How to Repair Broken Doors on Workshop Cabinets

What You'll Need
Expandable wood clamps
Wood glue
Clean rag
Wood putty
Putty knife

Broken doors on workshop cabinets can be a real bother especially if you are constantly opening and closing the doors during work. Several things can go wrong with cabinet doors, from the hinges to the wood of the door itself. To repair the broken doors, first you have to determine what is wrong. Only then can provide the right remedy for the problem. Loose hinges should be removed and refastened or replaced. You may also have to patch and re-drill the holes for the hinge screws. This how-to intends to show you the method for repairing a cabinet door that has cracked without having to replace the whole door. 

Step 1: Remove Door from Cabinet

First, remove the cabinet door by removing the screws that hold the hinge onto the cabinet. Each door will likely have two hinges, each of which is secured with 2 to 4 screws. Unless the split in the door runs through where the hinge attaches to it, you can leave the hinges on the door. Make sure you set the screws that affix the door to the cabinet aside in a safe place so you do not lose them. 

Step 2: Repairing a Minor Split

Depending on the extent of the split in the wood, you may be able to apply wood putty and patch the split. On either side of the split, squeeze the wood together with your hands to see if the gap closes up with pressure. If it does not, the split is probably just topical. Scoop up some wood putty onto the tip of the putty knife and scrape it into the crack. Run the flat knife over the crack until the putty is level with wood. Fill in the entire crack in this way and let the material harden.

Step 3: Preparing to Repair a Deeper Split

If, however, the split is deep in the cabinet door and the gap closes up when you apply pressure to either side, wood glue may be in order. Open the wood clamp wide enough to hold the door either widthwise or lengthwise depending on the run of the split. 

Step 4: Apply Wood Glue to the Split

Run a continuous bead of wood glue into the entire split of the cabinet door. You don’t need to squeeze in a huge amount, but be generous. You will wipe away the excess after clamping the wood. 

Step 5: Attach the Clamp

Position the clamp so that it extends perpendicularly over the split. Tighten the ends until the split closes in on itself. A lot of wood glue will likely squeeze out onto the surface. Once the clamp is tight and the split is closed, wipe away all excess glue. You may have to use two or three identical clamps in order to keep the split closed uniformly across the split. 

After the glue has dried, remove the clamps and check your work. You should have wiped away all excess glue right after clamping, but you may still have to do a little light sanding over the split to remove some residue.