I'm thinking of adding a couple of doors to a shop cabinet. One thought I
had was simply to install hinges, and cut the door out of a piece of 5/8 or
3/4 plywood. If I install the hinges first, then I don't have to mess with
holding the door in place after it's cut. (I'll remove the hinges to cut
A jigsaw would probably be used to make the cuts, it'll give me a smooth
and square finish.
Would this work, or do I need to cut the door out first?
I usually just use a straight board held to the cabinet with spring clamps.
This gives me a ledge to set the door on while I position it and screw the
hinges to the case (I fasten the hinges to the door before installing the
For cabinets that don't have anything to grip to, I often use spacer blocks
from the trim below or whatever.
the only problem with this method, and i've only used it on fence gates,
not cabinets, is that the hinges will not be pre loaded, and thus the
door (gate) drops a bit when you cut it out. If you can figure out a
way to offset this slack, then it'll work fine.
remove the "not" from my address to email
Nothing humourous was meant... I want to cut the doors right out of the
same piece of ply used for the rest of the cabinet, and thought mounting
the hinges first and then removing them before cutting the door out would
make assembly easier.
Plus, the spacing around the door would be equal on all sides, since it's
just a saw kerf wide.
Just wanted to ask before I took all the time to set this up and cut the
pieces out. When it seems this easy, it's often a good idea to ask about
The "gotcha" with a jig saw is a "start point", for the first cut, and
at each corner ... you normally have to drill a hole in order to start
the cut, which ruins either door (cutoff), or the frame around the door.
What you want to do is known as a "plunge cut". There are a couple of
ways to do this with a circular saw, and a guide rail with built in
"stops", also best done with the circular blade at full extension. You
can then use a jig saw to cut to the corners cleanly.
Hate to mention it, but I use a Festool TS75 to do this very thing for
making doors and windows for chicken coops:
Scroll on down and you can see how the doors and windows are framed and
hinged, so that the siding lines up, using the plunge cut "cutouts"
Better shot of the plunge cut setup in case you can't scroll to it:
Keep six of them around all the time, all the same height no matter
which side up ... the uses to which they can be put is limited only by
Worth giving up a bit of limited shop space many times over.
I think I even have Leon making some now. ;)
I wish I could attribute it to being observant. I think I'm just too
Seriously, I find I often get too caught up in the process instead of
the results. Not that the results suffer, but it often makes the process
less enjoyable. So when I look at a picture of something someone made,
my brain tends to gravitate towards "how did he do that and would it
make my process more efficient?" before actually admiring the product.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
??? Can't say I have ever had a problem with a finish sticking to any
thing to the point that it was a problem... Then again my finishes go on
thin and absolutely with out runs. I use Gel varnishes and can varnish
one side. immediately flip it and put it down on the work surface to do
the other side.
When, during Texas summers? Waterlox takes 15 minutes to dry to the
touch, but I wouldn't dream of tipping a freshly finished piece on a
finished side even then. Are you talking about cabinet sides which
will be screwed together?
You never hear anyone say, 'Yeah, but it's a dry cold.'
-- Charles A. Budreau
Any time of year and any piece, cabinet sides inner and outer sides,
door fronts and backs, totally covered in one application per coat.
Now mind you I don't let them stay against a particular flat surface
while curing, only during application.
After application I typically stand them up on the floor and leaning up
against an object to let there be full ventilation on all sides. I
might be working on 15~20 pieces at one time.
By the same token, dust is really not an issue either.
You should give gel stains and varnishes a try. Old Masters is a pretty
good brand, read and follow the directions on the can.
Or basically, apply how ever you want to do so and wipe off
"immediately". 10 or so minutes later wipe again with a fresh clean
cloth. Let dry 4~8 hours and repeat 2 or more times.
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