I screwed up some cabinet doors, now how do I fix 'em? [long]


A month or so ago I made up & installed kitchen cabinetry using Tasmanian Oak floorboards; I've made quite a few cabinets in the past but always using floating panels, never out of floorboards, so it's all been a "work-it-out as I go" experience. The carcasses were fully framed out and I am /very/ happy with the result but with recent changes in weather the doors have developed a 5mm outward bow in the centre... and I'm not sure on the best method to fix 'em.
The floorboards (110x20mm) were acclimatised in the house for some 6 months before I layed 'em, the leftovers used for the cabinets. I anticipated some expansion when constructing and instead of clamping the boards together I simply snug-fitted them by hand before jointing but obviously I didn't allow enough. To exacerbate things, I tung oiled the outside surfaces of everything but hadn't gotten around to oiling the inside of the doors. [sigh] I was waiting for certain appliances to be installed before I made the 100 mile trip back on-site...
As I wanted to minimise the door thickness but also needed extra strength (some are 800mm wide) I simply planed waste boards down to 70x5mm and used 'em as stretchers & diagonal braces inside of the doors @ about 10cm from top & bottom, much like a basic gate. Secured with 2x15mm screws and a dab of PVA to ea individual floorboard.
I'm wondering if I can remedy the problem by simply (as simple as it can be, anyway) replacing the stretchers & braces with 15 or 20mm boards instead. That brings me back to movement, particularly shrinkage, come next Summer. Summers here tend to be low-humidity over-all, although we do have the odd muggy day. Should I snug-fit the boards as before or should I clamp 'em instead?
Or can someone suggest some other alternative for safely jointing the floorboards so they'll neither bow again or sag over a 800mm hang?
FWIW, these repairs will be out of my own pocket. The client is happy with 'em as they are, probably 'cos I gave him a very good price. It's my own pride that's been affronted here...
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- Andy
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I'd wait for your heating season to start, let the inserts dry out and straighten, then seal the inside surfaces.
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Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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Rumpty wrote:

...top posting repaired...

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That won't help much, if any--an oil finish is almost worthless from the standpoint of stopping moisture...
The construction you describe will simply bow from one direction to the other as the seasons change...when they face boards swell, they'll stand proud; when they shrink they'll pull in. Eventually the glue will fail, but if there is no slop in the mounting it'll still bow. The only way to do something like this will be to have a stable back batten and leave sufficient initial gap to cover expansion and a loose enough slot for the screws to allow for movement. There's no real difference between what you tried and a end piece on a tabletop...
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On Sun, 26 Jun 2005 20:19:21 +1000, "Andy McArdle"

Did the stretchers separate from the floor boards or did the stretchers bow with the doors? If the stretcher bowed, I would think that stiffer stretchers might solve the problem. Did you have screws in each floor board or just on the ends? Depending on the width of the floor boards you might want to add some screws through the stretchers into each floor board or maybe every other one. If I was screwing the stretcher on, I would drill holes in the stretcher larger than the shank of the screw to allow for movement between the stretcher and the floor board. I wouldn't use any glue between the stretcher and the floor boards and I probably wouldn't clamp them up.
Mike O.
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Thanks for the feedback guys.
Methinks I'll try replacing the stretchers with thicker ones and make what allowances I can for movement. Not that I really have much choice... <G>
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- Andy
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