Homemade template best tool for the job

Q: My kitchen cabinets need some sprucing up. They are cheap, with no raised panels and definitely no pizzazz. I was thinking of adding some door handles to give them a little flair, but I want to make sure the handles are perfectly aligned. What is the trick?

A: I’ve got a simple trick that will give your plain cabinets some character. You make a template so that each handle is positioned exactly in the same spot on each cabinet door. The handle will not only make a basic cabinet look more custom, it also will cut down on the wear and tear of the door.

Without handles, you are forced to open the door by touching it. You likely touch the door in the same spot each time and, over time, this creates a wear spot.

You can make a template out of almost anything rigid. I prefer using scrap wood such as medium-density fiberboard, but I know installers who use cardboard.

The handle will mount to the frame of the door, either the bottom or top, depending on whether they are base cabinets or wall-mounted cabinets.

The sizes and types of handles vary. At a home-improvement store, prices range from less than $1 per handle to around $5 per handle. You can really bust your budget by going to a specialty hardware retailer or shopping through a high-end catalog.

The handle will mount to the front of the cabinet door and will be held in place with either one or two screws through the back of the door. This means that you will have to drill one or two holes through the frame of the door. Do not install it through the flat panel of an inexpensive cabinet. This panel is typically too thin to support a handle.

Where to mount the handle is a matter of personal choice. Hold the handle up to the door and mark its position. Since most handles are installed somewhere near the corner of the door, measure in from both vertical and horizontal edges of the frame. Mark these distances down and grab the template material. Cut a piece of wood the width of the frame and about 9 inches long. To the back of this piece of wood, add two pieces of scrap wood to form a 90-degree corner on the back. Do this by turning the scrap wood on its edge and nailing it to the front piece to form the corner.

Place the template over a corner of the door. You should be able to hold the template against the door and have no side-to-side movement. Next, drill the holes in the template and you are ready to go.

Turn the template over so that the corner scraps face up. Use the measurements you took earlier and mark their locations from the inside of the scrap pieces. The inside of the scrap pieces represent the outside edges of the door. Drill holes just large enough for the handle screws to pass through, but not so large that the handle won’t sit securely.

To use the template, hold it against each door, making sure that the corner pieces sit squarely against the edges of the door. The holes in the template will show you where to drill through the cabinet frame for the handles.

Bore through the frame from the front only. If you drill from the back, you risk a condition called tear out, which is when a drill bit pushes out the grain of the wood instead of cleanly cutting it. It makes for a very unsightly installation.

Once the holes are cut in the door frame, hold the handle in place and install the screw or screws through the back side. Tighten the screws snugly.

 

Michael D. Klimek is a licensed contractor and president of Pro Handyman Corp. Questions may be sent by e-mail to: questions@pro-handyman.com. Or, mail to: 2301 E. Sunset Road, Box 8053, Las Vegas, NV 89119. His Web address is: www.pro-handyman.com.

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home and Garden Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like