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Old 07-22-2018, 11:30 PM   #1
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taking down cabinet above cooktop


I want to have the oak cabinet above my range shortened by about 4" to make more space for the microwave above the cooktop. I found a cabinet maker who says he will do this at a reasonable price, if I bring the cabinet to him. So, I need to figure out how to remove the cabinet off the wall without damage. It is connected to two vertical cabinets on either side with a nice tight seam, and I cannot see any screws or other visible hardware that is holding the cabinets together. Is it possible these are glued together or built as a single piece somehow? I haven't removed crown molding at the top either, so maybe there is something up there holding them together. If I have to take down the entire section as one piece it will not be a one man job. Just trying to figure out my options. All I see are bracket holes for the shelf brackets, and those all look hollow/empty. I also checked the cabinet facing frame, and not seeing anything there except for some tiny holes in pairs near the top and bottom of each frame piece that also look empty. I think these are just pre-drilled for some reason because they also appear on the bottom of the face frame where it is up against the side for the microwave. Any ideas?
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:02 AM   #2
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


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Originally Posted by ronin24 View Post
I want to have the oak cabinet above my range shortened by about 4" to make more space for the microwave above the cooktop. I found a cabinet maker who says he will do this at a reasonable price, if I bring the cabinet to him. So, I need to figure out how to remove the cabinet off the wall without damage. It is connected to two vertical cabinets on either side with a nice tight seam, and I cannot see any screws or other visible hardware that is holding the cabinets together. Is it possible these are glued together or built as a single piece somehow? I haven't removed crown molding at the top either, so maybe there is something up there holding them together. If I have to take down the entire section as one piece it will not be a one man job. Just trying to figure out my options. All I see are bracket holes for the shelf brackets, and those all look hollow/empty. I also checked the cabinet facing frame, and not seeing anything there except for some tiny holes in pairs near the top and bottom of each frame piece that also look empty. I think these are just pre-drilled for some reason because they also appear on the bottom of the face frame where it is up against the side for the microwave. Any ideas?
Look for screws behind the hinges and there might be one or two in the wall at the back. Before you remove it check to make sure the cupboards on both sides have screws at the back to the wall.
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:10 AM   #3
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


There connected at the face frames and in the back of the cabinet to the wall studs, should be really small headed trim screws in the frames.
It's possible there hidden under the hinges.
There may also be finish nails to deal with in the crown molding.
Looks like stock box cabinets to me, I'd just buy a shorter cabinet instead of having one cut.
If it's cut what's the plan on what to do with the door?
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:12 AM   #4
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


Oh behind the hinges! I hadn't thought of that. Yes I do see two screws on the back of each of the vertical cabinets, so those should stay put I hope. I'll remove a door tomorrow and see what I find. Thank you
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:19 AM   #5
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


If I could find a shorter cabinet to match that would be great, but what are the chances the door and everything would match? Is this a very common design? Guess i'll look around. The cabinet shop I contacted says he would use a cove bit to cut the door panel down as well.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:34 AM   #6
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


I'm just curious, how many inches do you have from the bottom of
the micro to the top of the stove top cooking range?


edit: I just went back and looked at how low the micro is in relation
to the side cabinets...I imagine it was originally meant for a fan,
not a micro.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:48 AM   #7
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


Yes, I believe the current cabinet is sized for a fan not a microwave. Also, I confirmed the screws attaching the cabinet facing were hidden under the hinges.

Actually found some online RTA dealers that might be able to match my cabinet style with a new one. We'll see if this turns out cheaper than having the existing one cut and reassembled.
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Old 07-24-2018, 02:13 AM   #8
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


cutting the cupboard and assembling it again is ten minute job. The question is matching the colour of the doors. Whether you adjust those doors or buy new ones, really make no difference except for price.
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:03 AM   #9
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


Is there a space above the cabinets or do the cabs go directly into
the ceiling? I can't tell from the photo.

If you have space above the cabs
then think about just moving the cabinet above the micro up 4"... you
could also shim out the back to move it out slightly to accomidate
the depth of the micro.
If that's doable then you just have to run a couple of feet of molding to
redo the molding above the adjusted micro cabinet.

What about the other cabs on the other side of the kitchen, is there another
set of cabs you could move up as well? It would make it more interesting,
then just straight across.

Just throwing out that option. If this is not doable, or you don't like this
idea, I would go with the cabinet guy that can resize your existing cabinet.
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:56 AM   #10
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


well, I got that backwards...we shimmed out the two cabinets flanking
the microwave so that looking from the side all you see is the SS door
and not the black side wall on the micro.

Neal, why is it a problem matching the color stain for a pro?
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:18 PM   #11
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


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Neal, why is it a problem matching the color stain for a pro?
Not sure, but it is what they say every time. I think they worry about the old finish as yellowed over time.
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Old 07-24-2018, 01:11 PM   #12
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


Neil, I've finished cabinets to match my existing cabinets that were
made several years apart and they came
..and I'm just a woodworking hobbiest, not a pro cabinet maker
or finisher.

I've never kept a notebook on the mixture of stains I used, which
I know is stupid. Every time we've made a cabinet, I went at it like a
mad scientist, trying to match my existing cabs...I was re-inventing the
wheel each time. (insert rolling eyes here)

My point being that the OP (ronin) should expect a very good match
from a pro cabinet maker if he has his cabinet resized and stained
to match his existing cabs
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Old 07-24-2018, 01:57 PM   #13
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Re: taking down cabinet above cooktop


In addition to the screws in the wall and under the hinges you will probably have 2-4 small nails into the cabinet face to hold the crown in place. You may be able to snip them and slide the cabinet straight down.


The standard height when using a OTR MW is 12" for the the cabinet if paired with 30" ones. Best to read what the MW maker says you need for clearence.
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