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Old 12-31-2009, 06:52 PM   #1
Jack Olsen
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Default Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

I got a decent price on this Lyon 14-gauge cabinet on eBay.



But the problem was that it was 10" too tall for the space I'm putting it.

So I took it into the garage today to bring it down to my size. First, I got rid of the bottom section. Most of the height reduction came from losing the 3x4 timber pieces that hold it up so you can forklift it. I don't have a forklift, and the cabinet's not going to move anywhere once I've installed it.



That also got rid of some previous forklift damage.

But then the trickier part was shortening the main body the final four inches. I wanted to preserve the tops and bottoms of the doors, so I cut in just above the lowest hinge and did a belt cut with a Freud Diablo blade and my cheapo HF circular saw.



I made the same cuts to the doors. Lining them back up with the 4" section removed wasn't as hard as I expected. (For those of you who think my garage is too neat: check it out today.)



I used a grinder to take 1/2" of paint off where I was going to weld, and clamped it together and got to welding. I did the bead on the inside, so what you see is the burned paint from the heat.



Some grinding, some sanding, some primer and two coats of paint later -- there she is. 72" tall instead of 82". I haven't painted the handle yet, but it'll be gloss black when I'm finished.



The easy way to spot what I've done is to look at the gap between the top/middle hinges and the middle/lower set. 'One of these things is not like the other.' But now it'll fit.

Happy New Years, everyone.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Hey Jack if that writting gig dosnt work out you could work in a fab shop ! Another great job
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Nice work , did you butt weld it or flange it ?
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

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Nice work , did you butt weld it or flange it ?
I'm willing to bet he TIG welded it....
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Thanks. The writing thing is working out okay -- but there's always a trade-off with how much you enjoy doing something once you start accepting money for it. The nice thing about work in the garage is that there's no boss/executive/customer/client/whatever telling me how it ought to be done.

I butt welded it, Greg. I don't know that I'd have much luck with overlap on metal this thick. I think I'd need to do more pounding/sanding/filling than my skill set can accommodate. If I'd used a straight-edge to make the belt cuts I think the junction point would have been prettier. But in this case it's plenty good enough for the client -- because the client is also the welder.

Ddawg, I used my Hobart 140 MIG welder for it. I don't have a TIG setup, and haven't learned it -- yet.
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Nice work Jack. We can also see how you prevent the tiles from getting damaged
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Well, the padded squares had become a habit by the time I was working on this cabinet. This one only weighed 370 pounds. The two I moved in before it weighed 760 pounds each, and I did all the moving myself, including getting them down from a rented truck that had no ramp. The tiles are tough, but 760 pounds falling down is a lot (my guess is that it'd be noisy, too).

The blue squares are from a playroom we made for my now-19-month-old son. He's old enough now to not need them, and I've discovered they're great when you're packing things up to move -- or lifting and sliding 760-pound steel cabinets.

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Old 12-27-2010, 02:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

That looks so cool! Can you give me any details about the paint and the process?

You are the man, Jack.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Thanks. The paint for the cabinets couldn't be more low-tech. I use exterior semigloss house paint and apply it with brushes and rollers. It does NOT produce a shiny, hard shell finish -- but I can touch up dings with a chip brush without hardly thinking about it.

Cutting up this cabinet a year ago made me realize the possibilities of cutting up another to make a whole wall unit where my old sink was. It's documented in pages 24-27 of my 12-Gauge Garage thread, but here are a few snapshots of the more-recent cabinet dissection.





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Old 12-27-2010, 11:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Jack how did you cut the interior divider where it meets the back of the cabinet? It takes some balls to cut up a nice cabinet to make it suit your needs. I can see that heading to the scrap yard if your fabrication skills weren’t good. Nice job!
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:54 AM   #11
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Thanks, jerseywild. This was one of the older Strong Hold cabinets -- made back before they moved to Wisconsin. It's the same basic cabinet (the doors interchange with newer models), but the divider and shelves are welded into place instead of bolted in. But the pieces are skip welded, so I was able to get in there with an angle grinder to break the pieces loose.

