Refacer's MUTs
(Multiple Use Tools)

These Refacer's MUTs are featured in my Taunton Press book, Refacing Cabinets: Making an Old Kitchen New. I developed them for myself when I was refacing cabinets for a living. They are the right tool for the job when it comes to veneer refacing. See all the pictures below for details.

After the book came out, I made and sold these for several years. In 2001 I moved on to other entrepreneurial pursuits and left my inventory of machined aluminum bodies and oak handles to languish in storage. But now, in my semi-retirement years, I'm once again making these tools.

You need two MUTs—a right and a left—and that's how I sell them (as a pair). The handled MUTs you see above are your most expensive MUT option. That's because it takes time to make the notched dowel handles and epoxy them onto the aluminum. 

If you want to glue on your own wood handles, or just use the MUTs without a handle, scroll down to the bottom of this page and you will see a purchase button for just the two machined MUTs (no handles).

Availability: In stock. Ready to ship.
Price: $49.95 (for a pair) (postage paid)

Refacer's MUTs 
Beauty Shots

Refacer's MUTs 
In Action
(photos from my Refacing Cabinets book)

Refacer's MUTs Without Handles

Here is the more affordable way to get yourself a pair of machined aluminum MUTs. No handles. You put your own handles on (see below for a simple handle option).

The aluminum angle used to make these has a standard dull mill finish. It may have some minor scuff marks or blotching, but nothing that an orbital hand-sander and some 120 grit paper can't make look remarkably nice (see picture below for details). 

Along with the two machined MUTs, I include two MUT labels.

Availability: In stock. Ready to ship.
Price: $29.95 (for a pair) (postage paid)

On the right, you can see a machined aluminum MUT, just like you will receive if you purchase a pair of MUTs without the handles. It has the standard dull mill finish, with some minor scuffing. But you can put a beautiful new "finish" on the metal by sanding with an orbital hand sander. That is what I did with the MUT on the left. 120 or 180 grit sandpaper is ideal. This is the finish I put on the outside of the handled MUTs I sell. I do not try to put a similar finish on the inside surface. Just leave that with the mill finish.

A simple, but totally effective (if not totally beautiful), MUT handle can be made by sawing a notch in a square piece of pine, as you see here.
Chop the handles to length. You can use a router to round the edges, or carve them round with a knife. I glue handles on with Gorilla Epoxy. To get the neatest job, tape off around the handles before glueing them on. Trim around the perimeter of the handles with a sharp knife point when the glue is semi-hardened.

Or, if you want a real woodworking challenge, you can cut a 1-1/4" dowel into 3" sections, round the ends, and then cut a notch like you see here. That's how I make the handles for the MUTs I sell. I cut the notches on my table saw. How I do it is a trade secret. ;-) 

The Rockler 
Veneer Trimming Tool

Have you seen Rockler's veneer trimming guide that they sell for cabinet refacing? It looks like two of my Refacer's MUTs in one tool, and that's exactly what it is. They took this idea from my MUTs.

The nice thing about the Rockler company is that they contacted me before they brought this idea to market. Told me of their intentions, and they offered to pay me a small amount for borrowing from my idea.

They didn't have to pay me a cent. I didn't have a patent on the idea. So, the fact that they contacted me about it makes me think very highly of Rockler. Very highly, indeed.

In case you're wondering, they asked me how much I might want. I said $1,000. They eventually agreed to that. We have an official document that allows only them to have any rights to my MUT idea, and I retain the right to make and sell my own version of the MUTs, as I am doing here.

What do I think of the Rockler tool? I think the price is right and it will probably work just fine (I've never actually used it) for a DIY homeowner refacing project.

On the other hand, I have been told that my MUTs with the handles are more convenient to use, and they are a more sturdy tool.