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Old 10-03-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


I've removed the cabinet doors from an upper kitchen cabinet and would like to remove the center stile so I can place a small microwave inside. I plan to leave the doors off, sand, and touch up the wood finish inside the cabinet. I'm not sure how to remove the stile without damaging the frame, and welcome tips on the proper technique & type of saw to use. Are stiles generally just glued into place, as I do not see any evidence of a screw or nail? The cabinet measures 30" x 30". Should I also add a brace under the cabinet? If so, should it be placed from side to side or front to back? Will Liquid Nails work, or should I screw the brace into place? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!!

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Old 10-03-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


Welcome to the Forum!

you may get more assistance if you post a photo or two with the doors off.

How to attach a photo to a post

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Old 10-03-2013, 02:07 PM   #3
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


Here's a photo...hope this works!!
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:47 PM   #4
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


Ideally I would remove that cabinet entirely and install a shorter one at the top with an under the counter microwave under it.
Reasons being, then there's a place to hide the outlet for the microwave.
There's not going to be any exposed repaired area left exposed at the top and bottom where the stile was.
There would not be an unusable space at the top of the cabinet.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


Microwave shelves from cabinet lines usually have a much deeper shelf first of all, because most countertop microwaves are at least 15"-18" deep.. Second, they are built more robustly. Looking at your cabinet picture, I can't tell much more than it has plastic shelf clips, which wouldn't give me confidence on the robustness of the build quality. Third, they are required to be placed between two cabinets or a cabinet and to the floor end panel for the support needed. It does appear that the cabinet is placed between a cabinet and wall, but is it actually attached to both?

With that wide of a cabinet, removing the center stile could compromise it's ability to support the contents. And then wanting to put a heavy MW in it? I'd rethink the plan. Perhaps since you are removing the doors, the cabinet can be remade into a shorter cabinet to have a MW with a hanging kit installed. Perhaps you have a 24" deep cabinet elsewhere, like a base cabinet or pantry or oven cabinet, that could be modified to fit a MW. Perhaps you might do an over the range microwave.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


Microwaves aren't that heavy. Granted, your cabinet is wider than ours but my dad did the same thing to hide the microwave. Back when my parents owned our house their microwave was huge and heavy. The shelf it all sits on is only 3/4" and it's supported by wood strips around the perimeter of the shelf on the underside. He ran another outlet in the cabinet to hide the wires. (sorry about the mess, we never use our microwave and the shelf paper is a hot mess). Also, this cabinet goes to the floor and is anchored to the wall behind it and the upper cabinet next to it. The other side is exposed.

(image removed)

I'm no expert but I would try to cut out the center bar and support the shelf somehow (I'm assuming you are going to put the microwave on the very bottom shelf) by running strips of wood front to back under the cabinet itself. If it doesn't work, you can always try what the others have suggested.

Last edited by kimberland30; 10-04-2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:44 AM   #7
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


You'll have a tough time fitting a microwave in there, most are deeper than that cabinet appears to be.

Strips front-to-back under the cabinet? That's not going to do much. Better to make use of some angle iron or other sort of shelf bracket to support the added weight. Since it's just drywall below then it wouldn't be much trouble to patch that to hide them. That or do the same thing from above and hang an over-the-range sort of model from it.

What you DO NOT want to do is not have a plan to support it. Otherwise when the added weight causes it to fail you'd probably have the whole row of cabinets come down together.

From the look of it, the tricky part is going to be hiding what looks like the front edge of the bottom shelf. Normally hidden by the doors? Just removing the center piece wouldn't be "too hard" perhaps by using an oscillating saw. But if appearance is really important then I'd be inclined to hire someone known to do good kitchen cabinet work. Because matching up the stain and finish along the top where you'd remove the center piece would be a challenge.

Are there any indicators of a brand or manufacturer on the cabinets? Look on the sides/bottom/backs of any drawers. Because if you know the vendor you might be able to get new material from them to create new trim that looked similar. Or at least a touch-up kit.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:58 AM   #8
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


To all who responded...thank you, sincerely! Your comments confirmed my fear of embarking on a disaster. I really love your suggestions, but, in this case...I suppose I'm stuck with my countertop mircowave. My galley-kitchen is full to the brim; above the stove is not an option (see below); and mounting it below the existing wall cabinets does not provide much needed counterspace.
Suppose my next post must deal with the elephant in the room...a whopping 27" tall 1970's Avocado Green range hood that is in great shape and excellent working condition. I love the style of it....but yikes, it is Avacado (I call it Palm Green, lol). I've considered painting it Stainless Steel but would have to do so while it's hanging on the wall, I'm just not that talented, or strong enough, to remove it myself--- it's huge! Has anyone painted a range hood while it's hanging on the wall? Any suggestions?
So, for now, I suppose I'm stuck in the '70s and will "retro-out" the rest of the kitchen! Thanks again for your response!
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:10 AM   #9
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


Lose the range hood and replace it with an over-the-range microwave. In our old house, before we tore it down, we had a galley kitchen. And as much as I despise most over-the-range models there's really no better solution most of the time. My two peeves with them are fan noise level and being too close to the range top (I'm tall). The latter is solvable by just mounting it a bit higher, provided there aren't cabinet problems (which is sounds like you wouldn't have). The noise level, well, that can't really be helped. It's one of those "live with it" choices you're forced to make as a trade-off due to the lack of space.

