Saturday, November 28, 2015

Filo Handle Installation

Required: The right tools for the job!

We get so many inquiries about how to install these handles that we decided to make step by step instructions. The Filo and Karmen handle are essentially the same -the Karmen simply has a taller channel that shows more metal above the drawer when installed. These handles are designed to install into a channel on the door or drawer front. The most common locations being the bottom of the door, or the top of the drawer front, as shown in the image below. Nice huh? So, how do you go from the raw material (Filo/Karmen come in 96" uncut lengths) to the shiny finished product below?

Step 1: Purchase handle.


Step 2: Cut Handle to Length.

Using a 'Chop-Saw', with a fine tooth blade, cut the handle to the exact width of the door or drawer front. Be sure to wear eye protection, those little bits of aluminum can be nasty when combined with your eyeballs!

Step 3: Polishing the cut.

Using a 'Bench-Grinder', with a 'Sisal Wheel', polish all surfaces of the cut. The rough-cut handle will have sharp burs that must be removed. Use a sanding block (sand-paper wrapped around a wood block will work) to remove as much of the rough burs as possible before polishing with the Sisal wheel.

Step 4: Make the Template.

Using a 'Router', cut a template for the handle. We recommend using a router-table for making the cut into the door/drawer front. The image below shows the specifications for the channel that must be cut into the door or drawer front to accept the handle, these specifications will also be used to make the template. The template is critical for holding the handle in place for the two drilling steps that must be completed.

The following images are of the template we created to hold the handles for drilling. We have marked two locations on the template: one is 2 inches in, the other is 3 inches in (place the same marks on both ends of the template) -larger handles will have a hole 2 inches in on both ends of the handle and one hole drilled in the middle. Smaller handles will have only the holes drilled 3 inches in from each end.

Step 5: Drill the Pilot Holes.

Using a small 'Drill-Bit', drill the pilot holes for the screws. The pilot holes in the handle are critical for the next drilling step -the counter sink. Before drilling pilot holes you must also decide the distance from the edge of the handle that the screws will be placed. In the image below we measured 3/8" from the bottom of the handle for our holes. This distance can be whatever you want, as long as all holes are drilled using the same measurement.

Step 6: Drill the counter-sink.

The chart below will help you determine the size of the pilot hole and the size of the counter-sink. These sizes are based on the screw you select for handle installation.

Using a 'Drill-Press' and a 'Counter-Sink bit', drill the counter-sink into the handle. Counter-sinking creates a beveled edge that allows your screw to sit flush when installed (it is important for all of the counter-sink holes to be the same). The counter-sink can be made without a drill-press, however, it is difficult when hand drilling to determine when to stop and to hold the drill level. The drill-press in the picture below has been set up to hold the template. The drill-press has a setting that stops the bit at a predetermined depth, this ensures the counter-sink will be the same each time. You will need to create some test holes with the counter-sink bit to find the best set-up for your screw. The ideal counter-sink allows the screw to sit flush with the surface of the handle.

There is one step that we didn't cover: Sealing the cut you make in the door/drawer front. Cutting the channel in the door/drawer front exposes the core -regardless of the door material, you should seal the exposed material against water absorption. The sealant you choose will depend on the material you are sealing. (we also didn't cover screwing the handle to the drawer...that's the easy part!)

We hope you find these instructions helpful for installing your handles. There is a ton of detail we could throw in here, but we thought it best to keep it as simple as possible -the interwebz are full of detailed info for those inclined to sift through it :)

We may bring online ordering for finished Filo/Karmen handles in the near future. Currently, we are only offering the raw uncut 96" lengths.

Thanks for watching!