Trimming a cabinet above an OTR microwave

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Old 01-22-17, 04:42 PM
J
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Trimming a cabinet above an OTR microwave

I need to replace an over-the-range (OTR) microwave that is old and broken. Currently, there is only about 12.5" of clearance between the bottom of the MW and range top, which is really not enough. My plan is to trim the height of the cabinet above the MW by 3", giving a clearance of about 15" with the new MW installed. The cabinet above the MW is a modular style, so it can be unscrewed from the wall and adjacent cabinets and removed for trimming. Trimming the top of the cabinet box and rebuilding it should be pretty straightforward, but I'm still exploring ideas for trimming the height of the cabinet doors. Fortunately, the cabinet doors are simple slab types with a routed outer edge (see picture below), so that simplifies things a bit. My idea is that I could cut the top of the doors off about, say 1.5" with my table saw, and save the top cut piece. Then trim another 3" off the top of the doors, and glue the 1.5" top edge back on (just a simple glued butt joint). Then patch the seam as needed (with wood bondo), sand and repaint. Would this be strong enough? Seems like it would, since its not really a structural joint. What does everyone think of this idea? Should I also install some sort of splice plate on the back surface too for added rigidity?

I realize that it would probably be better if I just routed the cut edge with a router to match the other three edges, but I don't have that particular profile router bit, and I don't want to buy a new one just for this small job.

All ideas and feedback are appreciated!

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Old 01-22-17, 05:49 PM
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Gluing back on the profile sounds OK. I wouldn't use any type of plate, just clamps.

By building code, the bottom of the upper cabinet should be a minimum of 30" above the cooking surface.
 
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Old 01-22-17, 06:31 PM
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I agree with Brian, your cabinet space will be certainly limited due to the space you need to leave from the hot surface. Most of the ones we cut leave very small cabinets, and often we will cut the door to fit the opening, rout the edges to match and install the hinges on top so they will lift up, since you won't have a great deal of door to use side mount hinges. If you do have enough left for hinges, then good.
 
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Old 01-22-17, 07:10 PM
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Thanks guys. Currently its slightly less than 30" from the bottom of the cabinet to the stove top, but once I trim and reinstall the cabinet, it will be over 30", so we're good there.

The cabinet above the MW is currently 18" high, so after trimming, it will be 15" high. There is another 15" high cabinet over the fridge that has the hinges side mounted, so I'll do the same with this cabinet so the two cabinets will be a matched pair. I'm a sucker for consistency.
 
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Old 01-23-17, 04:11 AM
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Yeah, if you will have substantial amount of cabinet left, conformity to the original will work and look better. I think re-milling the door is best. Buy the bit and make it work for you. You can always sell it after making the cuts.
 
 

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