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Old 08-02-2008, 10:17 AM   #1
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Framework to space cabinets from wall


Okay, I know the title sounds weird but let me explain. In my laundry room, I have a second refrigerator and upright freezer. They are located on an end wall that is 74 inches wide. I want to install some cabinets above these. The cabinets are 12" deep and if mounted directly to the back wall, would be difficult to reach without a step ladder. In fact with my wife being only 5 feet tall, they would be difficult WITH a step ladder. What I want to do is build something similar to a soffit frame to move the cabinets out from the wall about 14 inches so that the fronts are flush with the fronts of the appliances. The frame work would be attached on the back wall, both side walls, and the ceiling joists above. I was thinking a 2x4 frame with CDX on the front and bottom would give me the rigity to support the cabinets and whatever we put inside them. (We shop at BigBox stores and often need space for those 15 rolls of paper towels or that 2nd & 3rd bottle of dish detergent, etc). Since none of this will ever be seen once the cabinets and appliances are in place, I don't plan to drywall and mud this. Just a coat of paint on the CDX to prevent moisture problems from any humidity created by doing the laundry.
Does any of this sound like I am on the right track to accomplish my goal?

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Old 08-02-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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Framework to space cabinets from wall


I think it will work fine. I'd suggest using AC plywood or birch plywood instead of CD since you're going to paint it. It will look a lot better.

I'd build the plywood box with 4 edges and one face side, with the plywood face attached to the existing wall. Screw it all together first, and then just hang it to the studs. Screw your new cabinets to the 2x4's that frame the box. Use lots of screws, and make sure you hit the wall studs.

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Old 08-02-2008, 12:30 PM   #3
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Framework to space cabinets from wall


Thanks, I thought about using Birch plywood instaed of CDX. Not so much for appearance; it's just so much EASIER to paint since it doesn't soak up so much!
I felt this plan would work, but sometimes you just want some reassurance from folks that do this sort of thing all the time. I have installed crown molding throughout most of my house already and plan to continue it in here, as well. That should take care of any small gaps at the ceiling and maybe a piece of cove molding down each side to round out the filler board needed because of the (2) 36" cabinets on the 74" wall.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-02-2008, 02:22 PM   #4
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Framework to space cabinets from wall


Birch will take paint well. You should still prime it though.
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Old 08-02-2008, 02:30 PM   #5
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Framework to space cabinets from wall


Since virtually all the force is downward, if the ceiling supports attached to the joists are strong enough, the sheet material can be very thin and just for appearance to fill in spaces.

You could use 1x2 furring strips for structural support; they are strong in tension and by using cross pieces [making triangles with other structural members] you'll get plenty of rigidity in both horizontal directions.

I'd use screws instead of nails if there will be pulling and pushing on the cabinet; they don't work loose.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 08-02-2008 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:20 PM   #6
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Framework to space cabinets from wall


Termite: Learned a long time ago to prime EVERYTHING before paint. In addition to getting a better finish, it usually cuts the amount of paint required in half and a good primer is always considerably less expensive than additional topcoats.



Yoyizit: The cross bracing is an excellent idea. That is why I came here...to get good ideas I had not thought of. THANKS
As for using screws instead of nails, I tend to do that most of the time, anyway. My wife asked me why one time and after thinking about it, I realized:
1) They don't work loose.
2) I can put something back like it was with little damage to whatever is underneath. Something I learned working on muscle cars. It is always nice to be able to restore to original at a later time.
3) I can change something I am doing midstream without scrapping materials. Whether the change is because I thought of a more functional way of proceding or I'm fixing something I screwed up along the way.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:45 PM   #7
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Framework to space cabinets from wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by red3908v View Post
Termite: Learned a long time ago to prime EVERYTHING before paint. In addition to getting a better finish, it usually cuts the amount of paint required in half and a good primer is always considerably less expensive than additional topcoats.



Yoyizit: The cross bracing is an excellent idea. That is why I came here...to get good ideas I had not thought of. THANKS
As for using screws instead of nails, I tend to do that most of the time, anyway. My wife asked me why one time and after thinking about it, I realized:
1) They don't work loose.
2) I can put something back like it was with little damage to whatever is underneath. Something I learned working on muscle cars. It is always nice to be able to restore to original at a later time.
3) I can change something I am doing midstream without scrapping materials. Whether the change is because I thought of a more functional way of proceding or I'm fixing something I screwed up along the way.

Thanks for your input!
Re: cross bracing. I think a triangle is the only figure that cannot change shape without changing the lengths of its sides, so even if you only put one screw in each corner of the triangle it still cannot change shape.
I've worked with engineers who did not know this.

Yes, I use screws even on things that are supposed to be permanent. Once the customer sees it, they may say "that's not really what I had in mind."

Thanks for the compliment.

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