Although there are many different sized cabinets these days, sometimes you need a size which just isn’t available. Being able to modify a cabinet gives you more options.
Bear in mind though that it’s often not just the cabinet you’ll need to modify, but the doors also. Arguably the doors are much more problematical.
This week I needed a cabinet 2.25cm tall, a figure in the middle between the 210cm and 236cm IKEA offers. Right, time to pull out the saw.
First up, you’ll need to decide whether you’re cutting off the top or bottom of the cabinet and this might depend on the location of the cabinet and where you’ll see the ‘cut’ edge of the door (if applicable) from.
The cabinet itself is no problem, they are easy enough to cut down with little to no visible evidence. It’s the aforementioned doors where you’ll need to think carefully. Generally you aim for the cut edge of the door to be out of sight, either low or high.
My situation meant I could cut the bottom off the door and since it’s very close to the ground (a PAX wardrobe), it’s unlikely anyone will ever notice. I should point out that modifying anything other than the flat doors is pretty difficult and you’ll need some good tools and skills!
For example, a flat door can be carefully shortened and the cut edge sealed with a matching paint after a careful, light sanding of the edges (or an iron on edging strip if available in the right colour).
But a pressed and coated panelled door needs a very, very precise cut, usually just inside the thicker panelled edge and a careful gluing back together. And even then you might see the join if you look closely. A ‘proper’ traditionally built panelled door can be taken apart and shortened before gluing up again.
Here are some pics of the process I employed to shorten the cabinet…
Incidentally, all the above also applies if you want to narrow a cabinets width too. Then you need to replicate the fixing holes into the end of the ‘new’ top/bottom. Or you can screw though the outside of the cabinet sides, if the ends are not going to be seen.
Just face the cut door into a space where it’s not visible. Or do away with the door altogether, I use this technique often to create custom spaces for trays, towel rails and the like. Ideal for filling in small gaps at the end of cabinet runs.
There you go, I hope that’s given you a option you might want to use in the future when you’re stuck with an awkward sized space which doesn’t fit a standard sized cabinet. It’s doable in a pinch, and especially for an out of the way end or corner. It’s easy-ish, and of course it’s simpler if you’ve got a sliding plunge saw.
If you’ve only got a hand saw, you can still do this modification, and then use a very small bead of white silicone sealant on the inside of the cabinet to ‘hide’ the rough edges of the saw cut. If you have to cut a door with a handsaw, allow a little extra to tidy up the cut with sandpaper on a block.
Stay well and keep makin’ sawdust 🙂