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How to Install Inset Cabinet Doors

Create the perfect fit by trimming one side at a time

A good set of cabinets is the hallmark of a craftsman. In this "Master Carpenter" article, woodworker Scott Gibson describes how to get a perfect fit installing inset cabinet doors. Gibson begins by establishing the bottom reveal of the door; he recommends a low-angle jack plane to smooth the bottom of the door. Next, he fits the door in the opening, making sure that the door fits but not paying attention to whether it is square. Gibson says that once the door and cabinet are made, it's more important to deal with what's there than to fuss with square. To adjust the fit of the door, Gibson uses a jointer or similar plane. He trims the top in two steps to minimize the risk of removing too much material. The goal is to get a tight fit first, then mount the hinges and locate the strike. Then it's time to make final adjustments and hang the door. This article includes sidebars on troubleshooting fitting problems, using a board jack, and working with low-angle block planes.

Online Video Extra:  How to Fit Inset Cabinet Doors

From Fine Homebuilding226 , pp. 64-69 March 8, 2012