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SBW#53 – Kitchen Cabinet Build Part 21 – Mistakes Were Made

While determining the stile length is pretty straightforward for a cabinet door, the rail length is a little more complicated. I’ll go through I validate my rail measurements for the formula I created in the previous article.

This is the second part of this video mini-series. To determine the stile and rail length you’ll want to read the previous article.

So, to ensure my measurements are spot on I start by using scrap material as I normally do. However, I end up using this piece of scrap because as it turns out even though the edges are marred up with the profile cuts of the router bits I will be using that marring gets removed. Win-Win!

After confirming my rail length was indeed 10 3/4″ I went ahead and cut the other one. I already cut had cut my stiles at 23 3/16″ in the previs video so we are good now with the framing of the door.

Now with the door frame all sized up the next step for me is to cut the profiles for the frames on my router using my stile/rail door set. I’m using a Shaker profile but you could use any profile. The key here is you want to make sure your stile/rail set work together because the rail end cut is the negative of the stile cutter as it will fit perfectly into this cut. You’ll see that a little bit later below as I dry fit the frame together.

I’ll want to make sure the height is set perfectly because you want to have a flush connection on both front and back surfaces. Any place it’s not perfect will require sanding on the finished product to get it smooth. Do the work upfront rather than the repair in the end. However, you may not always end up with perfectly flush mating surfaces and sanding may be necessary. My order of sanding would be a drum sander, belt sander, and lastly a random orbital sander.

In the image below I’m using a jig that matches the bit set I’m using. This allows me to get the cuts as perfect as possible. Use scrap during the process to avoid material waste.

Once everything is set up the way you like it go ahead and cut your components that match the bit you have installed. And that is what I did not do. Yes, Mistakes Were Made! I had the rail bit installed but cut all the inside board profiles which should have been the stile bit. Now, I get to recut the stiles and rails for this door. This is why you also have extra material machined just in case. It is why I recommend you do 1 door first before doing ALL of your doors.

I used the rail bit to cut all the inside profiles which should have been the stile bit.

So after cutting all the components to length again for this door frame I use my Rockler Rail Coping Sled to cut the rail ends. This sled makes cutting the ends of rails so easy and in my opinion, a coping sled is a must for safety whether it is Rockler’s or a different coping sled.

After cutting all 4 ends, rotating after each cut – NOT flipping – I swap out bits and cut the stile profile. Ensure your boards are in the correct orientation for the bit cutting profile. In my case, I have to flip my boards over to cut the stile profile.

Remember this is the cut that forms the inside door frame profile so both stile and rails need this cut. You should always use push blocks for safety when working with small material on a router.

This is what the joints will look like after I got done with all the cuts.

Next, we determine the panel size. Now your panel can be whatever you want. I’m using a flat panel but you use a flat panel. The way you figure the size is the same.

To get the dimensions is quite easy. For the width, it is just the length of the rail (from tenon edge to tenon edge). For the height, you need to measure the depth of the opening, making sure your rails are flush on the outside of your stile ends. So, take this opening measurement and add 2 x the depth of the tenon length.

Now you’ll want to subtract about 1/16″ or 1/8″ for panel expansion. For MDF you can probably get away with 1/16″. For solid wood panels you’ll need more like 1/8″. For simplicity and keeping this standard I like to use 1/8″. So If I make my panel 1/8″ smaller for the width and height, this allows for the panel to expand or shrink without cause frame damage or failing out. If you do not allow this extra room if humidity causes the panel to expand it can warp or blow the frame apart.

So, now that I have all of our components for the door cut to size I want to dry-fit them to ensure everything looks good. Yes, I do this for every door I make because I want to ensure they are perfect now rather than after I get them assembled.

Here is what the door looks like dry-fit assembled. I have the rails flush with the stile ends but I can push them down 1/8″ on one side to ensure the expansion gap exists.

I did have an issue with one of my stiles where I pulled it away from the router bit a little soon which caused extra material to be left. This can be fixed by simply filing this down on the beveled edge and the back flat edge. This will allow this piece to fit snugly. Otherwise what happens is you end up with a gap since it will now allow a tight fit.