I'd much rather go with replacing the hood versus trying to hack up the cabinetry.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:15 AM   #10
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


I just put an OTR 'wave in a rent house I'm getting ready to sell. It was a GE floor model. Fan's not too noisy, especially on low. But if you do that, OP, be aware you'll probably need to out it on its own 20 amp circuit.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:22 AM   #11
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


Yeah, the latest GE units are pretty friendly to use as well. That's what I put in for the last 7 months we had the place, the old Sharp (circa 1995) crapped out just as we scheduled the demolition for later that Fall. Bugged the heck out of me to have to purchase one just for that short of a time. But it was also a floor model, from Home Depot. At least I got most of my money back reselling it to a neighbor for use in their cabin.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:48 AM   #12
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


Hi DIY gal...I'm a DIY gal myself with a galley kitchen
as well. Being a woman I can tell you unequivocally 'where
there is a will, there is a way; and we never take no for an answer.

Firstly, how heavy is that microwave and how
big is it? (what are all the measurements?)
Once you cut out that stile, I see no reason
you can't put it in the cab unless it very heavy and deep.
You'll have to put more screws in the inside top of
the cab, as well as the backer strip along the inside top.
Then possibly a pair of brackets underneath the cabs.
The door you removed can be cut down and remade to fit
the top portion of the microwave...or jump make an
open shelf above it...

Having said all that, I've seen small inexpensive micro's
in the stores...if your current micro is too big, buy a new one,
or put it on your Christmas wish list. Then it may be easier
to incorporate in your cab. I've seen small micro's for under
50.00.

Is there a lower cab, where you can install the microwave?
We have a lower cab that we installed three drawers...
the top pull out drawer has our toaster oven in it. I just pull
out the drawer to use it (it is plugged in the back of the drawer.

With a galley kitchen you have to think outside the box.
We built our own cabs for our kitchen, I incorporated in
the design everything I wanted. Made lots of changes along
the way, and just kept adding more and more cabs...
Without knowing your kitchen layout, it's hard to see if there
is another route you can take.

Now for the range hood...Yes, I agree the green has to go.
First take a sanding block and sand the finish. I'm not a painter,
so I hope a painter jumps in here...but I think you may need to
spray on a primer first, then spray your desired color (stainless steel
color) .Rust-oleum makes some nice spray paint. Do a good job
of masking the surrounding area, cover all the cabs with tarp or sheets
and make a make a make -shift top with oak tag to keep he spray
from hitting the ceiling...
It goes without saying, clean the holy heck out of the hood first.
If you care to show more pics of your kitchen, maybe we could come up
with an alternative plan.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:12 AM   #13
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


If you're going to sand the hood, I'd take it down and do it somewhere other than in the kitchen. The mess will be a hassle to clean up otherwise.

That and when you have it down you can more readily just pitch it...
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:39 AM   #14
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIYGIRL123 View Post
Suppose my next post must deal with the elephant in the room...a whopping 27" tall 1970's Avocado Green range hood that is in great shape and excellent working condition. I love the style of it....but yikes, it is Avacado (I call it Palm Green, lol). I've considered painting it Stainless Steel but would have to do so while it's hanging on the wall, I'm just not that talented, or strong enough, to remove it myself--- it's huge! Has anyone painted a range hood while it's hanging on the wall? Any suggestions? So, for now, I suppose I'm stuck in the '70s and will "retro-out" the rest of the kitchen! Thanks again for your response!
You can paint it while it's still on the wall. Just tape plastic sheets to EVERYTHING around it. The plastic drop cloths are fine for this and they come in a pack of 5 for $5 at the box stores. Just make sure you tape it down tightly around the unit itself. Go with an appliance spray paint since it's formulated for heat. Don't forget to tape over any knobs and openings.

I wish I'd done this when we painted our cabinets. I wanted to take entire hood down to paint it so I disconnected all the wiring for the fan and light...it was a real pain in the butt. Then I waited months for the husband to take it down since it was too heavy for me to lift myself...and in the process we lost a lot of the parts. We ended up just replacing it with a SS model when we got a new stove....4 years later.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:36 PM   #15
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Remove center stile from upper kitchen cabinet


ziploc bags work great for stray parts, just remember to tape them to the item AND put a note in there explaining what they are. I've had a few bags turn up years later without knowing exactly what their contents are...

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