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  • Trimming a cabinet in place?

    I have a customer who wants to put a 70" tall fridge in a 69" tall opening. There is 1 1/2" of face frame that hangs below the shelf on the cabinet above. So It is possible to take the inch off but I need to find the best way to cut a perfectly straight line as it will be exposed. It also has to be a dust free maneuver. I'm in the process of getting myself a ts55 and am wondering if it's possible to clamp the track to the face frame and make the cut. Or is there a better way?
    Darrel Hunter

    "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." - Henry Ford

  • #2
    Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

    A picture of the layout would help. I have used my rails in many odd positions. Once placed on lookouts to trim a cabinet on an angle opposite the saws setting.

    This clamp is a life saver in these situations;

    http://www.festoolusa.com/products/s...ws-489790.html

    The screw or rapid clamps may work also, depends on access to a clamping surface. I also have the suction Gecko clamp.

    Don't forget to apply finish to your cut.

    Limited dust means you'll need a CT/vac also.

    Tom
    Last edited by tjbnwi; 05-01-2012, 10:34 PM.
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

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    • #3
      Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

      Can you clamp the track (or a guide of any sort) to the stiles of the face frame? Router with a tracer bit and a vacuum attached. Finish off the last 1/2" or whatever your bit leaves with a hand saw or multimaster.

      If it's really tight, you might be able to use the underside of the cabinet as your edge with a bottom mounted bearing bit (I've used this maneuver before).
      "American political opportunities are heavily loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest" --Richard Dawkins

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      • #4
        Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

        I'd pull the cabinet and do it on its back. I've tried using my TS55 on a vertical surface and don't recommend it.

        Dust free...good luck with that.

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        • #5
          Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

          If you can't use a clamp, 3M mounting tape. Roll it off the finish surface, don't pull it off.

          If the cab face frame is 3/4", there is an arrow on the saw body that indicates the leading edge of the blade. The saw depth setting will be 25 or 26 mm. Use the included stop to prevent kick back.

          As noted it will be very limited dust, not dust free.

          I've never had a problem setting a rail, that includes overhead.

          Tom
          http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

          Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

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          • #6
            Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

            Not feasible to pull the cabinet out or I would. I'm leaning towards a guide rail/board clamped somehow but all I have right now is a couple Bosch routers and they aren't exactly dust free. Thinking maybe getting close to the line with a jigsaw then trimming precise with router and hopefully a shop vac near the cutting will handle most of the dust.
            Darrel Hunter

            "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." - Henry Ford

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            • #7
              Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

              Install plastic barriers...you can contain dust, but I can't see how you can avoid it flying on this one. Stay in your barrier until dust settles. This works pretty well, though not perfect

              Draw line, free hand with skill saw within 1/16 of line, Japanese saw/multi master the ends. Bearing bit guided along 1/2" MDF micro-pinned to cabinet bottom. Saw and block sand corners.

              Or skip the bearing bit and skip from free hand cut to belt and block sand.

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              • #8
                Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

                Tom, that mark is on the saw body, but it is also on the splinterguard too. My good friend, the local Festool rep kicked me down that little nugget. It is just an indented line, so i colored mine in with an extra fine tip black pen for easy viewing. If you had a 1/4 20 bolt and nut plus a scrap piece of wood you can make a positive stop on the rail, better do a test cut first. If you have two it works great for plunge dadoes in the field, Eric

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                • #9
                  Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

                  Yes, it is on the splinter gaurd. There are many small things like that on their tools/system.

                  See photos 31,32,33, the rail is held in place by the Rapid clamp;

                  https://picasaweb.google.com/1039515...KitchenRemodel

                  The blue tape is for mark visibility on the dark cabinets.

                  The lower angled cabinet to the left of the stove is the cab trimmed with the rail on 1x4 lookouts clamped in place. No pics of the set up. (the photos are Chuck Kisers, I was only an assistant on the job)

                  Tom
                  http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

                  Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

                    Originally posted by David S View Post
                    Install plastic barriers...you can contain dust, but I can't see how you can avoid it flying on this one. Stay in your barrier until dust settles. This works pretty well, though not perfect

                    Draw line, free hand with skill saw within 1/16 of line, Japanese saw/multi master the ends. Bearing bit guided along 1/2" MDF micro-pinned to cabinet bottom. Saw and block sand corners.

                    Or skip the bearing bit and skip from free hand cut to belt and block sand.
                    Best post in the bunch.

                    You won't do a dust free- containment is easy enough and will be cleaner in the end than trying to cut with a saw of any sort.

                    Routers are made for doing this sort of work. Saws aren't. Find a spiral bit with a bearing for a nearly guaranteed splinter free cut (nothing's 100% guaranteed). Cut close, do most of the work with the router, finish with multi-master or hand saw & then file/sand to "perfect".

                    Even if doing this sort of cut on a slight angle I would use a board with double stick tape on it stuck to the outside of the cabinet and do the cut with a router. Use a good vacuum- Festool's routers do have decent dust collection, although you can get pretty good with a shop vac duct-taped to the router...
                    http://www.lavrans.com

                    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

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                    • #11
                      Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

                      Why isn't this the proper situation for the TS Saw? The lower rail is what needs to be cut. The majority of the cut will be with the grain. The length of cut, 31-37", is my guess.

                      The dust collection with the TS hooked to a CT will be over 90%, if you want to increase that, tape a piece of cardboard behind the cabinet rail. Set the saw so it does not cut through the cardboard. The dust collection will be closer to 99%.

                      A little hand work to finish the cuts will produce more "free" dust than the TS hooked to a vac.

                      I do agree it can be done with a router also.

                      Tom
                      http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

                      Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

                        you can drill holes in your rail and screw it on if that would work .the holes will not hurt it .makes it very stable .i have had the clamps slip .

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                        • #13
                          Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

                          Is carefully removing the section of face frame not an option?
                          Michael

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                          • #14
                            Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

                            It is going to get messy.

                            I would lean towards jigsaw followed with router.

                            Not a big fan of the tracksaw on its side at eye level...

                            Also- make sure (if possible) there are not pocket screws you might be cutting into.

                            You can't drop the floor?

                            Have fun
                            Josh O.


                            "If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all. "

                            - Michelangelo-

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                            • #15
                              Re: Trimming a cabinet in place?

                              dlhunter,
                              How thick are the cabinet walls? If you need 1" and the cabs are 3/4 ply, the you only have 3/4" of extra wood on that face frame.
                              I think the most controllable scenario would be to jig it close then finish with the bearing guided spiral bit in a trim router. Full sized router and track saws would be too heavy. That is an awkward position to try and get perfection from your hands. Iv'e had to work with my hands above my head for many years (here come the jokes) and can tell you it's not a good position for precision.
                              How level is the floor?
                              Make sure you have clearance on the short leg of the opening.
                              You can cobble a dust collection shield out of a 2 liter pop bottle or a big juice bottle. There won't be a fridge in place, so you should be able to keep the dust to a minimum.

                              Phil
                              It's better to try and fail, than fail to try.

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