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  • Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

    I have two cabinets above a counter that I am trying to take down without dismantling/destroying them. I have removed all of the screws that attach the cabinets to the walls, screws that join the two carcasses together and any brad nails that I can see. After all that, they are both securely mounted to the wall and I cannot see what else would be holding them up. The cabinets were installed in the mid 1990s. They are both standard kitchen cabinet carcasses, 30 1/2 inches high - one is 27 inches wide and the other is 30 inches wide. Is anyone aware of any special securing techniques used back then to attach cabinets to walls? I would like to take them down with destroying them or the wall behind them. Thanks.
    Doug
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  • #2

    Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

    Usually just screwed to the wall at the top of the back and sometimes the bottom also. I have seen screws into the bulkhead but that's not really needed and rarely done. Can you get a prybar behind it? Maybe just paint holding it up?
    Steve The Drill Sergeant
    Check out MyShopNotes on YouTube.

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    • #3

      Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

      Could have been freshly painted and just stuck, or someone used PL400.
      About 3 in the morning if you hear a crash you know it was just the paint.
      WCraig, corpaul and 2 others like this.
      • “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”Winston Churchill

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      • #4

        Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

        Well, it is not paint holding it up. I can run a thin blade between the cabinets and at bottom where they meet the wall. There is a 3 " gap above the cabinets as well, so there is nothing holding them in from the top. Would use a prybar, but that will likely damage the drywall, which I would like to avoid.

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        • #5

          Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

          Originally posted by dougd1 View Post
          Well, it is not paint holding it up. I can run a thin blade between the cabinets and at bottom where they meet the wall. There is a 3 " gap above the cabinets as well, so there is nothing holding them in from the top. Would use a prybar, but that will likely damage the drywall, which I would like to avoid.
          Never heard of hidden cabinet screws. No more comments, sorry.
          Steve The Drill Sergeant
          Check out MyShopNotes on YouTube.

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          • #6

            Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

            The cabinets may be attached with a type of French cleat. Try lifting them straight up. You may have to initially persuade them a bit with a hammer as some types wedge together pretty tight.
            John@Hamilton, Redneck Albertan and 3 others like this.

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            • #7

              Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

              Maybe post some pics? If the whole wall was painted with latex, then you may be fighting a mild adhesion of the entire back on the cabinet. Try actually sliding a flat bar behind the cabinet on the bottom(or a paint scraper) and giving it a pry.

              Simon
              KenL likes this.

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              • #8

                Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

                I have seen cabinets screw together and like somebody mention there could be french cleat , i don't know why they wouldn't`t come down with all the screws taken out of the back walls of the cabinets.
                Robert

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                • #9

                  Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

                  the cleats might be glued onto the back of the cabinet. id stick some 2x4 under them that are a little too short, then force them a bit more upright to lift the cabinet up without it falling on me.

                  french cleats are just two blocks of wood cut on an angle,, but also there are hooks like this. ( see link) I put some on a handrail, You can't see them at all and the railing can lift out. they will also take a lot of weight. nice for heavy pictures and things like that.

                  the pic shows two of them hooked together. you can find them in home depot. If those were used you might not see them.

                  https://guide.alibaba.com/image/i1/l...0-item_pic.jpg
                  Last edited by stickman; 09-28-2021, 01:11 PM.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

                    By chance was an extra shelf added and the strips of wood that the shelf rests on might be hiding screws into the wall. Got to be paint adhesion if the cleat suggestions are not working.
                    I'm in Bridlewood if you need another pair of eyes.

                    Bill

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                    • #11

                      Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

                      Sometimes the installer puts a block on top of the carcass, screwed from the outside, that holds the cabinets at the same height. I hope that makes sense.

                      Watch out for screws in the sides behind the hinges too.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

                        If you have a handheld metal detector or a rare earth magnet, run it along the back of the cabinet to see if you can detect any hidden screws that were painted over.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

                          Well, they finally came down. They were not only screwed into the wall, but they were also glued in a couple of places on the mounting strips. I did pry the first one out with minimal damage to the wall, but even when the glue joint broke, the cabinet was pretty tightly squeezed in place between two other cabinets. It did not drop but had to be pried out. The second cabinet was glued at the bottom middle of the carcass. It took a chunk of drywall with it. They are now removed! Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions.

                          Doug

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                          • #14

                            Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

                            note that new kitchens have a lot more electrical demands and the codes have changed to reflec that. I put lots of plugs and each plug is on it's own breaker. I believe that's to code and I dont think using a regular two outlet box running on one breaker is a good idea. someone can plug a toaster into one and a microwave into the other and it will overload it.

                            if the counter is out, it's a good time to feed in any wire you will want or need. think of the plumbing stack for the sink too , if you are moving it about you may want to open the wall to relocate that.

                            id check with a straight edge to see how flat the wall is. and how square the corners are that you will fit to. It's easier to fix a bent wall than make a bent cabinet.



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                            • #15

                              Re: Removal of Cabinet Carcasses

                              Originally posted by stickman View Post
                              note that new kitchens have a lot more electrical demands and the codes have changed to reflec that. I put lots of plugs and each plug is on it's own breaker. I believe that's to code and I dont think using a regular two outlet box running on one breaker is a good idea. someone can plug a toaster into one and a microwave into the other and it will overload it.

                              if the counter is out, it's a good time to feed in any wire you will want or need. think of the plumbing stack for the sink too , if you are moving it about you may want to open the wall to relocate that.

                              id check with a straight edge to see how flat the wall is. and how square the corners are that you will fit to. It's easier to fix a bent wall than make a bent cabinet.


                              +1 and in my area, it is not code to have lights and outlets on the same circuit in a kitchen. Also kitchen outlets must be GFI protected.

                              I would take the opportunity to run each outlet on its own circuit and run 20 amp (12 gauge) wire for each. If your box is full you can use 1/2 thickness breakers. Also run wiring for under-cabinet lights.

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