how to cut down fridge cabinet


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Old 08-28-22, 03:59 PM
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how to cut down fridge cabinet

33 fits fine in there but there are very few 33s out there to choose from. i measured the inside of the opening and using a yardstick, the yardstick literally can be suspended in mid air. i assume that means im exactly 36 wide. perhaps a tad off. cursory look shows fridges really are 35.75. manuals say you need 1/8 on the sides so i 'think' im good there. just curious how id cut down the cabinet in place . unlike my oven, these edges will be exposed so it kinda had to be pretty nice looking. at least a straight line





 
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Old 08-28-22, 04:25 PM
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Use a tape measure and measure very accurately. Most refrigerators may measure 36 wide but the sheet metal sides will bow out enough that it may not fit your opening. Don't worry too much about the side clearance. The rear clearance is important.
And when you measure, measure at several different places...bottom, middle and top. Walls are not always square.
 
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Old 08-29-22, 06:03 AM
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Look at the cabinetry around the fridge. The face is often wider than the box behind so you might be able to trim/cut off the protruding part to get you more width through the opening.
 
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Old 08-29-22, 12:47 PM
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zoinks. one of my local appliance guys gave me a cabinet guy to call. sent him pics. he said 550 to do it assuming can do it in one trip. why couldnt you do it in one trip lol. i realize it takes skill but cant see why would take more than one trip. his area code leads me to believe he's in the next county as my appliance store is HQ there as well. probably more trip charge to get here too.

i admit for 550 id be tempted to do it somehow myself. just dont know how id attach a fence or what id use to cut it. but i have another message for a place that told me they charge 90 to visit and give you a firm estimate so id def do that if true.
 
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Old 08-29-22, 01:17 PM
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Wait a minute. Do you already have the appliance and you tried to fit it and it does not fit, or are you planning to buy it?
Again, use a tape rule (not a yard stick) and take accurate measurement at the floor level, mid-way and at the top. If you measure 36" at all places, then chances are it will fit, albeit a bit tight. As long as you have sufficient space in the back, you'll be OK.
 
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Old 08-29-22, 05:47 PM
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cant choose what to buy till someone proves it will really fit. i with my bad shoulder i dont wanna pull the fridge out. still waiting for my other guy to contact me..for my oven he def said for 90 bucks they will confirm measurements etc. dont see why for fridge wouldnt be the same
 
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Old 08-30-22, 01:05 AM
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Most refrigerators may measure 36 wide but the sheet metal sides will bow out enough that it may not fit your opening.
So I'm not exactly sure if you have the new fridge or planning to buy and just confirming it would fit?

My opening is 36", when we bought the current fridge it was listed as 35 something and exactly like Norm states the sides of the fridge are bowed out such that it's a tight fit, it takes the paint off the wall.

That is why this is on my winter to-do list. I will be removing the drywall, possibly shaving down a few studs and reinstalling 1/4" drywall to gain a much needed 1/4" of space.

At least I'm lucky that the opening has drywall on one side. Since taking the cabinet apart is not possible I cant even imagine how you would cut off the edge in place!

Assuming a future purchase, I'd just look for something narrower and avid the entire potential problem.
 
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Old 08-30-22, 05:10 AM
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I was not so lucky. I had to call a stone mason to cut the granite countertop and I had to move the upper cabinet. Fortunately, I did have the extra wall space to move the cabinet.
 
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Old 08-30-22, 06:38 AM
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stone mason ..that sounds so not fun. i'm glad i'm taking the time to measure and ask an installer to come in and check things out beforehand. it stinks that 33s dont come with the features i would like or id just settle for one.

we looked at more fridges yesterday and my gf even agreed the quad door one would be better for a freezer but of course they are a lot more money. at her house she had the typical large freezer drawer with the 2nd sliding drawer and when she moved out, i know there was stuff at the bottom of the freezer that probably predated the dinosaurs. id rather have something more organized. there are even large bottom drawers that have 2 more drawers inside and id settle for that even . but nothing other than the standard huge bottom drawer exists in a 33. plus with her mandating water/ice thru the door, even the 36 options are limited but with 33. you literally have just a handful
 
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Old 08-30-22, 06:56 AM
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[QUOTE]probably predated the dinosaurs. [QUOTE]​​​​​​​
So true!

[QUOTE]​​​​​​​"her mandating water/ice thru the door,"[QUOTE]​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Yes, that is a must have.
 
