Prepping for a Kitchen Cabinet Demo-...? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-28-2015, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Prepping for a Kitchen Cabinet Demo-...?

This weekend we will be demoing some kitchen cabinets that were built in the late 50's or early 60's. You know the kind; hand built, no screws, just nailed from the wall out.

I am trying to figure out how to save any of them if possible. From what I have read and seen in videos, a recip saw and a big hammer is about the only way to do it. Then there will be nothing left to save.

For those of you that have done this kind of remodel, is there any alternative? What if I used a plug cutter to drill around the nails? I have done this to remove broken screws and it worked great?

I have already warned my friend this is not going to be pretty. I think the work flow is to cut away the face frame and then break out the big hammer. It would be nice to save the lower cabinets because they are all one are the uppers.

I may not be able to save the trim around the upper cabinets so, that may require some custom milling on the table saw or router, or buy something similar and put it up. The entire kitchen will be painted when the installation is complete.

Here is a picture of the existing cabinets. Base cabinets and three uppers. I built a custom piece for above the refrigerator because their frig is too tall. New base cabinets will be all drawers on either side of a 36 inch slide in range.

The existing upper cabinets are also about 3-4 inches too low. And my friend is a tall, and somewhat big, guy. The new uppers are standard 30 inches high. They like that already.

So, what say you on the demo? Everything on that wall is being replaced except for the oven cabinet on the right side of the picture.

Labor? - I have it covered in the bid for whatever it takes to remove those cabinets. I hope to get the new ones installed before we walk out Saturday night.

Note: When all is said and done, new shaker style doors and drawer fronts (and hardware) will go on.

Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by MT Stringer; 09-28-2015 at 02:59 PM. Reason: Typos!!!
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-28-2015, 03:51 PM
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I deal with this all the time but never have purposely tried saving any. IF you could find out how its mounted you might could take them all off in one piece. More often than not they're screwed and filled which makes it darn near impossible to get them off in one piece.

Generally a sawzall and a 4lb hammer makes quick work if not caring about saving.

Nice looking new pieces BTW...
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-28-2015, 05:28 PM
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I've removed a few, none intact.

They are mostly built with large finish nails, toe nailed, cross nailed, etc.

If you start at a corner and work it slow you could pry, and use a reciprocating saw to cut the nails. It will start slow, but will pick up once you get it going. The cabinet will be heavy though and will come down hard at some point.

I mostly take them out with a small sledge and several pry bars, in several pieces.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-28-2015, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks fellas. That's kind what I am expecting.
I will try to take a picture or two if I get a chance.
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