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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aside from introducing myself, this is my first post and what brought me to this forum for advice.

I'm shaking things up in my kitchen, but I have cabinets that I like. As part of change I want to take some depth out of a tall pantry so that I can move it to a new location.

I'm trying to decide whether it is easier/better to rip off the front or the back of the cabinet.

The front would require me to edgeband it, drill new hinge mount hole and generally be more visable. The back would require me to replace the rear structural members (stretchers) and find a way to install a back on an assembled item (many back could be skipped).

Anyway, I'm just looking for opinions justifying each option if anyone has any.

Thank you in advance,
Cheers,
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
A third option just occurred to me: rip a strip out of the middle, then screw and glue it back together. Probably would use pocket holes. Not sure I could get the two side straight enough without being able to run it through a tablesaw.
 

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where's my table saw?
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I reduced the width of some 8 ft tall cabinets from 22" down to 13" deep. It's been a long time so I may not recall the "exact" details. I simply cut the new width first.
Then I made a new back from 1/4" plywood, in 1/16" on each side. I think there was a center support that was hard to use my circular saw on like did all around the perimeter. I may have used a multi-tool on that cut? Maybe just a hand saw? I donno? The top, bottom and any shelves must be all the same depth or flush on the back or it won't rest flat. Some Liquid Nails will hold to the factory finish better than any glue, but use sparingly. The 1/4" edge will show from the side, but barely. It can be stained or painted. That's why I left a 1/16" reveal. You would never know that weren't factory made at the new depth because all the face frame remained intact.... on purpose!

Taking a strip out of the center makes cutting any center supports way more difficult.
 

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I cut back a tall cabinet in our bathroom. it was 24 inches deep and I reduced it to 18 inches buy cutting the back, using a circular saw. I put it on some saw horses. marked the cut. Then set the saw with the blade on the marked cut line and skewed a 1"x 4'X 8' along the edge of the saw to work as a saw guide the length of the cut. repeated that on the other side and ends with each cut. Then put on the new back. It work well.
 

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We just cut the back with a jigsaw, replace back and nailers, redrill adjustable shelves or other. Rescribe...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great, thank you both. It sounds like cutting the back of is the typical way to go.

I hadn't even thought about the adjustable shelves. I would have figured that with a face palm when I was left with just one row of hole 🤪
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
this brings up a related question. I have cut this wood, and a jig does a nice clean cut, but probably not as square as a circular saw. Opinions ...
 

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We don't use skill saws out in the field on cabinet installation. A good jigsaw with good blade cuts pretty good... a lot of times we cut it a little large and belts sand all joints smooth..

It's honestly one of the most agrivating reworks in the shop or field..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I recently picked up a good jigsaw, but why no skill saws?

Also, what is the primary factor in not ripping off from the front? I can imagine the quality of the cut is more crucial; harder to hide errors. I was impressed with how nice a cut a jigsaw makes on this plywood.
 

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I recently picked up a good jigsaw, but why no skill saws?

Also, what is the primary factor in not ripping off from the front? I can imagine the quality of the cut is more crucial; harder to hide errors. I was impressed with how nice a cut a jigsaw makes on this plywood.
If you want to use a skill saw, use it. We don't mess with the face frames...
 

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I would cut the back portion off, but I use a track saw. Before the intro of festools saws, we used a circular saw with a guide. It will give you about the cleanest cut possible. I've never been able to cut any sheet goods as cleanly with a jig saw as I can with a circular saw.
 

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I would cut the back portion off, but I use a track saw. Before the intro of festools saws, we used a circular saw with a guide. It will give you about the cleanest cut possible. I've never been able to cut any sheet goods as cleanly with a jig saw as I can with a circular saw.
So how did you get the track inside regular, not European style cabinets
 

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Cut from the outside all around. If you mean fixed shelves or behind the toekick space, your absolutely correct with the jig saw. I was thinking the overall box. As in most things when reworking something, multiple tools and techniques are needed.
 

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where's my table saw?
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So how did you get the track inside regular, not European style cabinets
You can make all the cuts on the exterior except the center support shelf as I mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you. I appreciate the debate. I should have said from the beginning that this is cabinet is European style frameless.
 

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No debate...Nothing to European style cabinets. Custom a little different..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
by debate, I just meant jig vs track/skill

btw, I resonate with your quote. I change my opinion so that I can be right now and in the future, instead of being right in the past.
 

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The problem is we don't have everything on site to use track saws, etc..
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you had a tracksaw on site, would you consider taking the front of the cabinet off?

It's still appealing to me because it doesn't change the structural integrity of the cabinet and I've done edge banding before.
 

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I won't because it adds more work, but you seem to want to do it this way. JUST DO IT...

Blue Cap Font Hat Baseball cap
 
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