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bethesda 10-08-2012 12:22 PM

Trimming a finished piece to make room for a larger refrigerator
Hi, I'm not a carpenter but am reasonably handy and am looking for advice on either doing this job myself or having a professional carpenter do it.

We have custom kitchen shelving surrounding our refrigerator. The opening is 67" high on one end and about 67 and 1/4" high on the other. We currently have a refrigerator that is 66" high and we wish to replace it with a 67" model. It's possible therefore that when the new one is delivered, it will not quite fit.

I'm thinking I should prepare for this situation, but not quite sure what to do. The photo below shows the cabinetry. I've added some overlay lines to the picture. The green line outlines a front piece that I believe is cosmetic, not structural. The front piece is really nicely fitted so I can't remove it. The blue line shows where the bottom of the shelf is behind this front piece.

I believe if I could shave 1/4" off the bottom of this front piece, on the shorter side, I'd be good to fit in the new frig, but 1) I don't know if a planer is the right tool and 2) I don't want to really scar up this piece too badly.

Any advice on how to best do this? Thanks!

Millertyme 10-08-2012 06:05 PM

I would not cut anything until the new fridge is in the house. It will only take a minute to cut it anyway. It looks like you have room under there anyway. Maybe it will fit. Make sure the leveling feet are as far up as possible. If you do need to cut the cabinet use a jigsaw with a down cut blade. I would put some masking tape on the base so you don't scratch the surface of the face frame. Finish with a handsaw.

TheCamper 10-08-2012 06:35 PM

I also suggest to wait for the arrival of the new refrigerator or go on line and get the exact specifications of the new appliance. If the bottom 3/4" board is only a few inches deep and it is the upper 3/4" board that extends back to be the bottom of the cabinet, I wonder if you can remove the bottom board and raise the doors. Be careful on raising the doors as the space between the top of the door and whatever you have above will stand out if different than what is next to it. E.g. The crown moulding is 5/8" above the top of door throughout the kitchen and you raise the refrigerator hanger 1/4" the difference may be noticeable. Also raising the doors a lot is easy, raising the doors a little is a real pain. No matter what you do I would think that you remove the cabinet and enclosure panels and reinstall them after altering them.

DexterII 10-08-2012 07:09 PM


Originally Posted by bethesda (Post 1026523)
or having a professional carpenter do it.

Not necessary. I have done it both ways, with a planer, and as Millertyme suggested, and either one will work. Not an uncommon problem in older homes, and I have wondered several times what was gained when they added that extra inch, but they did, and the options seem to be quite limited if you don't expand the opening. Anyway, my suggestion would be to wait as well, except that the fact that the opening is what it is, you probably aren't blessed with an over abundance of space in rest of the kitchen, so maybe waiting is not your best option, in which case have at it with whichever tools you have and are most comfortable with. And, you may want to take a look at your floor when you have the time. There again, not uncommon to have floor joists sagging in an older home, but 1/4" in 30 some inches is a pretty good sag.

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