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Old 08-30-22, 08:42 AM
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i think i found a solution. shows you thinking outside the box pays off. since gf said ice and water are a must. i decided to google ice and water dispensor countertop. sure enough. did you know they make such things? i did not. she seemed open to the idea and some we just looked at are even better with the type of ice they put out. we an afford the counterspace because down the road we are installing an island so losing 18 inches of space wont matter. just would have to get the plumber to run an unsoftened line to the unit. he was gonna have to run a new line to the fridge anyway. so that expense was really already planned for. now just gotta find a 33 quad door that i like and i dont have to worry about cutting down my cabinet to fit a 36
 
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Old 08-30-22, 10:04 AM
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sigh there appear to be no 33 quad doors except haier and i dont want them
 
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Old 08-30-22, 11:35 AM
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are the cabinets above the fridge freestanding?

short version is im trying to make way for a 36 fridge. one guy wants 550 to trim down the existing sides in place but i got to thinking about another alternative because even then i think i may be a 'hair' off 36 inches.

i want to maybe cut off the right pillar of the fridge cabinet and leave the 2 upper cabinets there. thus the 36 fridge will fit where the 33 now rests. it's gonna have the back door open right on to it but i think it will work. maybe....truly id give up the fridge cabinets. no one uses them anyway ! if i got up on the ladder and emptied them would i see screws in there for the wall? if so then can i assume i can just chop off the right side?

EDIT: so i measured more carefully. even if i just chopped off the right side id need 1/2 inch on the left but i wouldnt have to make it really that perfect. could hide imperfection with a frame/quarter round etc. . i do love the look of the solid panel on the right though. sigh.

 

Last edited by XSleeper; 08-30-22 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Thread merged / No need to make a new thread on the same topic
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Old 08-30-22, 11:57 AM
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Old 09-07-22, 10:29 AM
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back to the fun. i spent the past week doing non fridge projects that had to be done so we are back

1, last night pulled out the fridge enough to get behind with a tape and measured top..middle and bottom. they dont appear to be all equal. thats a problem of course.

2. even the widest 'interior' dimension..meaning what you cannot see in the picture....it's barely 36. i do know some fridges are 35.75 so it MAY fit. or may not.

3. my pro i want to pay to come evaluation is swamped. unsure when he can come out.

4. i did not post a pic of the cabinets above the fridge BUT now that i pull it out a bit, i saw theres at least 6 or more inches of space behind the cabinets! geez um. is there a way to safely attach them to the wall ? just put a long bolt thru back to the wall? gotta find the studs lol. this would make them seem like they are hanging in mid air if i removed the right side pillar and id have to somehow keep the upper right side panel up there to hide the ugly

conclusion. wouldnt the easiest thing to do be get rid of the cabs above the fridge., and thus the vertical member to the right of the fridge? however if you look at the pic i posted about the left side of the fridge, im not sure how to cut that down. i know i need to post a pic of the upper cabinets for assistance. just dont know how the cabinet will look once i do cut it down. or how to even cut it down. to answer the question above, the right side veritical is right against the door frame.

also huge problem will be i know behind those fridge cabinets is ugly horrible 1952 tile. so how do i hide that! im sure is behind that vertical strip too. . also now wondering if door opening literally INTO fridge is really a good idea. bang! knob meet fridge. i guess will put a hinge stopper thing in
 
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Old 09-07-22, 04:14 PM
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all i see in the upper is one screw and one nail. also unsure how to remove the 'fridge cabinet' from the left cabinet . theres space inside the left frame piece with a pretty nice piece of finished wood. maybe half inch of space till you hit the wall






 
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Old 09-07-22, 06:35 PM
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You should also remove the trim at the ceiling on the right side to allow removing the entire right side unit.
 
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Old 09-07-22, 08:13 PM
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i worry about the floor. it was just installed. i have spare pieces but will be hard to make it look good if i take out the right veritical

i guess however looks on the rear wall i can cover that with some kind of thin sheet or something? its ugly tile mortar on part of the wall there.

would be nice if entire thing came out as one piece. may have to try as a weekend project.
 
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Old 09-08-22, 07:32 AM
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hard to make it look good if i take out the right veritical
It will only need to look good at the front and along the side by the door. Underneath can be anything that is the same thickness as the floor material (tile?)

You may also want to put some trim along the door frame to hide the gap from the fridge to the wall at the back. It could be just a 1X? nailed to the door casing and not overlapping the fridge side.
 
