Introduction: Free Plywood & More From Old Cabinets

About: I like to be a maker in any medium but I usually do my making with wood. I think our culture can be incredibly wasteful so my favorite thing to do is salvage materials from discarded furniture and use them to …

If you love making things but don't have a large budget, one thing becomes universally true. You need to learn how to be a salvage expert. People discard items on the trash that no longer serve them but still have some really valuable, or at least nifty, components.

This will cover how to dismantle old kitchen cabinets and the resources which can be recovered.

Step 1: Hammer Those Joints

Cabinets are pretty simple to disassemble. They are simple boxes with a few little supports to hold it all together. N Now, go get your hammer.

Start with the face frame of the cabinet. Just give it a couple taps with your hammer and it should pop right out of the joint. You're only fighting against wood glue and few week wire staples.

That was the hard part. Now you get to be a T- rex, Godzilla or whatever large creature you prefer.

Give the remaining walls a few taps at the joints to loosen them. Tap close to the joint to avoid damaging the material itself. Now that they're loose, walk into that cabinet and stomp those walls down! Don't go crazy ruining the wood but have fun with it. They went provide much resistance.

Step 2: Admire You're Marvelous Resources!

Now then. Take off your dinosaur hat and take an inventory of what you just salvaged.

I ended up with 4 sets of 24" drawer slides with anti slam pistons. These can cost as much as $20 each so I've got that going for me.

Face frames are usually solid hardwood. They are small pieces but that lumber doesn't come cheap. You can usually get some nice pieces of oak and maple, especially from doors.

Maybe the most functional material, you'll have a pile of plywood. Depending on the cabinets you can get 1/2" or 3/4" sheets. Some less expensive cabinets are made of particle board which i avoid because it tends break apart during the demolition process.

Now take those supplies and go make something!

I hope you all enjoyed this ible. Post in the comments about your favorite things to salvage usable materials from. Thanks!

(Just a side note to interested parties. I see cabinets on Craigslist daily. People need to pay for them to go to the dump and they'd much rather you take them. Win, win.)

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Before and After Contest 2016

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2016