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Kitchen Cabinet doors

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Has anyone tried to replicate the original kitchen doors in their eichler? Any experiences with materials used or techniques would be great.

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

I just had a cabinet maker in today (thanks, renman for the referral) and was quite impressed with him and his portfolio. He came to measure my kitchen cupboards for sliders. Since there's time involved in setting up the jig for cutting the finger grooves, it seemed more economical to have all sliders done at once (30 in total for my house--I have a few more cabinets I've installed than most).

I'll see my final quote on Wednesday which will be for unpainted sliders though he has a circle of excellent subcontractors he works with, including a painter who does all his finishes. If I decide I wanted them painted, he'll arrange it for me.

I'm sure you and I are not the only ones wanting to replace missing or damaged sliders so I'm crossing my fingers on this--he'd be a great resource for the Eichler community. I'm also looking at having him put rollout shelves put in a couple of lower cabinets (under the stovetop and sink). We discussed it and he doesn't seem to think they'll be any difficulty.

I expect I'll OK the quote and hopefully have the work done in the next 4 weeks. I can let you know how it goes if you like.

Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Hi There:

We were determined to upgrade our kitchen conservatively and in a way that would maintain the look of the original, while making it more funcational.

To that end, we chose to have our original cabinets refaced with new formica. As charming as the sliders were, we replaced them with doors that swing out, which I love, since I can now see everthing that is in the cabinet all at the same time. The doors are 100% smooth and flat with hidden finger pulls and I love them. We could have afforded to replace all the cabs, so refacing was not about $$, it was about preservation. Just another option to replacing the sliders with more sliders.

I'd be happy to e-mail photos to you if you send me an e-mail - cathyelynn at earthlink dot net.

Cathye

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

while zolatone is still available, it's pretty difficult to apply. An easy option that would stay within the design standard would be to face you sliding cabinet doors with formica. Maybe white on one side and a color on the other so you can change them around, mix and match in the future. Jones & Emmons did something like this in the X-100.

There was a good article in Sunset a couple issues back out using formica on cabinets.

I really love the sliding cabinet doors in Eichler kitchens/bathrooms. It's a nice design feature from the period, which is quite functional today.

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Joined: Mar 23 2011

One very positive aspect of the sliders is that they won't fly open in an earthquake. We've pointed this out to many people planning on destroying their original kitchens. The advice universally falls on deaf ears. It is a complete mystery to me why people in California install cabinet doors with no latches. Our Eichler was remodeled in the early 1980s (by the original owner). There is no way to hold the stupid cabinet doors shut. This means we have to store all our valuable china in the old cabinets that are now in the garage.

While we probably won't restore the kitchen to its original form, we intend to make it look like it was built in 1961. This means lots of laminate, with colors appropriate to the era.

Dave

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

good points, dave

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Joined: Mar 24 2004

Hi, Cathye,
Will you refer the formica person to me? I am in bay area as well. For cost reason, I would like to just refaced them since we are new to the house.
Also I do not know what 'sliders' is. I am not sure if the cabinet in the kitchen is original or not. Does any one know how to identify it is original or not? Thanks
Diana

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Joined: Mar 23 2011

Diana,

You'd probably know if you had sliders, because as the name implies the cabinets do not have doors that swing out in the traditional way. Rather, there are panels that SLIDE back and forth in grooves along the front edge of the cabinets.

Go to the following URL, go about 2/3 of the way down the page. You'll see two men kneeling on the floor showing something. In the background, you will see cabinets with sliders.

http://www.eichlernetwork.com/ENCookin.html

Hope that helps,
Dave

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Joined: Mar 24 2004

Dave, Thanks for the info.
My cabinest is a swing out so it is not original. So the next question is how do I replicate sliders? Is there specific stores make eichler sliders?
Thanks
Diana

