Shortening upper kitchen cabinet?
  Re: (...)
My uncle has asked if this would be possible to do, and I have actually thought of doing it for myself. The problem is the new over-range microwaves are taller than older ones. This means there is a shorter distance from the stove-top to the bottom of the unit, which makes it harder to reach the back burners. Also I think there is a minimum distance required, not sure what it is though.

How hard would it be to shorten the cabinet to raise the microwave up an inch or two? Would require shortening the doors, exhaust pipe, etc.

Anyone done this? Any tips?

The face-frames use pocket screws so that shouldn't be too bad. Not sure about the support board on the bottom. How tough would shortening the door be? Can it be pulled apart, cut the panel and styles and reassembled?

When my neighbor remodeled their kitchen they gave me the old cabinets that I put in my garage. I plan on practicing on that one. If I figure out how to do it I can do my uncles, my own, maybe even my parents since our houses are all about the same age with the same style cabinets.


This is my own kitchen:


  Re: Shortening upper kitchen cabinet? by wrx4sabelle (My uncle has asked i...)
Had to replace the microwave so I made a shorter cabinet.
  Re: Shortening upper kitchen cabinet? by wrx4sabelle (My uncle has asked i...)
Are the stiles and rails profiled in the doors?

If so it is tougher to accomplish but still possible

the first thing is how much shorter?

more than the width of the bottom rail makes it easier as all you have to do is cut the bottom rail off ( panel and all) determine the new height of the door cut the stiles to that length and the panel to it's new shorter height. You have to cut the cope profile back into the ends but you can do so easy enough with a bandsaw and some judicial filing The main thing to remember is the exposed parts of the cope matter way more than the hidden parts.

If it is less than the rail height it is probably not worth the effort to to shorten just save the panel and refinish the new frame and panel parts

Let us not seek the Republican Answer , or the Democratic answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future  John F. Kennedy 

  Re: Re: Shortening upper kitchen cabinet? by Dennis Puskar (Had to replace the m...)
Dennis Puskar said:

Had to replace the microwave so I made a shorter cabinet.

I didn't mention it but it is not a separate cabinet. What you see in the picture is all one unit (actually even wider to the left). Would have been much easier if they were separates - could take it down and work in the garage or as mentioned build another one. As it is all the cabinet work has to be done in place.

The doors are simple flat panel with the edges back-beveled all around for ease of opening.

That's a great idea to shorten them more than the bottom rail width! It would shorten them about 2.75", that should work and make things easier. I'll have my uncle measure his to be sure though.

  Re: Shortening upper kitchen cabinet? by wrx4sabelle (My uncle has asked i...)
I have a similar problem. The cabinet over the refrigerator is too high for the new refrigerator. I had 1-1/2" clearance when I built the cabinet.When my wife ordered the new one it fit with no clearance at all.Delivery men got it in. I wanted to install a new floor but the cabinet height prevents it. The existing floor covering is vinyl tile and we wanted to install laminate like Pergo.
The rails and styles I'll toss out and the doors I might be able to cut down.The doors are raised panels.
If I only cut the bottom rail it would not look right.It is a small cabinet so not an expensive deal.
  Re: Shortening upper kitchen cabinet? by wrx4sabelle (My uncle has asked i...)
I know this is not what you asked but I would seriously consider replacing the microwave with a true range hood and finding a better location for a counter top microwave.

If you want to keep the microwave would it be possible to raise the complete run of cabinets 4 or 5 inches?
  Re: Re: Shortening upper kitchen cabinet? by bottd (I know this is not w...)
My uncle's kitchen does not have the room for a separate microwave. Mine potentially does but we'd loose counter space and not sure my wife would like that. My parents would have to replace a double-oven with a single plus a microwave. That makes one too low for them (they are both tall.) I agree it would be the ideal way to go though.

I could raise the whole run in my kitchen, but my wife wouldn't like reaching higher in the other cabinets (she is short). Not sure about my uncles cabinets but probably the same problem (he is short).

  Re: Shortening upper kitchen cabinet? by wrx4sabelle (My uncle has asked i...)
I don't remember the exact minimum clearance but I do remember that if a range hood was installed, the cabinet was 18" high. If a microwave was installed, a 12" cabinet was used. The clearance from counter top to bottom of cabinets was 18".
Please pray for our troops! Semper Fi!

Bob Ross (I used to be called "Doc")

  Re: Re: Shortening upper kitchen cabinet? by BacsiBob (I don't remember the...)

I did this two houses ago. Well actually I took out a regular (non vented) range hood and replaced it with a microwave unit. I hated having it on the counter.

I took apart the existing two door cabinet and cut the uprights down and reassembled the face frame. My cabinets had raised panel doors so I couldn't figure out how to shorten them. What I did instead was make a lattice wine rack and turned it into an open wine rack. It work out for us as the kitchen has a ton of cabinets and we didn't need the storage.

I don't know if that's an option in your case but I thought I'd put it out there. Hardest part by far was getting the face frame off without damaging it.

  Re: Re: Shortening upper kitchen cabinet? by WaterlooMarc (LIL,[br][br]I did th...)
Way outside thinking, but from picture it looks like you have a wide top board, can you take cabinets down and cut the top board? This would give more space under all of them. Just a different view.

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