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Trimming the bottom of a kitchen cabinet door

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[OP]
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Dec 18, 2002
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Trimming the bottom of a kitchen cabinet door

What's the best way to trim 5-7 mm off the bottom of a kitchen cabinet door?
It's solid wood.
What are the proper tools to DIY perfectly straight and no splinters?
I have a circular saw and a jigsaw too.
I've used the circular saw and some clamps to do the bottom of a full size door. With some painters tape the cut was pretty clean but it was more than a few millimeters.
With this cabinet door if feel it needs a different approach.
A wood planer maybe?
24 replies
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Nov 21, 2013
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a table saw would be the best tool IMHO to safely make a cleanstraight cut, espeicially for a few mm. My guess is you won't be able to do a 5-7 mm cut with a jigsaw or a circular saw

Wood planer is to straighten the tickness of a plank, not to make cuts
[OP]
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DoorCrasher wrote: a table saw would be the best tool IMHO to safely make a cleanstraight cut, espeicially for a few mm. My guess is you won't be able to do a 5-7 mm cut with a jigsaw or a circular saw

Wood planer is to straighten the tickness of a plank, not to make cuts
Thanks. So a wood planer wouldn't be able to remove a few millimeters? Never used one but definitely cheaper to buy than a table saw.
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Sep 5, 2011
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Toronto
cil254 wrote: Thanks. So a wood planer wouldn't be able to remove a few millimeters? Never used one but definitely cheaper to buy than a table saw.
You can certainly use a planer to remove a few mm but if you have never use one before, I would suggest that you find another method or a friend.

To get good result from a hand plane is not easy for a newbie. Especially the cheaper hand plane you can find at your local big box store. It can be very frustrating.
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Nov 21, 2013
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cil254 wrote: Thanks. So a wood planer wouldn't be able to remove a few millimeters? Never used one but definitely cheaper to buy than a table saw.
renting can be a solution... Your best bet can be a friend.
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Nov 17, 2012
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You might consider returning the planer and taking the door to a cabinet maker to get it done.

If the door is a solid wood frame with inset panel, then the planer would work providing there is no end grain to be planed. It depends on how the door is made - how the corners are designed. Chances are it's fine but you can't just take a planer to it without knowing.

The big question is why? Is this the right solution to whatever the problem is?
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Feb 7, 2017
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torontotim wrote: You might consider returning the planer and taking the door to a cabinet maker to get it done.

If the door is a solid wood frame with inset panel, then the planer would work providing there is no end grain to be planed. It depends on how the door is made - how the corners are designed. Chances are it's fine but you can't just take a planer to it without knowing.

The big question is why? Is this the right solution to whatever the problem is?
This

Yes … more info would be helpful here
[OP]
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Dec 18, 2002
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PointsHubby wrote: This

Yes … more info would be helpful here
I can't tilt my fridge enough for the doors to shut properly because of the the doors of the cabinets above the fridge.
I need to lift the front a bit more.
The doors are constrained at the top too.
I pulled the fridge out and tilted it back more and it works great. Unfortunately the space under the cabinets is a bit too tight.
It's not the end of the world but a bit if an annoyance. We often find one door slightly open because someone forgot to push it shut.
I should add that there is still abit more space to raise the fridge where it needs to be but then the caninet doors can't open .
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Feb 7, 2017
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cil254 wrote: I can't tilt my fridge enough for the doors to shut properly because of the the doors of the cabinets above the fridge.
I need to lift the front a bit more.
The doors are constrained at the top too.
I pulled the fridge out and tilted it back more and it works great. Unfortunately the space under the cabinets is a bit too tight.
It's not the end of the world but a bit if an annoyance. We often find one door slightly open because someone forgot to push it shut.
I should add that there is still abit more space to raise the fridge where it needs to be but then the caninet doors can't open .
Thanks for the pic
As they say worth a 1000 words

Although you did also provide a good explanation for the WHY

Based on the pic alone, i think those cabinet door bottom rails are probably sturdy enough to withstand any cutting

As long as your finished door covers all the cabinet facings behind the door front … I think this is a good solution

Also better for your fridge if it too is more level, and has a bit more breathing room up top
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cil254 wrote: I can't tilt my fridge enough for the doors to shut properly because of the the doors of the cabinets above the fridge.
I need to lift the front a bit more.
The doors are constrained at the top too.
I pulled the fridge out and tilted it back more and it works great. Unfortunately the space under the cabinets is a bit too tight.
It's not the end of the world but a bit if an annoyance. We often find one door slightly open because someone forgot to push it shut.
I should add that there is still abit more space to raise the fridge where it needs to be but then the caninet doors can't open .
Any chance you can just forego using the cabinet? Or maybe store things that you use 1-2 times a year up there instead and pull out the fridge when you need to access?

