What is the best way to do this?

sarschlos_remodelerAugust 27, 2008

We have a refrigerator cubby that has trim pieces attached to the front of the box. the trim pieces are about 2" wide (the trim pieces appear to be simple 1X2 boards). As a result, our refrigerator is just a hair too wide and too tall to fit in the refrigerator box (new refrigerator, very old cabinets, but in otherwise good shape). I need to shave the trim piece that is at the top of the refrigerator hole by approx. 1/2 inch and each side piece by approx. 1/3 of an inch.

We have files, dremels, saws and a sander. What would be the best way to trim these decorative pieces so that we can put the refrigerator in its proper place? My vote is to use a sander (we need to repaint the cabs anyway). Good choice or bad?

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Maybe a jigsaw, with a handsaw to finish to the floor. A skilsaw could be very unwieldy in inexperienced hands cutting vertical surfaces. A sander of any type would be wrong to remove 1/2" of material.
A router with a fence would be perfect. Still would need other tool to cut last 3" to floor...

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 4:27PM
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Agree with Casey - you're not going to sand off that much wood. I'd choose a circular saw for most of it, finishing the cuts into the corners with a handsaw. Like Casey said, though, it's easy to screw up if you haven't got a feel for the tools. It might be worth popping off the old face frame and having someone with a tablesaw make you a new one to tack on.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 4:57PM
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Would the router or cutting attachments to my dremel work to cut the trim pieces prior to sanding to smooth out the edges?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 5:53PM
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Unless your faceframes are balsa, a dremel is terribly underpowered for a job of this scale.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:10PM
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Actually, removing ther trim and ripping off the necessary naterial on a table saw is the most precise way to do that job.

A Jig saw will not be able to cut a straight line that far---even with a fence. The circular saw idea ----with a proper guide and saw---would cut a straight line, but removing the trim would be faster.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 9:24PM
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We can't remove the "trim," because of the way these site-built cabinets were assembled back in 1964. I'm looking for the best way to get the straightest line possible without disassembling the cabinets, because if I take the cabinets apart, they won't go back together again without some serious jerry-rigging.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 11:27PM
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Really, there is no magic tool you can wave at this one. Neatly trimming face frames while they're mounted on the installed cabinet is tricky, skilled work. Any tool that can do this job can also make a mess of the cabinet in a fraction of a second. It's not clear exactly what tools you have to work with ("saws" is pretty vague), and it's also not clear what the material is (there's a big difference between working with pine and oak) so it's hard to make straightforward suggestions. Also, the ideas of using the dremel or sanding the wood away are so unworkable as to suggest that you might be in over your head, at which point we start to worry about your safety.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:50AM
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Where do you live? This is about a 2 hour job for someone with the right tools and skill.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 12:13PM
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