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planing sides of kitchen units

Postby neilydone » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:40 am


We have just bought a new cooker to fit into a space left by the previous vendors of our newly purchased house.

Before we bought the cooker I measured the space and it was 600mm so we purchased a cooker that size, however it does not quite fit.

I would like to plane down the vertical sides of each end of the kitchen units (cupboards with melamine tops) to allow enough space for it to fit.

Can anyone recommend the best way to go about this? I have borrowed a Bosch hand planer (I estimate I need to take off about 5mm each side) and also some metal strips to deal with the heat from the cooker affecting the sides of the kitchen units. Do I need bigger sheets of metal to go down each side of the cupboards or should I take enough off to ensure a big enough gap?

Am I going about this the right way? do I need to move the units completely? We are not that bothered about appearance since we will hopefully get a new kitchen in the new year, just want to be able to fit the cooker into the space....

Thanks in advance!
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Postby Did it myself » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:51 am

You'll need someone elses advice on this I think, but just to chip in. We have just fitted our kitchen and the unit that hold s the oven and hob is just a normal carcass/housing. However, it does then have additional side panels screwed too it at each side. We aren't sure if this is to add insulation or if its just part of the kitchen design (as they are decorative end panels)?

If you are going to replace the kitchen soon, then I wouldn't go to too much trouble with this.

Alternatively to extra panels (as you probably won't have the space), if you can create a gap between the oven housing and the units, then you could use some loose heat-insulating material?
Did it myself
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Postby johnpat » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:03 pm

I would take the units out either side and reduce each by 5mm ,then adjust doors to suit .Doors are 5mm less than unit anyway and if its a double door you have 10mm to play with.

Alternatively cut 10mm off one unit only, though you may have to
trim back the door also.

Metal heat reflectors are only about 1mm thick and only really needed
on pvc doors.Solid doors will withstand more.

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Postby jary » Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:58 pm

you didn't say, but i assume the cooker is free standing, therefore there may be a decor end panel on the side of the cupboard, depends on kitchen design (check if the cupboard wall is double thickness) if so these are mostly screwed on from inside with hidden screws, so just remove it.

If not planeing the side of a unit would be very difficult as any screws used in assembly (usually hidden) would wreck the planer blades. also old chipboard tends to just fall apart if reduced in thickness by a third.
Possibly easier to remove screws holding worktop to cupboard from the underside, and try to shunt the unit along enough, most units aren't bolted to the walls that well.
Do however be carefull of any gas or elec run through the back of the units i have seen some serious cowboy bodges on old kitchens in the past.

good luck
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Postby toptips » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:47 am

can you let us know the sizes of the units at both sides of the space you have for the cooker.
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Postby neilydone » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:07 pm

Hi all,

Firstly may i say thankyou for all your help and advice and ideas. In the end I managed to take the melamine side of the counter top, slide the cooker in and then slide down thin metal bars from Homebase.

I had to saw a bit off the end of each bar as they were too long.

It was only the top corners of the cooker that was slightly too big to fit in the space. Once we manouvered it in, it seemed fine although it is close up against the units - the cooker instructions say it is insulated enough to go next to a unit, though.

I didnt know about physically shunting the units, I will have a look at the back and see if they can be easily moved just to make it a bit easier in case I need to move it again...

thanks again for your help and advice.
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