That's the back of the old cabinet as the countertop; the middle sections of the old doors as the narrower doors on the little cabinet to the right; and the tops and bottoms of the old doors and cabinet carcass making up the 36" tall cabinet on the right.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

I asked this on the 12 guage thread; I should have asked here. Are you just butting the panels together or are you using those little clips they sell to make a uniform space between the two panels? I assume you're using MIG?
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Once again Jack, nice work!
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

I'd just like to know where you find all of these awesome metal cabinets?
I watch Craigslist constantly for cabinets, storage, shelving, etc., to try to catch anything like these, and so far, no luck in more than a year of watching.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

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Originally Posted by Dan in Pasadena View Post
I asked this on the 12 guage thread; I should have asked here. Are you just butting the panels together or are you using those little clips they sell to make a uniform space between the two panels? I assume you're using MIG?
I just clamp them down with a small gap and hit it with the Mig. I'm pretty sure there are better ways to do it, but I'd call myself more 'practical' than 'skilled.'



Quote:
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I'd just like to know where you find all of these awesome metal cabinets?
I watch Craigslist constantly for cabinets, storage, shelving, etc., to try to catch anything like these, and so far, no luck in more than a year of watching.
The frustrating thing is how big a market there is for them in California. I've gotten all of mine from Reliable Tools via Ebay, but I might bid on 100 before I get one at a decent price. I'm very patient.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Thanks for the response Jack.

You forget, I've seen your work and it looked pretty damn good to me.

Sorry for the repetitive dumb questions but with it clamped down on that steel bench top/gapped - it doesn't weld to the table top? NOt even a bit? Because I can see if I did it I'd be cursing when I found I'd welded it to the table!! LOL.

You just mig spot by spot (of course allowing for cooling) until the entire length is solid, then grind down the excess? Is that usually enough or do you have to use a bondo type filler to even it out?
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

I think it left some heat marks on the thicker steel bench, but it didn't adhere. My guess is the amount of heat I'm putting into it to melt the sheet steel isn't enough to soften up the plate down below. Sometimes I elevate the pieces I'm welding together, but in this case it gave me a pretty smooth finish to do it like you see.

I have some low spots in the finished door that I'll fill with bondo or something similar. But as I do this more, I leave less-visible scars.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:16 AM   #18
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Jack -

Your idea of "Quickie Project" is slightly different than mine . The new sink cabinets and counter are really awesome.

You must use the "man door" a whole bunch to want to keep it.....when I watched the you tube of your set up - it looked like given your set up, you could enter and leave via the car door and reclaim a substantial amount of space.

My last two houses (both in Southern Cal) had man doors that led to the back yard...I used them a ton. My house in TX doesn't have one, and the garage isn't oriented to make back yard access very convenient. I didn't notice this when buying (we only had 5 days to choose)

Great work as always, I'm looking forward to the 12 gauge first aid kit, and medicine cabinet.

Also - I'd like to be first on the "call list" for when you consider moving .
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:41 AM   #19
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Thanks. This thread is kind of confusing, in that it was originally about taking 8 inches off of a standing cabinet. But then I included the more-recent -- and more complicated -- project with the other cabinet that's becoming a sink area. One was quick and simple. The other is more complicated.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:22 PM   #20
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Default Re: Quickie Project: Shortening a Cabinet

Nice work as always Jack! I like where your going with the cabinet integration.

I finally just scored a Lyon the other day too (Free!), one I've been trying to get for a couple months now. It has got to weight 500lbs if not more and I unloaded it by myself and it was a monster, it got a little scary a couple times using ratchet straps and wood blocks to maneuver it. I can't image you handling additional 300ish lbs alone!


And the sink cabinet looks AWESOME!

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