#10 posted 11-18-2007 08:47 AM

Great job Greg, sometimes touch ups or patches can be harder than the original build.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 5160 days

#11 posted 11-26-2007 07:20 AM

Well today was delivery day, the good Dr. and his wife (also a Dr.) were out for the holiday. When he walked up, he anounced that the peice was going to be put in the formal living room. (not really a high traffic area.) Once I pulled it to the end of the truck and started to show him the repairs and he saw the finish, he changed his mind. It was now back in his office. He didn’t want the kids to damage it again. He loved it. I carried it in by myself (I wanted to make sure that nothing was damaged and it didn’t weigh that much.) and installed the doors and the shelves. He keep commenting on how well it looked, and was I sure that it was mahogany veneer, and how did you fix the chips…etc…etc. I answered all his questions and we discussed what was next, the dinning room table top. I’ll pick that up on Wednesday.

We then got down to price. When I had originally talked to him about all the things that needed to be fixed, I had told him I normally charge $90 per hour (which I do when building custom peices) and that I would give him a rate of $45 per hour, since he did such a good job on my shoulder. He seemed happy with the price and that’s what I charged him on the previous two peices. But I broke my own rule on this one, I put more time in the piece than it was worth. I put about $600 in time on this one, I could have built him a new one for less and it would have been easier, but this had senimental value to him. I told him that it wouldn’t be fair of me to charge him on an hourly rate on this one, yes I did tell him about the $600. I then said, let call it $350, and he whipped out his check book and I have never seen anyone write out a check so quickly.

Just as I was getting ready to leave his wife pulled up, she had been to the store. While I was still chatting with her husband, she had carried in a few bags and took a look at the cabinet. She came out all smiles. She was very happy with the work. Her smile quickly faded when she was told that the dining room table was next, but I assured her that I would have it back quickly. It only need a couple of scraches in the clear finish filled in and the top rubbed out.

The next trip, I am going to start to ask them to pass my name along to friends if they are pleased with my work. I guess I had better start getting business cards printed :-) I by no means want to turn this into a full time job, but it will help build up shop tools with out taking the money from the household budget. Its nice to have a hobby that pays for itself and since I suck at golf, this will have to do. :-)

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5235 days

#12 posted 11-26-2007 02:11 PM

well done :)
if you are getting them to pass your name on, make sure they understand what this normally would cost or everyone will be wanting the work at your discounted price.

Congratulations on the smile from the customer!! :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Michael J's profile

Michael J

103 posts in 4282 days

#13 posted 04-27-2010 02:02 AM

Wow! Very well done

-- Mike Minneapolis, MN

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