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

Something to add,
there are many Euro-Modern style cabinet manufacturers, such as Scavolini (and a few custom shops that build similiar designs) that have touch latches or similiar hardware that doesn't open from the inside; it requires pressure inward to open the latch. The X-100 has the finest examples of workmanship from the period (50's)modern design, (formica doors and cabinets with brass inlay rails) and they are working fine today, but current cabinet making practices and techniques allow the use of much smaller bearings and hardware products that allow sliding cabinets to function and operate with much more ease than the common original Eichler production cabinet (you know, the one that you have to bang before you can slide it open?)
For those Eichler ownwers out there that currently experience this custom/ritual before being able to retrieve a bowl for your raisin bran in the morning, try removing the doors and rubbing them with bees wax; it really helps to lubricate with out staining or gunking up the slots.
If you do this, however, you might have to develop a new ritual before breakfast in the morning (or pulling retrieving a scewdriver out tof the garage cabinet, for those of you who are less commited to this ritual and have retired you originals to the garage).

renman

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Joined: May 20 2004

Hi Jake
Could you please email me the cabinet maker referral you received from renman? thanks....sallyha at pacbell dot net
S

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

My sliders and pullout cabinet drawers were installed last Thursday. I had to be out so a family member was here when the cabinet maker came.

The chap has very professional, courteous, and conscientious. His workmanship is very good. I have one small problem to get back to him on, which I will try to do today. So far, so good, but I'd like to wait until I've approached him on this final item before giving a wholesale recommendation (which, by the way, I think I will be able to do).

So, if you can wait a couple of days, I'll send the info to those who are interested.

Cheers.
Jake

P.S. You should know that new sliders will not cure all ills. Unlike other dimensional lumber, the hardboard used for the sliders is pretty well the exact same size as that originally used. That means if you have issues with paint/residue buildup in your cabinet tracks causing stopping your doors from sliding, you're still going to have to address that.

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Both sliders and roll-out trays are installed and the final detail taken care of. The sliders are a major improvement to the look of my kitchen--and the roll-out drawers have really improved the functionality. And I have to say the whole experience was a surprisingly pleasant one, thanks to the cabinet maker who did the work. (I wish I had known of him sooner--thank you to renman who referred me).

I was impressed the cabinet maker's professional attitude and skill. You don't often find someone who is really trying to please the customer--not a begrudging "the customer is always right" mantra, but an honest "we want you to be delighted" kind of attitude. Certainly refreshing.

I felt he was professional to a "t". He listened, made suggestions, but never tried to talk me into or out of anything. He provided written, detailed quotes--no hidden costs. He set, and stayed on top of, his scheduled installation date. You can't ask for much more.

I'm happy to recommend this chap. If you want his contact info or have questions about my experience, send me an email.

Cheers.
jake.

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: May 6 2003

Jake, we would really appreciate the name of your cabinet maker. Please email me at brookdonovan@yahoo.com. We don't have sliders, we have a 1972 Eichler with original "walnut printed" (I guess!) formica faced cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. We'd like to reface all of the cabinet frames with real walnut veneer and have the doors duplicated in solid walnut. I imagine your guy can do this sort of work.

Anyone have experience with refacing cabinet framing with actual wood and duplicating doors in solid hardwood? We like our kitchen/bath layouts, like the design of the cabinets and want to keep everything original in terms of aesthetics...we'd just like to upgrade the materials to what the designer probably wanted in the first place - real walnut.

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

To Dave's comments about his recommendations for sliders for kitchen cabs, rather than pull out, due to their ability to prevent all your contents from ending up on the floor during an earthquake: The reason why most folks are not concerned about this is because of the probability of the event happening, which is slim to none. Sure, we have the occasional quake of a magnitude that it can be felt, but when was the last time you, or anyone else for that matter, was in a quake where all of your cupboards flug open and the contents ended up on the floor?

Even in the Loma Prieta, this did not happen to my parents (Los Altos Hills) or anyone else that we know. So why make a decision on a convenience item that one will use every day, hundreds of times a week--based on one event that may, or may not, ever happen?

CLS

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