Sunday, February 26, 2006

Becoming Unhinged

When we first bought this house, we were enchanted by the leaded glass arts and crafts cabinet doors in part of the kitchen. It gave the area such charm. After a few years of dealing with them, though, Ed decided he would rather have open shelves, so he took the doors off and stored them in the garage.

One problem was in their construction. The glass was precariously propped inside the door frame. It was heavy, and kept in place with a couple of tiny nails. Every time Ed would open the door, he was afraid the glass would fall out.

The second problem was in their hinge setup. All the cabinet doors in the kitchen used special break-away hinges. If we opened the door to a certain point, the door would virtually come off the cabinet, and part of the hinge (spring-loaded) on the door side snapped back into place, and we had to get our extra-tiny screwdriver to dig the stubborn piece out of the hinge so we could rehang the door. It was a major pain, to say the least. If you can imagine how often one opens cabinet doors in the kitchen, you would be quite accurate as to how many times Ed lost his cool. It was especially hard when I was the door opener, because if I opened an upper cabinet and the top hinge gave way, I had to stand there holding the door while I yelled for help.

So you can see why, as beautiful as they are, the cabinet doors were exiled to the garage.

One of the first things Venise said when we showed her the leaded glass doors was, "These things have GOT to come back up!" We kind of expected her to say that. Since she promised to help us reinstall them, we relented. I told Ed that using those doors would be one of the many "inconveniences" we would have to undergo while the house was on the market. Venise suggested that we clean out the cabinets and then we would not even have to open the doors, and that made sense.

So before our workday on Friday, Ed and I went to the hardware store to buy more hinges, as he had thrown away all the original hinges from the cabinet side. Well, we right off the bat we learned that they don't make those hinges anymore. I guess they just didn't cut it in the market (wonder why?!). So we showed the hardware man the door we had taken with us, and together we searched for hinges of the same general type that would work. We spent close to $100, but we knew it was a good investment in getting the kitchen to look its best.

When Venise tried to hang the doors, nothing fit. The doors overlapped when she tried to close them. She voiced our options: Maybe have a carpenter come by who could either cut off part of the doors (we nixed that one) or could dig out some of the cabinet itself where the hinges were. The problem was that the hinges had a lip that was supposed to hug the cabinet. It hugged the cabinet all right, but that limited the position of the hinges to the width of the lip. Therefore, we couldn't move the doors outward so they would meet solidly in the middle.

So yesterday, Ed hung the rest of the doors on that wall, and as you can see, the doors overlap in the middle and are not straight at all. He said, "Well, if we have a carpenter come by, at least the doors will be up so he can see our predicament and figure out exactly what needs to be done."

Oh Joy, where are you with your knowledge and tools???? What a delicious challenge this would be for you!

Last night, after much thought, we discussed another option. The reason why regular old hinges never worked on those doors was the fact that with regular hinges, the doors would not close all the way. Well, they'd close, but then swing back a little. This resulted in about a 1-inch gap. However, on one of our cabinets, we have little thingies (that may not be the technical term....) installed on the bottom which click and hold the door shut. Ed wondered if we could take all the doors back down and install regular hinges with the "thingies" to ensure the door would stay shut. The old-fashioned, regular hinges would allow us to move the doors over and everything would be fine.

So back to the hardware store we go to see if our plan works. I'll let you know. In the meantime, I am packing up the expensive hinges and sending them to my sister, Joy. I'm sure she can use them in one of her many creative woodworking projects. As for me, it has been quite an experience.

Oh yes - Ed also got tiny plastic thingies (no relation to the cabinet thingies) to screw in place to hold the glass securely in the door frame. When I said, "If it was that easy to be able to hold the glass in, why didn't you do that years ago?" All I got was "the look." You know which look I mean. I imagine I'll be seeing that look more and more as we continue our house-selling venture!

1 comment:

Tif said...

I think the "thingies" you mention for the door bottoms are simply magnets.

I'll look for the hinges in the mail :-) (But have you tried to return them first?)