Shop Made Cabinet Jack

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Forum topic by MT_Stringer posted 05-07-2014 12:06 AM 3651 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3172 posts in 3256 days

05-07-2014 12:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cabinet jack

To help with the installation of some upper wall cabinets, I made a pair of cabinet jacks. Thanks MobilePaul for the suggestion.

As you can see, they worked great. The cabinets were 36×42 made with 3/4 inch maple plywood and 1/2 inch maple backs. The jack looks a little flimsy just sitting there but when you put some weight on it, all is right with the world. A 9/16 inch wrench is all that is needed to turn the nut, which raises or lowers the cabinet. Easy to make small adjustments.

Each jack consists of the following:
  • Two 1/2 inch pipe foot flanges
  • One 3/8 inch “T” nut
  • 3/8 inch all thread cut as necessary
  • Two 3/8 inch nuts and one flat washer.
  • Two 1/2 inch pipe nipples

I already own several pipe clamps that use 1/2 inch pipe so I had some pieces on hand, but I did buy a couple of the short couplings.

To build a jack, I bored a recess in the bottom a piece of 3/4 plywood (6×8 inches or thereabouts) and installed the “T” nut. Then I threaded on a nut and threaded the rod into the T nut. To make the rod secure, I temporarily installed a pair of nuts on the rod and screwed the rod into the T nut. It took a couple of tries to get the nut inside the flange to snug up thus capturing the threaded rod with the T nut and the hex nut tightened against each other.

The length of pipe used would depend on what useable work length you need.

Hope you find this helpful.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

5 replies so far

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1973 days

#1 posted 05-07-2014 03:05 AM

A little advice from someone that has installed 100’s of cabinets. Install the uppers first, never the lowers. Installing the lowers is asking for the opportunity for damage. If you know there is a tile backsplash(most new kitchens do) I just screw a cleat to the wall and throw the cabinets on the cleat, line up the face frames and fasten the down. 90% of the time I don’t take off the doors. I drill a 3/16 hole in the frame and let the screw draw the frames together.

View Ocelot's profile


1980 posts in 2663 days

#2 posted 05-07-2014 03:19 AM

Those look quite helpful.

The only upper cabinets I’ve ever installed, I screwed a cherry 1×2 to the wall (after 1st leveling it) then set the cabinets on that – with more screws through the back of the cabinets. It worked ok. Maybe non-standard, but it’s my laundry room.


View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3256 days

#3 posted 05-07-2014 02:48 PM

Thanks for the tips. I know all about them. But the homeowner wanted the base cabinets installed first so they could order the granite and start using the bar. I didn’t build the uppers until after the base cabs were installed.

No way would I attach a ledger board and mess up the wall. Their plans are subject to change at any time. :-)
The jacks did their job. The cabinets sit nicely and all we had to do was keep them against the wall while I attached them.

There are more pics in my blog of Lee and Shelley’s Wet Bar.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3256 days

#4 posted 05-07-2014 02:51 PM

You could also use these as spreader bars if your project needs a little coaxing outward…like bowed plywood panels. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2829 days

#5 posted 05-16-2014 01:35 AM

A gr8 idea Mike. Simple and very effective. Plus, it helps save the back

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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