The repair job seems to be holding up well, so perhaps I can be quietly satisfied with my fixing strategy.
In the melamine-coated chipboard, the fixing screws top and bottom of the fridge door were coming adrift. With the sag, the top cabinet door was increasingly binding on the lower door concealing the freezer half. It had got to the point where the freezer door also opened if you opened the fridge. I reasoned that the only sure way to hold the door firm would be to use bolts, rather than screws, and to go right through the melamine to the other side so as to tighten nuts securely there and hold the structure in place.
The problem with this strategy, however, was the potential unsightliness of the fixing on the smooth melamine finish. Another challenge was the chipboard holes created by the sagging screws. The solutions (plastic button lids; hardwood dowelling) were clear to me, but the job was going to need to be developed over several stages.
- Find some hardwood dowelling (thanks Walter at the Men’s Shed!)
- Drill out 6mm holes through the cabinet side
- Cut 4 dowels to fit, glue them in place with wood glue; wait 4 hours
- Drill 3mm holes through the dowels to accept a snug fit of 3mm bolts
- Offer up the cabinet door through the fridge glider; insert bolts with washers into the bracket fixing
- Affix button lids and tighten nuts; close the lids
- Assess the relative binding of the newly fixed cabinet door
The actual inserting of the bolts was the fiddliest bit, but together we achieved that goal; would the door swing shut and open without binding?
As it turned out, after a judicious spray of WD40, the cabinet door settled neatly into place and it now opens and closes with a satisfyingly soft sigh. Just the hint of a scrape, and much less likelihood of continued sagging.
The best thing about this job, however, is the subtlety of the achievement. The joy comes from the innocuous effect on the smooth decor of the kitchen cabinets. A job that once accomplished, doesn’t need to trumpet its success, but rather just works well in place.
I could aspire to that sort of quiet satisfaction in a variety of projects.
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