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Tawn
Updating Arched Cabinets

I am interested in understanding if I could use a router to update the look of my kitchen cabinets. I currently have oak Arched Recessed Panel cabinets (as uppers) and would like to lose the arch and have it been the same width as the bottom detail of the cabinet. Is it possible to use a router and make this change?

A. Spruce
Re: Updating Arched Cabinets

It is doubtful, though possible depending on how the door is made. If it is a rail and stile type door, then no, the panel is the same shape as the arch. If it is a back panel door (frame sits on top of a full width/height panel, then yes, it's possible, however there will be a noticeable demarcation between where the existing arch is and where you remove the top rail due to being unable to match the existing stain/patina to the newly exposed wood, as well as duplicating the same profile as around the rest of the frame.

I would only attempt this with the understanding that the best thing that can happen is you're successful, and the worst thing that can happen is you will be required to replace the doors. If you're ok with that, go for it, otherwise, don't. This also won't be as easy as grabbing a router and whacking out the area you don't want. you're going to have to make a jig to hold the router so that it can only cut what you require it to and nothing more. Free handing is not an option.

BTW, a squared frame that you're looking to accomplish is not an "updated" look, it is a style. Arched top doors are actually considered an upgrade from a basic squared look and a compromise to an actual raised panel.

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