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Old 09-08-22, 09:22 AM
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actually i have lot of spare floor and i cut out a piece for my water cooler and for my freezer so i can def do that for the new fridge.

it stinks gotta pull the entire fridge out again but i do want to see possible screws. like i dont know how the right vertical is attached to the wall.

also we cannot figure out why anyone would put an outlet IN a cabinet that high up. impossible to be anything useful. especially from the 70s.
 
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Old 09-13-22, 10:26 AM
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cabinet guy came out and said he could easily cut where i have the line in this pic. he said the most he would have to do to hold up the fridge cabinets is a few screws thru the upper frame. we got to talking about my other projects and i neglected to ask how he would finish off the horizontal edge once he cut the side panel off. any ideas?

a bigger project for me is covering all the tile/glue and wallpaper behind the fridge since you will be able to see behind the fridge and it's ugly


 
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Old 09-15-22, 09:16 AM
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ok another place has the fridge in stock so i wont be getting it thru the original guy. which means its ME cutting this down. fun times. drilling thru the upper frame and screwing into the wood there is ez.

so i guess ill use a jigsaw and cut where the blue line is above. first should i screw a piece of wood to the lower section so the jigsaw goes straight? ill have to finish the end with a handsaw. also unsure how to finish the underside where i cut.

also have to buy a hinge door stop so the kitchen door doesnt hit the fridge.
 
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Old 09-15-22, 09:32 AM
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screw a piece of wood to the lower section so the jigsaw goes straight
Yes. Or clamp.

​​​​​​​? ill have to finish the end with a handsaw.
OK. Or a multi-tool. Or if you are up to it, an offset, flush cutting blade for your jigsaw. (I always use new projects to enhance my tool supply if not too expensive.)

​​​​​​​also unsure how to finish the underside where i cut.
De-pending on the thickness of the panel, you could attach an "L" shaped piece of trim, or create one by nailing two thin pieces in an "L" shape to cover the side and bottom of the cut.

​​​​​​​hinge door stop so the kitchen door doesnt hit the fridge.
If the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor is not too large, a floor mounted stop could be used. It should not be a tripping hazard since it will be at the hinge side.
 
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Old 09-15-22, 05:49 PM
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offset blade sounds good. never heard of that before. does it matter what kind i get. i know with normal saw blades there are fine blades etc
 
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Old 09-15-22, 05:54 PM
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crazy thought. with that offset blade could i just cut out the front part of the frame on both sides...thats preventing the fridge from being slid in? new fridge says 35.625 and i definitely have 35.75 and likely closer to 36.

or what blade would i use if i wanted to try that first. then when the guys come in a few weeks if it doesnt fit id just hack the right wall off in a jiffy
 
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Old 09-15-22, 07:16 PM
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The fat blade on the right



Looks like a pretty rough cut.
 
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Old 09-16-22, 12:39 PM
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so heres something i just realized...ugh..i HAVE to cut down the left vertical in place. even with the entire right side gone thats only 35.5 inches. i need that extra 1/2 to 3/4 on the left but i still wanna try it. i dont wanna take off the upper cabinets if i dont have to. it looks so much better with the up for continuity of the room

so is a jigsaw with that blade still my best option for 70 vertical inches.
 
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Old 09-18-22, 01:48 PM
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is a jigsaw with that blade still my best option for 70 vertical inches.
You only need that blade for the last couple of inches at top and bottom. A regular blade will work in between and with finer teeth will make a smoother cut.

Whatever you do you will need a guide attached to the cabinet to keep the saw running straight. Small jigsaw blades are difficult to keep in a straight line. A circular saw would be better. A multi tool blade against the cabinet side cutting from inside the fridge opening to the front of the trim provides an automatic guide and might be the easiest solution. Light planing or sanding the cut edge will be necessary to smooth out the blade marks.
 
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Old 09-24-22, 11:09 AM
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if oscillating blade tool is best, i would get one if it would help to be the best thing to cut this. i have no clue about these tools, if you have time could you peek at https://www.lowes.com/pl/Rotary-tool...7818?view=List

and recommend one. id def do battery powered. i understand in theory what you are saying about putting a blade against the inside of the cabinet but when i look at the tools it just seems like it wont work.

ill try to find something on youtube as im a bad visualizer
 
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Old 09-24-22, 11:30 AM
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If you are cutting the face frame your best option is a skilsaw that has a rip guide. As mentioned, the oscillating tool would only be used on the top and bottom corners that the larger tool will not reach. You might also need to sand the edges of the cuts you make.

