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Handle This

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As Jim worked vigilantly on bringing water to our kitchen, I decided to make myself useful by adding handles to our cabinets.  We ordered knobs for the cabinets doors and pulls for the drawers.  I needed to drill holes before I could screw the knobs and pulls into place.

In order for the placement of the knobs to look good,  I needed to find the center of the corner of the cabinet door (follow that?).  Luckily, all the cabinets’ corners are the same measurement, just either on the right or the left. So I made two templates for the hole to be drilled and just taped it up for each cabinet door.  It took me more time lining the template up perfectly than actually drilling the hole – being a perfectionist can be time-consuming.

Picture of my template

Nicely drilled hole


The pulls were not so simple. To begin with, there were two holes that needed to be drilled for each pull. The holes needed to be exactly the same difference from the center of the drawer so the pull would be centered. We also have a variety of lengths and widths for each drawer. This meant I needed to remeasure for every pull. I made a template for the distance between the two holes so I would not need to measure that. This was surprisingly time-consuming. It also did not help that we do not have a regular ruler, so I was making templates with measuring tape and measuring tape does not like to go flat against paper. After all the holes were drilled, I went to start screwing in the pulls. Unfortunately, our drawers have a piece of wood that juts out inside of the drawer. This adds length and therefore the screws that came with the handle were too short!  I decided to pick up some longer machine screws the next day at Home Depot (seriously, Home Depot should be paying us for how often I mention them in this blog). I brought along my original screw. I used Home Depot’s screw block to figure out the thread I needed for my screw. I needed #8-32 and estimated about 2 inches for the length. After buying the screws, I tested them out on the pulls and they were just a little too long.  Shoot.  I quickly returned to Home Depot ready to buy the 1 3/4 inch screws and the 1 1/2 inch screws just in case. When I got to Home Depot, I saw only 1 1/2 inch screws. I was in a hurry so I decided that would have to do.  They didn’t.  They were just too short.  I needed 1 3/4’s.  Later in the evening, on my third trip to Home Depot, I found out that was an unusual length for machine screws and they didn’t carry them. Doh.  The man told me to try a hardware store – is Home Depot not a hardware store?  The next day I took a trip to Ace Hardware. After a lot of searching, they too confirmed they did not carry this type of machine screw. They ordered me a special box just to call me the next day to tell me they did have the screws, they just couldn’t find them the day before.

So it was Wednesday before all the pulls were done.  I needed to drill holes a little wider in order to accommodate the pulls – my template proved to not be fool-proof but it all worked out in the end.

I forgot to take pictures of the templates for the pulls – probably because I was so focused on the measuring.

These drawers were especially annoying to measure out - but they are so pretty now!

Knobs and pulls

In addition to completing the handles on the cabinets – Jim has been adding another finishing touch; the quarter molding!  This has taken a lot of time and patience. There is a lot of measuring and calculating angles on where the quarter molding will meet. He has also had to deal with the vent in the toe kick (which doesn’t allow for quarter molding) and also the toe kick itself (which comes out a little bit on the edges).  Jim decided to have the quarter molding go around the vent. He also decided to cut into the toe kick in order to allow the quarter molding to continue smoothly. It is hard to make sense of this with words – so I will let the pictures do the talking.

Cabinet before the quarter molding

With the quarter molding - so pretty!

Quarter molding around the vent - nice close up of the tile too!

View of the molding going into the toe kick - it is hard to tell that Jim cut into it so it would be smooth

Another view

Jim also added outside corner molding to the island. This really added a finished look to the island.  It is something you don’t realize is missing until it is there. Now the island looks great.

The outside corner molding - so professional looking!

The wine rack also had its finishing touches completed.  Jim added the toe kick to the wine rack.  Since he designed and created the wine rack, he had to also create the toe kick.  It fits seamlessly with the rest of the toe kick so you would never know it wasn’t part of the rest of the cabinet.  We also ordered wicker baskets for the shelf on the wine rack.  We are going to keep our wine openers, corks, and other knickknacks in these. Another productive week in the Mai Household!

Wine rack complete - now we just need to fill it with bottles!

4 responses »

  1. Extra touches add so much! Looks fantastic! Great job.

  2. You guys are so good! None of my cabinets have knobs or pulls and it’s been on the to-do list for at least a year now…maybe I’ll use your how-to as inspiration 🙂 Miss you!!

  3. Husband should have cut the quarter round with a 45 and then a small return piece on either side next the toe kick register. The small return piece gets glued (crown molding glue) and one pin to hold it. More of a finished look. A 45 away is also better looking than a straight end cut. The details at the edges make the difference.

    I like how you handled the air flow under the cabinet out to the front of the toe kick. Very creative and that’s how I found your page. 😉


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