Although we love DIY projects, there are often bumps and oops moments along the road. During these trials we try to keep our spirits up with a 'we can fix it' attitude and creative brainstorms. Sometimes we even get a new tool idea to add to our Christmas list! Recently when I was hanging the cupboard doors in our kitchen I ran into such a problem... one of the doors didn't fit:
Either the cabinet had warped or the door wasn't straight to begin with. Painting the cabinets only compounded the problem and now there was a 1/2" gap when the door closed as far as it could. The solution: plane the wood!
There's a specific tool for planing that looks like this:
To plane wood with this tool, just press it flat against the wood and take long strokes with the grain. Each stroke will take off a thin layer of wood and before long the door will be shorter.
I don't have such a tool and since I was just doing a small job I made due with what I had, a wood chisel. It's essentially the same idea, the chisel is just less accurate because it's not mounted on a flat piece of metal to keep it steady. Here's what my planing looked like:
To plane with a wood chisel
- Hold the beveled edge (not the flat edge) against the wood.
- Use a shallow angle to cut a thin layer of wood, use a steep angle to go deeper.
- Push the chisel in the direction of the grain. It's possible to chisel by hand but some of this wood was quite dense so I found tapping the handle with a hammer to be the best solution.
Wood chisels come in different sizes - typically 1/2", 3/4" and 1". At Home Depot they are $10 each or a pack of all three for $20. I had the 3 pack so I grabbed the 1" for this job since the door was about that thick.
I'm starting to really like working with wood, with the right (or almost right) tools you can do about anything with it!