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Extending kitchen wall cabinets with longer doors

Postby jobsey » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:26 am

Can anyone help please? I've bought six longer Ikea doors for the existing kitchen wall units in order to use the space at the top of the old cabinets, its a very small galley kitchen. The doors are heavy, good quality and I now worry about the weight - it also means that I have to build and secure a type of wooden frame on top of the old cabinets in order to drill in and secure the hinges for the new doors - what would be the best way to construct and go about this please? I'm a complete novice and on a strict budget so trying to do as much as possible myself.

Thanks in advance - Jobsey
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Postby jobsey » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:43 pm

No takers? Was really hoping for one or two little tips on this as I am neither a carpenter of a diy woman - would be grateful to know the pitfall or not of such a project.
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Postby toplondonchef » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:06 pm

Hi Jobsey

I did submit a really detailed plan for you a couple of days ago to help you extend your wall units

A bit surprised that it hasn't appeared yet - certainly nothing in there for the moderators to moderate !

If it doesn't appear, will try to find time to re-submit but hopefully just lost in cyber space for a couple of days - must be patient !

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Postby jobsey » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:39 pm

Hi TopLondonChef,

Thank you so much for your reply - it is much appreciated. I shall wait patiently for the moderators to allow me to access the detailed plan you submitted, I am sure they will do so soon.

That is terribly kind of you to go to such trouble - this forum is full of good people.

Thanks again.

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Postby TheDoctor4 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:06 pm

Hi All!!

In light of an error that toplondonchef experienced whilst replying to this topic, he was unable to post his reply but he has very kindly reproduced the information and mailed it directly to us here at the DIY Doctor office that I have now posted below for him:

Read through all instructions several times so that all details are clear, ensure that you have all tools and materials at home before you start and allow yourself plenty of time- don’t rush and complete the work in stages. Measure everything twice and write down all measurements. If anything is unclear or you just need some further advice, please post your dilemma and I will try to help

You could build a simple frame to support the doors but this won’t look very neat and above the existing units, you’ll end up with a rectangular box for a space with no dividing wall between each cupboard (this is assuming that the 6 existing cupboards are in one run)

A much better, neater solution would be to build 6 extension pieces to fix onto the existing units, complete with back panels and if space permits, you could add extra shelving. This will involve more work but give a more usable space and a better cosmetic finish

Look at your existing units, usually built from chipboard or MDF and usually 15mm / 18mm thick board. Would suggest that you buy the furniture board from B&Q as they offer a free cutting service. This will save you a lot of work and will result in a neater finish. (a local wood yard may also offer this service). You also need chipboard screws sizes – 4.0 x 45mm and 4.0 x 25mm / and look at the B&Q website and search the following – shelf support with pin (only if your fitting additional shelves) / zinc flange bracket / fixing block

1. Measure external height of existing units and height of new doors. Difference in height will be height of extension units to be built (this measurement will be for the left and right hand sides for each piece, x depth – 12 sides in total

2. Measure external depth of existing units

3. Measure internal width of existing unit, i.e. the width of a shelf (this measurement will be for the top of each extension piece to be built x depth – 6 tops in total

4. If you decide to fit backs onto these extension units, measure how thick the backing material is and then subtract this from your depth measurements for the sides and tops

5. You now have all your measurement for 12 x sides and 6 x tops. Look at what sizes of furniture board are available and work out the most economical sizes to buy to give you all the pieces required. The place where you buy the board from may be able to help you with this. Get all 18 pieces cut

6. If you decide to fix backs onto the extension pieces then buy the necessary wood, usually white faced hardboard, and if you want additional shelves, allow for this when working out your furniture board sizes

7. Sort out all your cut timber into piles, e.g. sides, tops, backs, shelves

8. Take 2 side pieces and measure across the width 7mm (if using 15mm board) or 9mm (if using 18mm board) down from one top edge on each piece and mark with a pencil. Mark the centre point of each line and then mark 25mm in from each edge on both pieces. This will give you 3 pencil marks on each side

9. Using an electric drill with a 4mm wood bit, place side piece flat onto some scrap wood and drill through the 3 pencil marks, repeat for the 2nd side

10. Using a countersink drill bit, countersink each hole so a screw head will fit flush in the hole

11. Take a top piece and either clamp in a workbench or get a friend to hold firm, with the side edge facing upwards. Place a side piece with the drilled holes so it lines up with the edge of the top section and place a 45mm screw in each hole. Line up the 2 pieces so they form a perfect 90degree angle and gently tap the screws so they just “bite” into the wood. Check again that the 2 pieces line up perfectly and then drive in the screws

12. Lay the section down on its side with the remaining side edge of the top piece facing upwards. Fix the other side piece on in the same way

13. You need to support the sides of this extension piece until it’s fixed onto the wall units, keeping the sides at a 90degree angle so they don’t get damaged

14. Make the remaining 5 extension pieces in the same way

15. If you are placing backs onto these extensions, fix them on now using 10mm panel pins

16. Place the 1st extension piece on top of your 1st existing cupboard. Using 2 fixing blocks at the base of each side, screw through the blocks using the 25mm screws and fix to the top of the existing cupboard, making sure both units are perfectly lined up, level and square

17. Continue with the remaining 5 extension pieces and fit in the same way

18. For added strength, where each side panel meets the next, screw through one side panel into the next using the 25mm screws, 2 / 3 screws equally spaced along the front and back edge

19. Depending on how high these extension pieces are, if they feel a bit “wobbly” then use the zinc flange brackets, 2 per unit on the inside corners using 12mm screws into the chipboard and a suitable fixing into the wall, depending on construction type. Check for any cables or pipes that may be buried in the wall before drilling

20. If any of the facing edges are raw chipboard, use iron on edging tape to cover

21. Look at how the hinges are fixed to the existing units and doors and use this as a guide to fix the hinges for the new doors. You will need to drill pilot holes for the screw positions of the hinge base plates

22. You now have 6 full height wall units with new doors – well done you !!
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Postby jobsey » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:50 pm

Thank you so much TopLondonChef!

Your instructions are absolutely brilliant. WOW!

Such detailed instructions are more than I had ever expected. In fact, you have completely cut to a fraction the amount of work I originally thought I had to do. There is no taking for granted the time, patience and effort you put into your instructions and it is really appreciated.

Even someone with my limited ability can follow these instructions and I've now studied them sufficiently to make a start on it straight away, although my morning and now the rest of the day has been stalled by a leak in the dishwasher and washing machine connection... grrrr!

Many, many thanks for your time and for sharing your in-depth knowledge so simply that anyone could follow. Your a blessing.

Thanks too to the DIY Doctor Moderator - much appreciation for getting this out there.

I shall definitely let you know how I get on.


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