How to Repair Gouges in Kitchen Cabinets

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON-VO:
ON A RECENT HOUSECALL I CAME UPON A SITUATION WHERE I HAD TO DECIDE BETWEEN MAKING A REPAIR OR MAKING A REPLACEMENT.  IT OCCURRED AT THE AUGUSTA, GEORGIA HOME OF BOB AND MARIANNE ZURA.
WE WERE ABOUT TO ASSEMBLE SEVERAL BASE CABINETS TO CREATE A KITCHEN ISLAND, WHEN MY CARPENTER DAVID SCHULTE POINTED OUT A PROBLEM.
Ron: 
Aye yi, yi.  What happened here?

Dave: 
I think it got dropped in shipment and if we had more time we could order another cabinet and they’d have one for us in two or three days no problem but we’ve only got a couple hours though.  But this cabinet’s—

Ron: 
So you’re going to blame this on the shipper?

Dave: 
Oh absolutely.

Ron: 
What do you think?  I didn’t see any damage to the carton.

Bob: 
Dave was angry earlier today.

Marianne: 
He looks a little sketchy.

Ron: 
So well obviously we’ve only got two or three hours here so what are we going to do?

Dave: 
I think since this one butts up against another cabinet we can put a, we’ve got enough room to put in a half inch thick panel of birch plywood.

Ron: 
So you won’t see it from the inside?

Dave: 
Exactly.

Ron: 
And then because it’s up se-, it’s up next to the, another cabinet we won’t—

Dave: 
We’ll never see the outside and we don’t have to worry about matching the cherry stain.

Ron: 
Can you live with it?

Bob: 
Absolutely.

Marianne: 
I think so yeah.

Ron: 
Yeah, yeah you’ll never, you’ll know it’s there but you’ll never see it.

Marianne: 
All right.

RON-VO:
NOW BOTH BOB AND MARIANNE ARE MEDICAL DOCTORS, AND I’M ABOUT TO FIND OUT THAT HOME IMPROVEMENT AND SURGERY HAVE A FEW THINGS IN COMMON.
Ron: 
All right so what I’m going to do is kind of gently take out a couple of these loose pieces here and then we’ll uh, we’ll glue them back.

Bob: 
He’s debreeding the fracture.

Ron: 
Debreeding?  Actually doc could give me a hand here all right?

Marianne: 
Yeah I’ll let you do the debreeding.

Ron: 
Debreeding’s when we take all the pieces out?

Bob: 
Taking out the, the dead pieces.

Marianne: 
Shrapnel.

Ron: 
All right.  All right. 

Ron: 
I’m going take out this drawer glide here, give ourselves a little bit more working room.  There we go.  We’ll put that back later…Now to get these back in here I’m going to have to grind away a little bit of material so they’ll slip back into place.

MUSIC

RON-VO:
MARIANNE GRINDS THE BROKEN EDGES OF THE CABINET USING A DREMEL ROTARY TOOL, THEN I DO THE SAME WITH THE LOOSE PIECES.  
(SOT: GRINDER)

RON-VO:
BOB DOES A TEST  TO MAKE SURE THE PIECE WILL FIT PROPERLY, THEN I APPLY A BEAD OF CARPENTER’S GLUE TO THE EDGE…AND WITH THE HANDS OF A SURGEON, BOB GENTLY INSERTS  THE PIECE IN PLACE.
Ron: 
Now we won’t be able to hammer very much on this because it’ll, run the chance of it breaking away, but just enough to tap it in place.

Ron: 
Okay let’s see how this fits now Bob.  Is that still going to work?  Drop in there okay.

Bob:
If it doesn’t fit I can blame Marianne right?

Marianne: 
That’s right. Oh perfect grinding job.

Ron: 
Good.  Excellent grinding job. 

Ron: 
I’m just going to knock off a little of this elbow in here.

RON-VO;
I CHISEL OFF SOME ROUGH EDGES WHILE BOB APPLIES GLUE TO THE SECOND PIECE.
Marianne: 
Now watch it.  Keep your glue on the cardboard.  Messy Marvin.