Seems a lot easier than trimming and refinishing cabinet doors.
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Jun 26, 2019
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cil254 wrote: I can't tilt my fridge enough for the doors to shut properly because of the the doors of the cabinets above the fridge.
I need to lift the front a bit more.
The doors are constrained at the top too.
I pulled the fridge out and tilted it back more and it works great. Unfortunately the space under the cabinets is a bit too tight.
It's not the end of the world but a bit if an annoyance. We often find one door slightly open because someone forgot to push it shut.
I should add that there is still abit more space to raise the fridge where it needs to be but then the caninet doors can't open .
Seeing as you are DIY and generally looking at buying new tools I would stay away from planning it. Your stile likely goes top to bottom, so I think the larger risk here besides focusing on getting a nice crisp cut, is worrying about blow out on the end.

If you have a circ saw, I would likely just recommend buying a nice 40 tooth fine finish blade, clamping a straight edge to the door to guide the saw, taping your cut surface, and putting a sacrificial piece at the end to stop blow out. That's probably your cheapest way. Also, you can make a cheap track saw jig for your circ saw just by gluing two pieces of ply together - it shows you exactly where the cut will be and helps stop tear out.

Other tools that come to my to do this job are:

1 - Just a sander or sanding - it may take a while to get that much material removed, but it will do the job eventually.
2 - Router - same idea is the saw, straight edge and ride along it.
3 - Table Saw.
4 - Track Saw.

Thats basically least expensive to most expensive.

As others have said, really just taking it to a cabinet shop is probably equal cost or less to buying anything.
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May 30, 2005
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Toukolou wrote: Any chance you can just forego using the cabinet? Or maybe store things that you use 1-2 times a year up there instead and pull out the fridge when you need to access?

Seems a lot easier than trimming and refinishing cabinet doors.
Basically this... Most people I know don't use those cabinets anyways.
[OP]
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Thanks. Sounds like the cabinet shop is the best option. I like to DIY but in this case the risk to botch it is high. If anyone has any recommendations in the GTA west let me know.
[OP]
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Jon Lai wrote: Basically this... Most people I know don't use those cabinets anyways.
We use it almost daily :)
It has all thin and tall vertical compartments where we store baking sheets, trays, cutting boards and all that sort of stuff.
Sr. Member
Jan 21, 2011
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GTA
There should be about a 1” above your fridge for ventilation. How hard would it be to remove cabinet above? Maybe reconfigure it to just shelves as someone suggested. Otherwise the right way would be to take the door apart cut the sides and middle panel smaller, cabinet needs to be cut smaller either way as well. Do you know who supplied the cabinets?

If you go this route, go like 73” to bottom of cabinet from finished floor and add a matching valance to bring it back down if too much of a gap, valance can be adjusted to suit your needs.
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Feb 7, 2017
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cil254 wrote: We use it almost daily :)
It has all thin and tall vertical compartments where we store baking sheets, trays, cutting boards and all that sort of stuff.
Then ya know … that sort of storage over the fridge isn’t uncommon without doors
That will make your life easier

Actually there are lots of examples of different open storage solutions for these often found awkward cupboards
GOOGLE for ideas
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Oct 2, 2018
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I do a lot of work at home myself, however you have a very nice cabinet and messing that up will peave you off for years. On top you'll have to go get the mess fixed up.

I would suggest due to the downside go to a kitchen cabinet maker show him that pic and describe what you need done. He would have all the proper tools and do it right, can even repaint the doors whether just touch up or all.

If you wish to do yourself then table saw is the right tool.

Alternately you can rig up a jig and go Circular saw with a fine tooth blade. Not too fine as I do not wish to burn the piece as I cut, not too rough as I dont want to tear but rather smooth cut.

I know I could do the circular saw route and jig without too much worry myself, dont know your handyman skill and if you have the right blade and jig to match the application. A jig can be az simple as a straight edge (level) and two clamps one on each end. Tape the surface and edges first to help with marring and chipping, cut from the underside (flip piece over) to reduce any potential chipping due to counterclockwise rotation of the blade itself.
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Sep 25, 2003
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I don't see it mentioned, but have you tried lowering the fridge as much as possible ? Even tilting the rear slightly higher to bring the fridge doors down.
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Jan 11, 2017
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There are many ways to solve this problem, if you don't have paint then cut the top with a table saw, lightly sand the edges and paint with something close (you can get colour matched sample sized paint at most stores). Then move the door up. The best way would be to take equal amounts off the top and bottom, but then the paint issue.

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