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Old 04-02-2010, 10:58 PM   #1
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Fixing Cabinet Hardware Installed Uneven


Have new cabinet door slabs that I drilled for hardware. After a couple of the doors were hung I installed the knobs. Well, apparently I was off on a couple of them when I drilled and now my knobs are uneven when hung side by side. My local hardware store said I should be able to find a wood filler that would allow me to fill the hole and let it set up hard. After it sets up they said I could remark and drill the hole accordingly. Only problem is they don't have anything on hand product wise to offer me. Do u all have any suggestions for something I could put in there and still be able to re drill. Wood epoxy or putty.......?

Very frustrated and disappointed that I did this and hope to correct it.

Please help!!!

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Old 04-03-2010, 06:16 AM   #2
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Fixing Cabinet Hardware Installed Uneven


How far is it off?? If more than the size of the handle(handle won't cover it), there is no way I know of to make a completely invisible patch. Inconspicuous maybe, but not invisible. Minwax makes colored putty, that can be mixed together for exact match. Available at big box and paint stores.

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Old 04-03-2010, 07:32 AM   #3
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If the doors are stained or clear finish, no way to fix them that will be undetectable. Sorry. You can color putty them, but the disappointment will only haunt you every time you look at them.

If they are painted then you stand a chance. Bondo is a great thing. You can get it at an auto parts store, I think. I get mine from my hardware supplier. It's a two part epoxy made for auto body repair but works great for paint grade wood fixes. The big bummer is that you will need to repaint the doors.

I find that the sooner you buy new doors and move on, the sooner the bad dream is over. Again, sorry to hear about your disappointment.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:07 AM   #4
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If you have frame and panel doors, I assume you drilled through the hardwood frame. If that is the case, you can make a reasonable patch by mixing hardwood sawdust with glue and applying into the hole. Not perfect, but about as good as the Minwax solution. It is possible to make invisible patches in hardwood, however this is an advanced art, requiring you to rout out a shape around the hole, and patch it with a veneer cut to match. Not for the amateur, I have a refinishing book that discusses the technique. Never tried it myself.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:11 AM   #5
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Fixing Cabinet Hardware Installed Uneven


backplate?
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:54 AM   #6
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It is important to know how far off we are talking. Makes all the difference in the world on repair techniques.
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:37 PM   #7
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I have a similar problem. Contractor is an idiot and used a template for drilling that was not square. Now all the handles in the kitchen cabinets are not level. If I can raise one side of the handle, the old hole will not be seen. However, the new hole will need to overlap the old hole slightly. How can I drill this without the bit catching in adjacent hole? I imagine there is a solution that probably involves a plugging the hole with wood filler first. Any advice?
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:53 PM   #8
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Fixing Cabinet Hardware Installed Uneven


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Originally Posted by zsquared View Post
I have a similar problem. Contractor is an idiot and used a template for drilling that was not square. Now all the handles in the kitchen cabinets are not level. If I can raise one side of the handle, the old hole will not be seen. However, the new hole will need to overlap the old hole slightly. How can I drill this without the bit catching in adjacent hole? I imagine there is a solution that probably involves a plugging the hole with wood filler first. Any advice?
Well first you would need to plug that hole with a wood plug. In order to do this without making the bit drift you take the door of and put it on a drill press and drill out the new hole and plug it either with a ¼’’ or 3/8’’ diameter wood plug of the same wood used for your door. Make yourself a jig that is square so all your new holes will be the same distance and your done.


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Old 09-06-2010, 10:17 PM   #9
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Fixing Cabinet Hardware Installed Uneven


Sorry, not quite understanding the order of operations. Are you saying to put a 1/4" or 3/8" plug in the old hole, then drill the new hole in the right place using a drill press? I assume then that the bondo or wood filler plug wont keep the bit from drifting because of the different hardness. I just checked and the new hole will need to overlap the old hole by about half the diameter.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:28 PM   #10
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Fixing Cabinet Hardware Installed Uneven


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Sorry, not quite understanding the order of operations. Are you saying to put a 1/4" or 3/8" plug in the old hole, then drill the new hole in the right place using a drill press? I assume then that the bondo or wood filler plug wont keep the bit from drifting because of the different hardness. I just checked and the new hole will need to overlap the old hole by about half the diameter.

Drill out only one hole which should be bigger than the old one and fill the new hole with whatever diameter you drilled with matching plug. My guess would be 3/8’’. When this is done, add glue, plug hole, wait for it to dry and drill your new hole to except your hardware.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:41 PM   #11
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Fixing Cabinet Hardware Installed Uneven


That make sense now. The only issue I see is that the when I drill the first hole for the plug with the larger diameter it will be centered on the old bad hole. This will cause the plug to now be visible under the base of the handle hardware. Just did a quick test on scrap wood with similar density. By filling old bad hole with even a plastic plug I was able to stabilize drill bit and overlap holes by correct amount. Will probably try several tests in garage with various plug options before cutting cabinets. Thanks for the quick, late night reply.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:45 PM   #12
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No problem. That’s why we are here to help each other out when we need some help. Good luck with your repair.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:40 PM   #13
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Fixing Cabinet Hardware Installed Uneven


For follow up, here is the solution that worked. Original holes were drilled with a 3/8th" bit. I bought 3 feet of 3/8th" poplar dowel from lowes. I cut this into 1" plugs, applied wood glue and press fit (hammered) them into the misplaced hole. Then made a pilot hole in the correct location, followed by final hole for the screw. Drill bit did not drift and hardware is now level.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:13 AM   #14
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Fixing Cabinet Hardware Installed Uneven


I'm glad to hear you have the situation well in hand.

For other people in similar situations in the future.....
When drilling any size hole, perfect location and truer diameter can best be maintained by starting with the smallest bit you can use, then fit a slightly larger bit in your drill and drill the hole again, continuing to use larger and larger bits until you reach the desired diameter.

Many people find out the hard way that simply drilling a pilot hole, then jumping right to the final bit size can often be a mistake. It is best to restrict your bit size progression to only three bit sizes at a time.

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