Bob: 
I didn’t tell you how to grind.

Marianne: 
Hey because I know how.  I can do my job.  No one has to tell me.  It’s the wife’s job to be the back seat driver isn’t it?

Ron: 
Well, um, if you feel that way.

Ron: 
Okay go for it Bob.  I don’t know whose idea it is about to put the cardboard down.  Boy was it a good one. 

Marianne: 
Sure it was a great idea.

RON-VO:
WITH THE PIECES NOW BACK IN PLACE, WE TEMPORARILY CLAMP THE SIDE OF THE CABINET TO HOLD EVERYTHING TOGETHER WHILE THE GLUE DRIES.
THOUGH THE BROKEN SIDE WON’T BE EXPOSED, I DECIDE TO USE SOME WOOD FILLER FOR A BIT OF COSMETIC SURGERY.
Ron: 
I’m just going to fill up the crack, the gap what we had left with this wood filler.  And this, these are colored so that they kind of match.  Not a perfect match but it’s you know close enough to it.  Push this in.  And I’m not going to worry about the inside because again that’s going to get covered with the panel.

Marianne: 
Okay.  How long does that take to dry usually?

Ron: 
This is a, this is a kind of an acetone based wood filler.  It dries very fast. 

RON-VO:
WHEN THE WOOD FILLER DRIES, IT TURNS A CHALKY WHITE.  I THEN SAND OFF THE EXCESS CREATING A SMOOTH SURFACE ON THE SIDE OF THE CABINET.
NOW WE COULD RE-STAIN THIS CABINET AND OUR SURGICAL SCAR WOULD BE BARELY NOTICED.  HOWEVER, SINCE THIS SIDE OF THE CABINET WON’T BE EXPOSED, WE DECIDE TO SKIP THE STAINING.  BUT I DO WANT TO GLUE A WOOD PANEL ON THE INSIDE.  THIS WILL CONCEAL THE FRACTURE LINES FROM THE INSIDE, AND STRENGTHEN THE SIDEWALL.
Marianne: 
It’s hypnotic.

Ron: 
Is it?  We could write our names in here…I’ll do Bob because Bob is easier.

Marianne: 
Bob.

Ron: 
Oh I shouldn’t have done that before.  Kind of hard to read that way isn’t it?

Marianne: 
I know it is hard to read but I think you could have been a, like --

Ron: 
All right see I want a little bit more right here.

Bob: 
That’s going to be your new trademark.

Marianne: 
Could have been a cake decorator.

Bob: 
Could have been Ron.

Ron: 
Look like a, I’ve known some artists who’s work has looked about like this.  Okay drop this in.

Marianne: 
From now on Ron’s going to hide his name in all of, all of his projects somewhere.

Ron: 
Not that’s not, that’s Bob’s name I wrote there.

Marianne: 
I know but you should do that.

Ron: 
Okay.

Bob:
Look at that.

Ron:
Now I’m going to push this up.  That should be okay.  Now to keep that in place here’s some sticks.  I think we might be able to use this clamp.  So just a little bit longer.  A little bit too long.  The idea is we kind of bend these like that.

Marianne: 
Okay so it just braces it?

Ron:
It puts pressure on here yeah.

RON-VO:
WELL IN SPITE OF OUR SHIPPING MISHAP, THE KITCHEN ISLAND WE BUILT TURNED OUT BEAUTIFULLY, AND NOBODY BUT THE SURGEONS WILL KNOW ABOUT THE PROCEDURE THAT SAVED THE DAY.

Learn how to repair damaged kitchen cabinets; includes step-by-step instructions along with tips, materials, and tools lists.

During a HouseCall to Augusta, Georgia, Ron found himself in a situation where he needed to repair a damaged cabinet because there was no time to replace it. Fortunately the cabinet was going to butt up against another cabinet when it was installed so the repair would not show from the outside. There was also enough room to put a