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I have 1950s American Standard kitchen cabinets. I want to put in a dishwasher, which means removing one of them. I don't want to destroy it because it's irreplaceable in my area.
I've hit one roadblock after another due to lack of info online, and now I'm stuck again. I pulled the original laminate counter off, disconnected the bolts holding it to the neighboring cabinets, and found the hidden wall screw, but its also joined to neighboring cabinets with a piece of metal that I have no idea how to remove. Please help. Edit: I had to screenshot the photos and upload them. Sorry if the quality is poor. metal piece in question the cabinet toekick for the 2nd commenter Edit2: I got it out. The metal straps were the last thing holding it in. If anyone needs this in the future there are 2 bolts inside the front shelf brackets on each side, two screws along the underside of the face that connects it to the countertop, the metal straps, and 2 screws into the wall along the top rear of the cabinet. You'll need to take out the drawer to reach the countertop screws and remove thr counter for the back screws and the metal joiner straps. You can use a hooked pick to pull the tabs of the straps out if and then they should slide forward and off. The toekick does not come off at all, it's part of the cabinet frame. The rest is elbow grease and wiggling it up over the lip of any flooring you may have.

I did end up mostly destroying the left metal strap, but since there won't be a cabinet there anyways it doesn't matter. The right one I think I can bend back into shape.

final result

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  • You must of course remove the toe kick. Then look underneath for more brackets or screws.
    – jay613
    Jan 16, 2023 at 22:49
  • I tried that but my photos are too big. I'll try again. The toe kick is not removable on these cabinets.
    – Misti
    Jan 16, 2023 at 22:53
  • If the used glue, tough time ahead
    – Traveler
    Jan 16, 2023 at 23:14
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    Is that the right width for a dishwasher? Maybe the photo but it looks wider. You'll have a tough time creating a gap-filler to suit the metal fronts.
    – jay613
    Jan 16, 2023 at 23:25
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    For photos that are too big (a very common StackExchange problem), I created a simple workaround. Read all the details here but basically send the pictures via email to [email protected] and you will get back pictures that should be just the right size and also a link to "paste image link". No charge. Files erased from my server after one hour. Jan 16, 2023 at 23:25

1 Answer 1

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Here is what I see. It's hard to be sure from photos and this may be an iterative process.

  1. The metal bar should be pried off with a screwdriver or wrecking bar or other lever. It may be clipped on, you may have to pry its sides outward.
  2. You do have a toe kick. You removed the vinyl covering. It looks like there is a wood backing. It does not look like part of the cabinet to me. It's probably clipped to the cabinet legs. It may be a single piece much wider than one cbinet. You have to pry the toe kick off. This might be hard to do without damaging it. Anyway you'll need to cut it to make room for the dishwasher and reconfigure the clips to the cabinets to the right and left. You may find additional screws underneath the cabinet.
  3. In the last picture it looks like you did not remove the counter to the left of this cabinet, and it looks like there is one of those metal bars on that side also, but rusty. You'll need to remove the counter and pry off that one too. That won't be fun.
  4. I have to add, and I mean this in the spirit of answering the question and not judgmentally ... I think you are overestimating the historical and sentimental value of the cabinet after you have removed it and put in a dishwasher. I've been in your position ... you'll keep it in your basement for 30 years in case the next owner wants to put it back? No .... you'll be emptying the house for sale and have to pay someone to get rid of it. You may want to go about this destructively.
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  • Respectfully, thank you for both your advice and your opinion. 1. I am in the process of figuring out how to pry down the clips for the metal piece without damaging either cabinet. I came to the same conclusion you did. 2. That is a solid metal toekick that is either part of the frame, or folded over onto the frame and crimped at the factory, what you are seeing is the glue used to hold the vinyl to it.
    – Misti
    Jan 17, 2023 at 3:18
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    3. That would be my original-to-the-home enameled cast iron double bib sink on the left of the photo, I was not going to pull it up until I figured out how to remove the easier to reach piece, for obvious reasons. I am aware that there's one on each side. 4. I have a use for the cabinet in another part of the kitchen, I'm not keeping it out of sentimentality, for historical purposes, or for resale value. I rather enjoy my metal cabinets.
    – Misti
    Jan 17, 2023 at 3:18
  • And no, it's wider, but my dad is a sheet metal whiz and already agreed to custom-make me gap fillers if I can get the cabinet out. I'll have to add a frame on the left anyways to hold up the end of the countertop I took off.
    – Misti
    Jan 17, 2023 at 3:27

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