Cabinet Door Spraying Setups

Off-the-shelf door-spraying racks versus shop-rigged setups. June 9, 2007

I am considering getting the Pivot Pro cabinet door system. Does anyone have real world experience to share about this?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor J:
I have the system and use it every time I spray doors. It's a good method for handling doors, but certainly not a perfect method, particularly if you're cramped for space like I am. I would probably buy it again, especially if I had a larger finishing area.

Obviously its strongest point is that you can spray both sides of the door and hang it without ever touching the door. I really like having the door on the hinges and rod when I'm staining. It helps me keep fingerprints and smudges off the doors because the rod serves as a handle.

One negative is that it takes a few minutes to attach those hinges. They attach with 3" drywall screws. I think the idea was to use one of the screw holes from a screw-on euro hinge layout. The problem with that is the drywall screw makes the hole too large for mounting the hinge later. I drill another hole that will be concealed under the hinge when it's installed. You can also drill your euro hinge holes after you finish the doors, which eliminates the Pivot Pro hinge hole completely.

The vertical drying racks are nice, but only hold 24 doors. They have a 4'x4' footprint, which is a lot of space in my small shop, particularly for only 24 doors. Actually, 2 racks for 24 doors is best, since you can keep better track of where you are in the job by taking the doors off one rack, spraying them and placing them on another rack. Nearly all my cabinet jobs have more doors than that, so the need for space grows even more. I spray MLC Magnamax which is recommended to go on 3-6 mils wet.

Maybe it's bad technique on my part, but I can't hang a door vertically with that much material right away without it sagging. I have to set the doors aside and let them flash off for a few minutes before I can hang them. Obviously, that's handling them twice, but it's better than spraying the front, setting aside and then spraying the back. I also have to barely touch one edge to set the door that way, so I guess technically I don't spray them without ever touching the door. That's never been a real problem.

If I had the space and the bucks, I'd set up for 48 doors by getting two frames, and three drying racks. This way I could spray one door and let it sit on the frame and flash off while I spray a second door. Then take the first door to the rack. Alternating that way, I think the system would work extremely well. That's also about $2K. Pretty big investment, but down range, I think worth it.

From contributor B:

I'd say save your money. We spent over $1,000 on a Pivot Pro setup. We used it for about 3 jobs. Then it sat in the corner for a year. We just put the whole system in the dumpster last month. Yes, it did make it possible to spray both sides of doors at once. But the main downside was it took way too much floor space for the drying racks. Also, the parts are cheaply made and way too time consuming to clean - they get pretty well caked after a few jobs. We went back to using the vertical racks and spraying one side at a time. Pivot Pro sounded real good in theory, though.

From contributor A:
For good cabinet door racks, check out Hafele - they have some excellent ones and hold 50 at 20 lbs/door, with a 3x3 foot print.

From contributor R:
I'm really happy with my Pivot Pro. I like being able to do both sides of the door at once. The drying rack does take a bit of space but does hold about two dozen doors. The hinge attachments work best if you use Blum Inserta hinges with the 8 mm holes; then you just knock the thingies in; takes 10 seconds max. Best of all is that human hands never touch the door.

From contributor G:
How do you sand them?

From contributor M:
I don't have a Pivot Pro, but I just saw a similar attachment mechanism from Rockler that is based on the same expanding technology used by the Blum Inserta hinges. Looks pretty cool in the catalogue - it has a built-in metal hook to hang the door for spraying in the vertical position, from what I can tell?

From contributor N:
We use a Pivot Pro system for interior doors and it works well, however I agree with the first response - way too much room for cabinet doors. That's why we use nail boards, typically 12-16" square or larger. We spray the back side of the door on top of a clean rag, then flip it and set it on a nail board (with about a dozen sheetrock screws protruding through it), spray the front side, then set it in a drying rack, similar to the Hafele. You'll rarely notice the pinholes left on the backside. We spray a conversion varnish that has a catalyst in it. Works awesome.