Saturday, July 17, 2010

Handy in the Kitchen

Ok, I promised a little information on kitchen refurbishment so I’ll get the ball rolling with this little Q&A I wrote a few years ago, I have tweaked the wording a little bit to make it more relevant but the important information remains the same.

 Can you help me Darryl? You installed my lovely new kitchen a couple of years ago and it’s made cooking for my family such a pleasure that almost every meal has become like an episode of Masterchef, I’ve finally conquered some of recipes in my favorite cookbooks. My problem is though, the new cupboard doors don’t seem to line up properly anymore and the ones under the sink even rub together when I close them, how to I make my kitchen look like new again?

As a bit of a kitchen weekend warrior myself I love to get into the kitchen and whip up a bit of gourmet storm, the kids like to score me on flavor and presentation. But sometimes it’s not the knives and spatulas you’ll see me swinging in the corner but a screwdriver. You see many items around the kitchen require maintenance, whether it’s replacing the seal on the oven or fridge, cleaning out the filters of the range hood or replacing a tap washer and the kitchen cupboard doors are one of these items. About once a year I find I have to take a screw driver to the cupboard door hinges and fine-tune them in order to keep the doors all aligned. (At least I get top marks for presentation here).

Over time the cupboard doors tend to sag, especially the ones under the sink at my house, as they’re the ones that seem to be opened and closed the most to access the waste bin and cleaning products. Sometimes we tend lean our weight on the top of the doors a bit to reach into the cupboard and grab stuff. All this only tends to speed up sagging process causing doors to move out of alignment or even come into contact and scrape against each other. It’s annoying and inconvenient but the good news is that the doors are designed to be adjusted quickly and easily with nothing more than a screwdriver. Most kitchens built in the last 25 years or so have what we call concealed hinges. Typically these hinges have 4 adjusting screws, allowing you to make 3 basic adjustments, lateral (side to side), depth (in or out) and vertical (up or down).

This is image shows the door on the left and the cabinet on the right, all adjustment to a door are made where the hinge is mounted on the cabinet.
  1. Lateral. This screw adjustment allows the door to be moved side-to-side. 
  2. Vertical. The two top and bottom screws (see 4 also) allow for adjustment of the door in an up or down direction.  
  3. Depth. loosening this back screw allows the door to be moved in or out.

Some experimentation and re-adjusting may be necessary in order to obtain perfect alignment but you’ll soon get the hang of it. It is worth noting that many of these types of hinges are manufactured in Europe and may have posidrive screws in them, these aren’t quite compatible with your standard Phillips head screwdriver. You can buy pozidrive tips from your local hardware store for couple of bucks each, they will be identified with the letter PZ on the side, most common screws will take the size PZ#2.

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