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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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Well, since finishing all my kitchen cabinets a couple of weeks ago, and then demo of our kitchen and living room began and now starting the process of putting it all back together, I've been scarce on the forum lately.

The previous owners had some 1/2" grooved paneling on the walls, and although it was the part that we fell in love with, when we first bought the place, 24 years ago, we decided that the dark, dust catching walls must go. Then in the kitchen, behind most of the cabinets, the previous owners had put up some fake bricks. Thin (about 1/4") slices of real brick, glued to the sheet rock, after first laying some type of rough surface, to mock grout lines. All the sheet rock had to be replaced, as the bricks didn't come off very easily. Now we're finding out that our walls and ceilings aren't all that level and flat. Installing my cabinets, which now will go almost to the ceiling, will be a challenge.

Now here comes my question (ok, you knew there was a question coming, right??) LOL. Well, I've been reading up some on installing cabinets, as this will be my first. I'm looking for a way that will be easy for me to do alone, or with just the aide of my wife. My son is doing our Sheetrock, but he's a busy man as well, so I don't want to tie him up more then I need to. So I was looking at using the French cleat. I'm figuring, as long as I shim the cleat that goes on the wall, to fill any valleys I might have, hanging and butting up these heavy cabinets correctly, should not be to hard on me? Any pointers or suggestions are welcomed!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 07:09 AM
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Hi Lee

A pet peeve of mine is trying to install upper cabinets onto a wall which isn't straight or for that matter plumb. It the wall is really bad I tend to try to get an agreement with the client that I can straighten it out by overboarding (onto shims) or dot and dabbing (for masonry walls) to get a decent surface. If it's only out a little way I tend to hang my cabinets on steel rails running almost the full length of the cabinet run as a single piece (it stops just inside the outer gable ends), rather like the cleats you are referring to, because that allows me to spread the load of the cabinets across a weak wall and to fix into the studs regardless of where the cabinets are. We tend to use a rails and claw type hangers, like these:


Above: Long steel hanging rail
Below: Adjustable claw hanger for use with rails



which are standard Euro cab fittings and are avalable from firms like Hafele over her. I'm told they can also be had in the USA these days

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Phil

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, didn't know they made such an animal. Wil definitley look into some rails like that. I was going to make my rail (out of wood) that fits on the wall one piece. And shim it out where need be. I have a 8.5 foot aluminum flat bar (1/2"x3") that I use as a straight edge to cut sheets with. My kitchen is only about a foot wider then that. So I can hold it against the rail, and shim where I need it.

What I was going to do (I saw this somewhere's on the internet), but take a piece if 1x6, and rip it in half on an angle. Use it full length on the wall, and then cut the other half to the width of each cabinet. But again, I can see where those steel rails and adjustable claws would be nice to work with!

Thanks Phil!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 05:44 PM
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Hi Lee

Unfortunately because I'm in the UK I can't see the USA Hafele web site, but they sell that kind of fittings for Euro cabinets over here all over Europe (as do dozens of suppliers) and therefore, hopefully, for the trade fitters over in the USA - even IKEA use them here. The big plus of the claw hook hanger (which screws into the top/rear of the cabinet gable ends and pokes through the back) is that the better ones can be adjusted up or down as well as in and out. For use they aren't that expensive and they take a heck of a lot of hassle out of hanging upper cabinets and levelling them up. The backs of the cabinets do need to be inset about 3/8in to 1/2in to allow space for the rail and claws (if Hafele do them there should be drawings on their site)

Having mentioned these I hope you can find them!

Regards

Phil

"Unfortunately there is lots of bad information online; some of it is really scary. It's probably not intentional, but I've seen some content that sets up the illusion that you can do whatever you want and get away with it" - Norm Abram in an interview with Jefferson Kolle

Last edited by Phil P; 01-23-2013 at 07:08 AM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 06:47 PM
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Hi Lee, glad to hear that you are nearing the end of the remodel! Like you I have not seen the rail system for hanging overhead cabinets but it sure sounds like a winner as they are adjustable !

I have limited use with the French Cleat and like using it however I would not want use it on a long wall with multiple over head cabinets due to if one wasn't lined up it would be a pain to adjust. I would imagine that someone with more experience than myself wouldn't hesitate using it.

If you can't find the rail system or have someone to assist with the installation, I would consider having a box/stand made to sit on the counter top and sit the overhead cabinets on the boxes, Level up the overhead cabinets and screw them to the wall.

Good luck and look forward to the finished photo's

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I may not be able to use those hangers. As my cabinets are flat in the back. But we'll see.
Jim, I was planning to put the upper cabinets in first. Mostly because I'm kinda a short fellow, and I don't want to stand on the new cabinets/countertops. Is it a bad idea to install the upper ones first? What are the draw backs in doing them in that order? And we are far from finished, or almost finished!! ;o)
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 08:44 PM
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It's been nearly 20 years, but when i hung mine (wall first) i screwed a 2 x 4 to two studs as a ledger board, set the back edge of the cab on the board, shimmed and screwed. Even with just the back edge on the 2 x 4 it didn't take a lot of effort to hold them in place.

Oddly, i was nearly 20 years younger then...outcome could be different today!!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Earl, that's another way I thought about doing it as well.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenacres2 View Post
It's been nearly 20 years, but when i hung mine (wall first) i screwed a 2 x 4 to two studs as a ledger board, set the back edge of the cab on the board, shimmed and screwed. Even with just the back edge on the 2 x 4 it didn't take a lot of effort to hold them in place.

Oddly, i was nearly 20 years younger then...outcome could be different today!!
I used the same method at about the same time. You can mark where the studs are on the board which helps to locate your screw locations in the cabinets. You will need to shim first where necessary.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 07:22 AM
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Put the upper cabinets in first. Start by drawing a line level around the kitchen where the cabinets will go. Be sure that you measure to find the highest spot first, you don't want to set the cabinets only to find that one cabinet won't go in because it is too close to the ceiling.Then locate your studs and screw a 2x3 into a few of the studs also mark where all the studs are on the 2x3. Install your corner cabinet first and shim it as needed. Then start putting up the other cabinets shimming as needed. Clamp the stiles of two cabinets together and drill and screw them together. If you have a cabinet that doesn't have two studs behind it you will have to put a toggle bolt in to hold it up. If you are putting a microwave above the stove be sure to put the wire in first because the microwave will be plugging into an outlet that is in the cabinet. Sometimes taking the doors off makes it easier. Als make sure that you put the right cabinet in the right spot. Don't mistakenly put a 30" cabinet where a 28" should go.
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