The quality of all these cuts will largely depend on your skill. One way to get a really clean cut would be to rough cut it with the skilsaw, leave it 1/8" long then use a router and a straight pattern bit. The pilot bearing on the router bit would follow the inside edge of a bulkhead, if you are wanting to trim the face frame down to the width of the bulkhead.

 
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Old 09-24-22, 12:14 PM
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i worry if i use a circular saw that i may dig into the beautiful interior cabinet wall. which wiil be covered totally by the fridge anyway i know! i just cant picture using my big saw in that tiny space. plus i really dont wanna buy too many new tools for this single project. right now i have a normal size circular saw (6.5 i think) and an old jigsaw from the 90s that i def need new blades for.

truth is if i decide to just chop the right side off altogether then the left side doesnt have to be perfectly flush or even perfect. i could cover it with corner round to cover my sins as long as i dont dig into the cabinet side.

the thing you cannot see in any pic is on the sides the outside frame will only be cut about 1.25 inches and the vertical itself is 2 inches wide. so 3/4 of an inch of the facing piece of wood is covering something else

geez the right side is gonna be sooo ez to just chop it off if i do it that way.

i get what you are saying cut this down but leave some for finishing on the left. i see the cheapest router at lowes is about 100. is there any way to just use a router (unsure what bit) and cut the entire 1.25 inches off at a time. or just using the jigsaw get 'close' then use the router to get as close as i can do the finished interior cabinet wall.
 

Last edited by luckydriver; 09-24-22 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 09-24-22, 01:34 PM
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"One way to get a really clean cut would be to rough cut it with the skilsaw, leave it 1/8" long then use a router and a straight pattern bit. The pilot bearing on the router bit would follow the inside edge of a bulkhead, if you are wanting to trim the face frame down to the width of the bulkhead."

i understand this but been googling and cannot find what bit id use. i found this vid. is it the bit on the left?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brunAX3S5gg

i guess i need a link to the exact bit id use to cut down the 1/8 remaining after i sawed off the rest of the 1.25

and then id have to buy a router but it seems like i could just jigsaw it rough and use the router per above directions.

edit: at 240 is this what i'm doing? flush trim

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCKe3llVE8I
 

Last edited by luckydriver; 09-24-22 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 09-24-22, 02:07 PM
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think i finally got it. hows this combo. ill deal with the cord and for this one time use figured just need 1/4 inch

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Bosch-1-HP-...uter/999928320

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Bosch-Carbi...er-Bit/1081307
 
  #34  
Old 09-24-22, 03:09 PM
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Great, good luck.
 
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Old 09-24-22, 03:27 PM
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how much longer does the bit have to be than the surface being cut down/

i just measured and the depth of the frame is 3/4 so that 1/2 inch bit wont cut it....bad joke of the day.

i'm assuming one inch is ok?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Bosch-1-2-i...er-Bit/1080183
 
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Old 09-24-22, 05:48 PM
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1" would be perfect if the face frame is 3/4" thick. The bearing needs to be beyond the material you are routering. And you probably don't need a giant router. A small trim (laminate) router like the Bosch Colt would work just fine, as long as you are only removing 1/8" of material.
 
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Old 10-01-22, 03:41 PM
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thanks to all the help it's done. hope fridge fits in the hole and i dont have to cut down the right wall. hardest part was jigsaw left side top to bottom. should have done bottom up but realized it too late lol. it's far from pretty but for a first timer but main thing is it's done at last. i did use the router to cut some mistakes where the jigsaw didnt go straight. even with the fence i put on the left side. right side was done totally freehand. but dang that was wild seeing all the wood fly high in the hair . cutting vertically is not fun.

i did use hearing protection but other than my glasses i should have used goggles. i still think there's sawdust in my eyes. i put 2 new screws up through the existing cabinet to be sure they are sturdy if i have to cut down the wall.




 
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Old 10-01-22, 03:54 PM
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seeing all the wood fly high
A shop vac and a helper can be useful in containing the mess.
 
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Old 10-02-22, 11:50 AM
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You guys can roast me but to be brutally honest that really looks bad,

Trying to cut trim pieces in place was never going to work. Should have left alone or done it right and taken them all apart.

IMO you ruined your cabinets!
 
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Old 10-08-22, 07:46 AM
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First fridge has no freon so another delivered yesterday

 
 

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