All dry fit-up and laying on the cabinet face frame looks perfect. There’s a 1/4″ reveal all the way around. The next step is just cleaning it all up and getting it assembled – but that’s a separate article 🙂

And for those who want some stats, the video below is a result of 12 videos totaling 34 minutes, 38 seconds edited down to 10 minutes, and 4 seconds. It took a long time to edit this video using my current software that I use and I’ve begun exploring new software but am still learning it so bear with me.

As always if you have any questions or comments post them below or on my YouTube video comments section and I’ll do my best to respond.

I’ve included a few Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.


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Or Check out our Deal of the Day page in the Top Right of the Menu

SBW#48 – Herman Miller Aeron Armrest Repair

My Herman Miller Aeron Chair looks like this! How did this happen? No, I did not take my armrest off, it broke! The bolt in the arm bolt assembly sheared the head off and the arm fell to the floor.

Notice the missing right armrest

I went to push up on my armrests, after all, who does do that to get up and bang. There was a loud bang and the armrest dropped to the floor. Looking at it I only see the bolt stud sticking out with obviously something broken off. What was it? After taking the assembly apart it was the head of the bolt. However, this bolt is unlike most bolts, it is only a pan head torque bolt. There’s not much metal there and with 20+ years of fatigue, the metal gave in and broke.

So, how much is a new one? $90 is a little steep for me but was to be expected given how much this chair cost in the first place. There has to be a cheaper way to fix it right? Maybe a standard bolt or something. Yes, you guessed it, that’s the route we’re going.

Complete Arm Assembly

The first thing is to remove the old bolt stud from the armrest. I did this by using my channel lock pliers to get a grip and spin the bolt out. Hold the thumbwheel while turning the stud and it will come out. Just be careful to pay attention to the parts in the thumbwheel as there is a bearing assembly and washer on it and you’ll want to get those back in the same orientation when reassembling your armrest. If you don’t, turning the thumbwheel is nearly impossible.

Now, you might need to make a trip to the local hardware store and get a 1/4″-28 x 2.5″ grade 5 bolt. I took the stud and thumbwheel down to the home centers. However, all they had were 2″ and 3″ lengths. I ended up finding one at my local hardware store and matched up the threads to their thread insert to tell me which bolt size I needed. Then I chose one with the correct length and grade 5 because this bolt takes a lot of stress from pushing down on the armrest and I didn’t want it to break again.

Then you need to remove is the chair back. This can be done by removing the 4 torque screws holding it in place. I accomplished this using my Craftsman magnetic screwdriver and a torque bit. When you get the four screws out just lift the back straight up and out. Broken hardware from the armrest is likely to shower out on the floor so I recommend doing it in a place where you can see what falls.

I used a T30 torque bit for screw removal

I inserted all the components back together (see image below) and put the bolt into the chair. I then spent some time getting the bearing assembly, thumb wheel, and washer to alight just right so I could get the bold back through and into the armrest threads. I tightened it down and spent some time readjusting so it was not wobbly but loose enough to adjust while using the thumbwheel.

Correct hardware orientation. The chair armrest support goes between the end of the bolt and the 3rd component. Old broken bolt below for reference.

Then, I reinserted to back into the chair and hand tightened all four torque screws before tightening them down with my Craftsman magnetic screwdriver and torque bit.

hand tighten screws back in before tightening them down

My chair is back to normal and good to go again. I’m glad I spent a few dollars rather than $90 because you really cannot tell the difference other than if you look closely you can see a shiny bolt rather than a flat black bolt. I could of course painted it but in this case, functionality over aesthetics will win. I’ve included a link to the original part on Amazon below if you want to check it out.

Ironically while writing this article the left armrest bolt broke for me nearly a year later. Yeah, I’m backlogged on articles and videos. So, I get to repeat the same process with the other armrest.

As always if you have any questions or comments post them below or on my YouTube video comments section and I’ll do my best to respond.

I’ve included a few Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.


Looking for a Gift Idea? Visit the Amazon Gift Hub
Or Check out our Deal of the Day page in the Top Right of the Menu