Asked on Jul 20, 2012

I need ideas to help removing the 1/2 shelves in our Kitchen base cabinets

Meagan H
by Meagan H
We have permanent shelves we want to remove from our base cabinets to add pull-outs. We would prefer not to detach the cabinets. This is a new house but the cabinets provide poor storage. I thought we could just saw each side out. What tool should we use? Has anyone else tried this and is this a job for a professional rather than first time renovators?
  3 answers
  • The current shelves that are installed in your cabinet have been fastened from the outside of each side and even perhaps have been placed into a routed groove to give them even more strength. Removal is pretty easy but the small space makes it a bit harder then one would like. A small hand saw cutting down the middle should do the trick nicely. Once you get to the back side it will be a bit more difficult to cut, but once its cut through you will need to pry the shelf loose with a small pry bar. Remember that most likely the shelf is nailed on the sides and along the back panel to give it additional support. Removal is not fun, but you should not experience any real difficulty doing it. If you have a small jig saw or sawzall you can do the bulk of the cutting quite fast leaving only the last few inches to be done by hand so not to damage the back wall of the cabinet to much. Once removed you will most likely find small nails sticking though the back and sides, a good quality set of pliers should be able to pull the nails through the back side of the cabinet while a set of cutters will be needed to cut the nails on the sides off. Good luck and have fun.
  • Meagan H Meagan H on Jul 20, 2012
    My husband did cut down the middle as you suggested and he was able to remove the shelf. All our cabinets are made this same way, darn-it. But he is willing to takle a rew more as he can see how much more strage we will have. Thanks for your help! :-)
  • Glad to hear it worked out for you! Not a fun job as you already know, but it does make a big difference when it comes time to put things away!