I'm adding a built in for extra dish storage in the dining room. Because of space, it can't exceed 12 inches in depth. I looked into using kitchen uppers, but based on the quality and the price I wound up with a solid wood cabinet from the 60's. I'm going to cut it down, mount it to the wall, wrap the baseboard molding around a base, paint it to match the trim, and have granite cut for the top which will "T" through a pass thru to the kitchen.
Any ideas if I can cut 6 inches off the depth without taking the entire cabinet apart?It's really solid and I'm trying to avoid compromising the construction. Tools are no problem.
In most cases there is a back to the cabinet. Usually luan ply or other. Some are rabbited in and others are face attached. Depending on the framing which could cause some problems. Aside from that you should be able to cut down the sides(2), 1 bottom and replace the frame across the back and the backing ply. I would create a leg system for it to sit on the floor and give you a toe-kick and nailing surface for the base molding similar to others to match the other cabinets.
Make sure you have the depth for your dishes especially flat plates so they will clear so that you can close the door.This message has been edited. Last edited by: redoverfarm,
I want to emphasize the above comment about the depth to handle large plates. Serving plates you can usually stand on edge but dinner pates are usually stacked. We have one set of dinner plates that are hard to store because they are just about an inch too big.
Cutting down a cabinet like that is an ambitious project, but I know I could do it without taking the cabinet apart. BUT, by the time you cut off the back, you have essentially taken the cabinet apart. Do all you can to save he glue joints on the front.
I'll definitely be taking the back off and the legs, and removing the doors beforehand. I guess I should have emphasized what I need help with. My question really is; can I run a whole piece of furniture through a table saw? or, do I need to make a starter notch somewhere and use a fine blade circular saw? I'm not sure about what tool to use to insure I'll get fairly clean cuts. I know I'll have to use the palm sander to smooth it out, but since i want to screw it to the wall like a kitchen cabinet i want as clean and level a cut as possible.
I don't see how you can run it through a table saw; I would use a fine blade in a circular saw. Set the blade depth to just over the thickness of the wood and start in at a bottom corner. You will need a helper to steady the cabinet as you cut.
You didn't say if the sides are panelled, If so, you will need to tack on runners for the saw.
The cabinet may collapse as you get past the second side, so it may be best to tack on a diagonal brace to the front, or just leave the doors in place to steady it.
Then use a router to cut a rabbit inside at the back for the back panel. The back panel needs only be 1/4" plywood. Hopefully the original back will work.
When we had a cabinet maker cut down a cabinet he used a circular saw. He had other tools available that that is what he used.
If you decide to use a table saw there are a couple of things that you need to address. Normally the face frame protrudes out past the sides by 1/4to3/8". So if you lay the sides on the table top you will need to tape a shim either to the table top or cabinet the same thickness as that reveal so that the blade will cut 90 degree and not be beveled. Another is that you need to remove the door and hinge. The face frame will be a straight guide along your table saw fence to make sure that you have the same distance from the fence to the blade. Make one cut all the way through, flip 90 degrees, another cut, flip 90 degrees and so forth in the same direction until you have cut all 4 sides. Again making sure you measurement is exactly what you want. Measure twice cut once. Depth of cut should be set the deepest setting of the cabinet needed on any particular side. You do not want to change any settings with your saw once you start cutting.
Thanks everyone. The cabinet is a good quality 1960's solid walnut modern design with no paneling or applied molding. I think I'm going to go with using a fine tooth circular saw and figure out how to clamp a guide onto it. I hadn't wanted to use a circular saw because I made a mess of a 130 year old door trying to cut it down. But I think because this is younger, harder wood, in much better condition than the door I should be OK. Thanks, again.
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