Week 4 - Spring 2022 ORC
Hi Friends! If you've been following along on my progress this One Room Challenge, you know my plan was to build some doors for the lower cabinets in my laundry room. Ever since I saw Stefana's office built-ins with those metal insert doors, I have wanted to build them too. I used her process to build my own version and here are the steps I followed.
MEASURE THE OPENING:
First I measured the opening for each door. I have two that are the same and one section that is partially covered by the dryer that is a larger size. The doors will be inset which means they will sit within the frame of the cabinets and not overlay on top. This is an important design decision as it will not only impact your door size (overlay would be larger than the opening since it will cover the opening entirely and overlap the frame of the cabinet some) but it also determines the type of hinge you would get to attach these doors to the cabinets.
MAKING THE CUTS:
I decided to make the doors out of primed pine easily available at my local Home Depot. I bought three 1"x3"x8', one for each door and started to cut them down to size. I decided that the vertical pieces of the door frames were going to be the entire length of the opening and the horizontal pieces would be opening width - 5" to account for the width of the vertical pieces. While measuring and cutting the wood it's important to make sure you have a sharp pencil to mark each piece but then also to draw a line at the mark using a speed square so you can line up the blade of the miter saw outside of the line to ensure the most accurate cut. I was really paranoid about having my cuts be inaccurate hence not having square doors so I was careful to measure several times and checking my cuts once I made them.
LET'S GET GROOVY:
Now this next step is probably how I would do it even if I used a plywood insert instead of the metal sheet (more details on that in a bit) but I ran each piece that I just cut over the table saw with the blade just about a quarter inch high to make a groove. If your groove isn't perfectly in the middle of each board, you'll want to make sure you keep track of the back (some of the pine boards had imperfections on one side which I considered the "back") and front of each piece making sure your groove is on the same side for all pieces.
This was a little bit of a learning process. On my first door, I made pocket holes (with my Kreg Jig) on the shorter horizontal pieces but quickly realized when I tried to put the door together, that the screws would end up right in the grooves of the vertical pieces and there would be no wood there to grab and secure the pieces together. On the next two doors I did the holes on the vertical pieces and while the screws end up poking through the groove on the vertical ones, they have enough material to bite into on the horizontals and stay secure. Be sure to use wood glue between the pieces as you screw them together for added support. I assembled the sides and the bottom of the door together and left the top undone to be able to insert the metal sheet.
I bought the decorative metal panels from Home Depot and have seen them used for radiator covers before. They come in a few colors but I chose a gold sheet with a tight pattern for my project. Right by the sheets, they had metal shears to cut these sheets which I purchased but likely could have used ordinary scissors as well. I cut down the sheet to size, ensuring that they weren't too small and would stay secure once I slid it into the groove of my door frame. Once the metal piece was inserted into the door frame, I added the top horizontal wood piece and secured it with wood glue and pocket screws.
That's it! That's how you build those doors! Once I had all three done, I took them up to the laundry room to see if they would fit in the opening. I am happy to say that all 3 fit but I am concerned that once I attach them with hinges they might be a little too snug. I may have to run one edge on the table saw to trim off just a sliver but I will evaluate that once it's time to attach them!
For now, I am thrilled with how these doors turned out and can't wait to get them all sanded, filled and painted for their final install! This was a part of the project that felt daunting to me and I am so proud that I worked through the process and figured out how to build my own cabinet doors!
Stay tuned for what's coming in week 5! We're half way through this challenge already and I can't wait to wrap this laundry room up!
As always, thanks for reading :)