1

I’m new to woodworking and have a kitchen cabinet door with the following issue:

Cabinet door with a slipped panel

Applying short term pressure to the frame doesn’t make it budge. Perhaps some long term compression bands would move it back into place over time? This cabinet is directly over the boiler and kettle, so it’s likely that heat/steam affected the joints. Perhaps steam or hot water could help it back in again?

Is there an obvious approach to the well informed?

5
  • 1
    Hi, welcome to Woodworking. Well wow, haven't seen that before! "Applying short term pressure to the panel doesn’t make it budge." How much? If the glue joints have totally failed sufficient clamp pressure should be capable of returning this to its original position (esp. given no pressure to speak of was needed to move it to where it is now!) so just trying to increase the pressure seems like it would work, and that's definitely what some would try with a range of clamps available. But like with a lot of furniture repairs, ideally the thing to do is to disassemble it completely and rebuild.
    – Graphus
    May 14, 2023 at 18:35
  • Hi @Graphus, that worked! I got some really big clamps and kept tightening. Cheers. May 15, 2023 at 9:13
  • Great! Once you saw movement did you smear some waterproof glue on the surfaces you could see and then continue to tighten?
    – Graphus
    May 15, 2023 at 14:23
  • No. When it slips out again, I’ll be ready with the glue. The friction alone is quite strong. It took decades for it to slowly slip out of place. May 15, 2023 at 16:47
  • I've converted the Comments to a formal Answer so that your Q doesn't bob back up as unanswered sometimes in the future :-)
    – Graphus
    May 16, 2023 at 5:43

1 Answer 1

3

Converting my Comments to an Answer because the proposed solution worked:

Applying short term pressure to the frame doesn’t make it budge.

If the glue joints have totally failed sufficient clamp pressure should be capable of returning this to its original position (especially given that no pressure to speak of was needed to move it to where it is now!) it's just really tight, with well-cut joints + added friction from the failed glue.

So just trying to increase the pressure seems like it will work, and that's definitely what some would try with a range of clamps available — I can easily imagine someone putting one or two quick clamps on this to start with and if there were no movement, or squeezing the handles got too hard, switching to F-clamps or parallel-jaw clamps which are capable of exerting more force (considerably more in the case of decent parallel-jaw clamps).

The OP tried this and it worked.

that worked! I got some really big clamps and kept tightening.

Great! Once you saw movement did you smear some waterproof glue on the surfaces you could see and then continue to tighten?

No. When it slips out again, I’ll be ready with the glue. The friction alone is quite strong. It took decades for it to slowly slip out of place.

Given this, I'd suggest applying a little standard runny superglue along the joint at the bottom of the frame. Some of the superglue will wick into the joint a bit if there's a gap and act like a tack weld.

As tiny as this new bond is it may prevent the rail starting to slip again — superglue is regularly used to close hairline cracks in various woodworking contexts, and often the repair is permanent.


Like with a lot of furniture repairs, ideally the thing to do would be to disassemble the door completely (if possible without inflicting damage) to allow for easy access to joint surfaces, so that old glue can be scraped away to prepare them for new glue to form very strong glue joints throughout.

But cabinet doors aren't subject to tons of racking forces, so remedial work like dribbling in some runny glue could well be sufficient for a long-term repair. By comparison, in a typical chair repair with a slipped joint it's generally not sufficient, because chairs are subject to lots of stress, repeatedly and often.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.