Lazy Susan Door Fit Issues

Door tolerances and operation can create problems at the time of installation with lazy Susan corner cabinets. November 13, 2009

I went to hang inset doors on a Rev-A-Shelf wood susan set, and there is not enough clearance for the door to swing. I went back and reviewed my info from Rev-A-Shelf, and I guess they specify 1/8" door gaps, on top of the opening size. Their literature that I have wasn't very clear on this, but the web site seems to be more up to date. Unfortunately, I was working from the old catalog.

Anyhow, I have my plywood partitions almost flush to the face frame, and that is not going to clear in the application. The cabinets are installed, so trying to move the partitions at this point would be difficult. I know I built the door openings a little tight compared to what they are specifying, however I need to clear out some space behind the face frame for the door to swing. I was thinking of routing it out rather than trying to shift the partitions. This is a real pain, but I have to deal with it. I should have made the openings in the face frame larger, but I didn't and now I have to pay the price.

Has anyone else gone through this? I did a search here, and it looks like many guys have fought with these pie cut inset susans. I think it will be the last set I install, but I still have to get through it.

Forum Responses
(Forum Responses)
From contributor H:
You always need to back cut the face frames on inset susans if you want tight clearance. You're not alone.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. I had a feeling that was the case. I have to say that Rev-A-Shelf should really have a better instruction for this... even though I know that I probably should have assumed that I would need to do so.

From contributor M:

If it's the same as the one pictured below, then I'm afraid you have a bit more substantial problem. Yes, you need at least 1/8" gaps and yes, you need to backcut the door edge and the back of the side face frames. While shop fitting this, I discovered that since the cutout of the shelves is actually less than a quadrant, the edge of the door travels a little outward as it enters the cabinet. With the very narrow (7/8"?) face frame I first made up for this hybrid situation, the front door edge hit the inside cabinet wall about an inch or two inside the cabinet.

I ended up having to reduce the width of the doors and widen up the (new) side face frames to get it to work. This is while it was still on the bench, no backs on and an entire shop and finish booth at hand. Plus, I could swear and drink and smoke at will. And it sucked. I reread the specs and there was nowhere that it warned of this outward travel or necessary clearances.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

From the original questioner:
Thanks. Yes, I too learned about the position of the pivot point and tried to adjust the unit back into the cabinet further, thinking I could pad out the back of the doors. Even with that, the swing still causes a problem.

I do think it is pretty lousy that Rev-A-Shelf leaves this information incomplete. I suppose I will have to try and relieve not only the plywood interference, but the face frame will have to be back cut as well. This sounds like a full day shot doing this - what a bummer!

From contributor P:
If the customer is willing, why not hinge the door?

From contributor A:
We do inset beaded face frame exclusively. Everyone runs into this problem the first time. There are two things to remember. You do not have to maximize the diameter of the pie. Make or buy it a bit smaller than you typically would for a euro or overlay kitchen. You must relieve the edge of the face frame, not the door. We might do 15+ degrees (?). Push the side flush with the outside edge of the 1 1/2" face frame stile.

Now that you are in the middle of this problem, I suggest you buy smaller shelves for the susan. You should be able without too much pain to bevel the stiles of the face frame. Where is the bulkhead located in relation to the stile?

From contributor B:
My thought was the same as contributor P's - see if the customer will accept a hinged door.

From contributor T:
Have you seen the safety susan by West Earl Industries, Leola, Pa? The door moves back about 1-1/2" on a spring/cam mechanism. You would not have to alter your cabinet construction.

From contributor Z:
I remember the first time I built one of those. I used a 2 foot level to plumb up the center shaft, then discovered I couldn't get the level out of the cabinet. I had to saw it in half. When I took the cabinet to the customer's house, I discovered it wouldn't fit through the door. Had to tear it apart anyway. This made me the man I am today.

From contributor N:
Hateful things. Hateful, hateful, hateful.

From contributor H:
See if they will go for a hinged bi-folding door. It will save you a lot of work.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for all the replies, fellas. It actually wasn't too bad after all. I was able to move the partitions easier than expected. While they were out, I ran a 15 degree bevel bit on the back edge of the face frames, and then reinstalled the partitions. I am sure I could have bought the smaller shelves, but I figured I would try this first, and it seems to have worked.