Pantry Door Rehab (and relapse)

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  March 19, 2014 — 6 Comments

When I posted last week about my new DIY pantry doors one reader commented that I might consider adding another hinge to help support the weight of the doors. Sure enough, she was right. After about a week of use the doors became a bit more difficult to use because they had shifted slightly and were rubbing up against each other at the top. See how there’s a visible gap between the doors in this photo of the lower half?

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Then up at the top the gap disappears and at the very top they actually touch. They were still functional but just a little bit less amenable to opening and closing smoothly.

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So here was my genius idea. Working one door at a time, I used scrap wood and shims to adjust it just slightly. The doors were already technically level before, but each one tilted the bubble towards the very edge of the little rectangle so I just tried to get the bubble closer to center. Also since I could open and close the other door I checked to make sure it was achieving the desired effect up top.

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When I had it right where I wanted it I installed a hinge centered between the top and bottom.

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I thought I understood how hinges work but found attaching them to doors that were already installed a bit tricky. I kind of swiss-cheesed this door trying to get it right.

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It took me maybe an hour to complete the process on both doors. Finally I removed the scrap wood, stepped back to admire my handiwork, and, uh, it looked exactly the same as it had before.

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I’m kind of at a loss. I rubbed a bit of dish soap on the parts of the doors that rub against one another and that helped, but my big concern is that I’ve been working on some door-mounted spice racks and I’m afraid to add any additional weight to the door if gravity is what’s making them off-kilter. Since we made the doors ourselves it’s possible that they’re just not square, and actually looking back at some photos I took when I first installed the doors I can see that they were much closer together at the top even then. So maybe it’s just that they’re not shaped or installed perfectly? Adding storage for spices, cans, and foil/plastic wrap to the back of the doors is part of my master plan for making the most of the available space so I really, really hope that it’s not sabotaged by wimpy hinges.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


6 responses to Pantry Door Rehab (and relapse)

  1. Do you have magnets only on the top? Just an idea…

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap March 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      The magnets are only on top. Do you think that maybe the magnets are pulling them out of square? I don’t think they’re that strong. Or are you suggesting I add another set of magnets on the bottom?

      • I was suggesting both. That it is pulling it together at the top and maybe magnets at the bottom would balance it.

        I am just brainstorming without experience :)

  2. How about taking an orbital sander and sanding the edges? That’s what my FIL did to a couple of our doors.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap March 20, 2014 at 7:58 am

      That’s a really good idea. I don’t have an orbital sander, though, just a mouse sander. I wonder how much a hand planer would cost.

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