|Home Articles Cabinetry Using the Rockler Custom Door and Drawer Front Program|
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Whether you're building new cabinets or giving your existing kitchen cabinets a new look, having cabinet doors and drawer fronts made for you is an option that's definitely worth considering. You'll not only side-step one of the most time consuming aspects of cabinetmaking, but you'll also be guaranteed to have beautiful, professionally-made doors and drawer fronts when it's time for installation. In this article, you'll learn how easy it can be with our Custom Door and Drawer Front Program.
How the Program Works
With the Rockler Custom Door and Drawer Front Program, you can order new, custom made hardwood or RTF (rigid thermo-foil) coated MDF (medium density fiberboard) doors and drawer fronts in the exact dimensions to fit your cabinets. Your new doors and drawer fronts will be delivered to your door, ready to finish and hang.
To get started ordering your new doors and drawer fronts, you'll need to gather some information about your kitchen, and make a few decisions about the best way to proceed. This step is very important - omitting it could mean serious difficulties down the line.
Here's what to check:
1. The type of door your current cabinets have.
In almost all cases, the cabinet doors in your kitchen will be one of three types:
Overlay Doors - The cabinet door is larger than the opening of the cabinet and is mounted over the front of the cabinet opening.
Full Inset Doors - The cabinet door is inset into the cabinet opening, so that the cabinet door and front edge of the cabinet are flush (on the same plane).
Partial Inset Doors - the door has a rabbet, (or notch) cut into the outside edge of the door so that the door is partially inset into the cabinet opening.
2. Decide which type of door You will use for replacement.
Before you can order your new doors, you'll have to decide which type of door and drawer front you'd like to use for replacement. Here you have a couple of options. The most simple - in terms of measuring and ordering the doors you need - is to order the same type of door as you currently have. If your current doors are either overlay or full inset doors, you can simply measure your existing doors and your are ready to order.
You do not necessarily have to replace your cabinet doors with the same type of door. You may want to replace full inset doors with overlay doors. There are good reasons for doing so - overlay doors are often easier to install than inset doors. If you choose this option, remember that you will almost certainly need to buy new hinges to go with your new cabinet doors - the hinges used with inset doors are rarely compatible with overlay doors and vice versa. Also, be sure that you will have enough clearance between your cabinet door openings to allow the doors to open and close properly. Check the specifications of the overlay door hinges you select to determine the correct size of door to order.
Partial inset doors have become less and less common over that past few decades, and are rarely found on contemporary cabinets. The custom door and drawer program does not offer a partial inset door edge. If your cabinets currently have partial inset doors, you will need to either replace them with another type of door, or be prepared to cut the door lip yourself (a process that we can only recommend for woodworkers of intermediate skill). Fortunately, partial inset doors can usually be easily replaced with overlay doors. As with changing from full inset to overlay doors, we recommend carefully checking the clearance between the cabinet openings and the specifications of the overlay door hinges you choose.
3. Choose new hinges
Unless you are planning to reuse your current cabinet hinges, you'll need to pick out new hinges. You have many options. Take a minute to read through Rockler's article, "Understanding Hinges" before you order your doors, where you'll find help in picking out your cabinet hinges. Remember that the hinges you select may influence the size of door you will need to order.
4. Determine the type of your existing drawers
The drawers in your kitchen will be one of two types: they will have a three sided drawer box or a four sided drawer box.
Remember that if you change the type of cabinet door - from inset to overlay, for example - you will want to change the type of drawer front to match. Again, be sure that you will have enough clearance around the edges of the drawer front for the drawers to operate properly.
Special Instructions for Three Sided Drawer Boxes
On page five, we'll show you how to attach your new drawer fronts to three and four sided drawer boxes. For now, you just need to check to make sure that you will have enough drawer clearance inside of your cabinet
If your current drawer boxes are three sided, you will be using the current front of the drawer as the back side of the drawer box, and will need to add the current drawer front's thickness to the overall length of the drawer (see Installing Drawer the Drawer Fronts on page 5 for more information). Measure the entire length of the drawer (including the width of the drawer front) and check to see that you will have enough room inside of the cabinet drawer opening for the length of the new drawer/drawer front.
Ordering your doors
If you've determined the type of doors and drawer fronts to order, the dimensions of the doors and drawer fronts, selected new hinges (if necessary) and confirmed that the hinges will work with the door type and dimensions that you have in mind, then you're ready to head to Rockler's Custom Door and Drawer Front page, where you'll be able to specify the style, number and dimensions of the doors in your order.
Next, on page 2, we'll help you get your new doors and drawer fronts installed easily and correctly.