How Do I Cut Cabinets to Build a Microwave Shelf?


When you want to add a microwave cabinet to your kitchen but discover you can purchase a 24-inch regular wall cabinet for less, build a microwave shelf from it. Creating a microwave shelf from a 24-by-30-inch wall cabinet requires a circular saw and a jigsaw if the cabinet has fixed shelving instead of adjustable. Be certain the bottom shelf of the 24-by-30-inch wall cabinet is securely fastened to the cabinet sides before proceeding to prevent possible injury.

Things You'll Need

  • 24-by-30-inch wall cabinet
  • Tri square
  • Circular saw
  • Hammer
  • Wood glue
  • 2-by-20 1/2-by-3/4-inch lumber (actual size), 1 piece
  • Variable speed drill
  • Philips head screw tip
  • 2 1/2-inch drywall screws, 4 pieces
  • Damp cloth
  • Jigsaw (if needed)
  • 22 1/2-by-15-by-3/4-inch plywood
  • 1-inch wood screws, 4 pieces
  • Place the 24-by-30-inch wall cabinet on a worktable and remove the door. Measure from the bottom of the cabinet and make a mark on the sides of the front at 18 inches. Place the tri square on the marks and draw lines across the cabinet front.

  • Set the blade of a circular saw to 3/4-inch in depth and cut the lines. Tap the 18 inches of the front from the cabinet just cut with a hammer to remove it. Turn the cabinet on its side, measure up from the cut edge of the front that is still on the cabinet, and make a mark at 2 inches.

  • Drill two holes in the center of the 3/4-inch edge of the front with the 3/16-inch drill bit. Make one hole 3/4 inch from the bottom of the front and the next hole at 1 1/2 inches. Repeat this on the other side of the cabinet.

  • Put glue on the ends of the 2-by-20 1/2-by-3/4-inch lumber and secure it between the front sides through the pilot holes drilled with the drywall screws. Clean up the excess glue with a damp cloth.

  • Remove the shelf that is second from the bottom of the cabinet. Most cabinets have adjustable shelving, so this won't be a problem. If the cabinet has fixed shelving, cut down the center of the shelf from the front to the back with a jigsaw. You won't make it all the way to the back edge of the shelf, so tap on it lightly with a hammer to work it loose.

  • Secure the 22 1/2-by-15-by-3/4-inch plywood to the top of the bottom shelf with the wood screws. Install them from the bottom of the bottom shelf. Drill a 1 1/2-inch hole through one of the sides or bottom to gain access to the electrical outlet for the microwave.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cover the front edge of the new shelf with flat molding if desired.
  • Do not leave the circular saw within reach of small children.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit modern kitchen with cabinets image by redking from
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!