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shop made adjustable cabinet jacks

Listing #84   Listed on: 09/05/2012

I needed a pair of cabinet jacks, and I was about to buy something that is commercially made, however I stumbled across this particular design in a youtube video.

They work so well that that it is almost an act of cheating, to use them.

each jack is comprised of a plywood support, inside out "pony, deep reach style pipe clamp", and wall flange.

I built mine from baltic birch plywood, and ash. I configured them so that they could be adjusted from about 14"-15" to 20"+

It is possible to micro adjust for level, and you can really press a box tight to a ceiling, or soffit. They Make solo installation, a breeze. Especially when you have to mess with scribes and fillers.

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View Larger, Higher Quality Image
shop made adjustable cabinet jacks


Viewer Comments:

Posted By: jason     [09/10/2012]

I hope you didn't have to buy the clamps, because they cost more than the 3rd hand from fastcap. Those work brilliantly by the way, and all I had to do was pick up the phone.
I have plenty of shop made solutions, but I guess you have to pick your battles.


Posted By: Mike Schwartz     [09/11/2012]

They cost was about the same.

I am definitely a fan of FastCap's products and my original plan was to buy a pair of third hands however I decided that they wouldn't quite meet my needs. I also wanted something more robust.

The third hand is a great tool. I wanted something more specific. Saving money wasn't a concern.

Posted By: Jeff     [09/11/2012]

We see a lot of new ideas, but I have to say that this is the first that I have posted on. Good on you. I do agree with what you said about needing something more stout especially something that can stand the wear and tear of everyday construction site duty. Thanks Again

Posted By: kenneth D Cowart     [09/11/2012]


Posted By: Sternberg     [09/11/2012]

Genius. I have some fastcaps, but I also have lots of pipe clamps, and your idea lends itself to other possibilities as well.

Posted By: Nick     [09/13/2012]

I actually like the concept of this jack.. The big question I have is the issue of stability, Can you place a cabinet on 2 stands and not have the cabinet want to tilt or sway from side to side and front to back?

I use Fastcap jacks also, but they only work when the cabinet is elevated or propped up.. I want to get away from holding a cabinet up with one knee, 1 hand holding the cabinet and the other slipping a fastcap jack underneath, and still have to worry about tilt.

Another way I install uppers is I fasten a pre-finished wood block to the wall, 3/4 x 3/4 x cabinet width, resting the bottom of the cabinet on it to support the weight and fastening the cabinet to the wall. No jacks, No fast caps... Unfortunately I cant always do it this way because the block would be too exposed.

Anyway, please get back with me on the stabilty issue, I'm interested to know.

Nice job BTW. :)

Posted By: Sternberg     [09/13/2012]

You could add stability by any number of means if you felt it necesary. A tacked on cross brace, either temporary, or a permananent accesory is doable.

Posted By: Mike Schwartz     [09/13/2012]

The stability was fine. It would be easy to really over build them if you needed to push the limits. I felt comfortable walking away, while leaving a cabinet on the jacks. I even used them to support two cabinets overnight, but I did have them pressed up to the soffit to make sure they couldn't go anywhere.

Posted By: JB     [09/13/2012]

I have used the Gill Lift for years, well worth its money, i am a one man show and can set up a bank of upper cabinets on the floor and lift them all in to place in one shot.I also use it for over the range microwaves to support and tie in duct work. It also comes apart so you can use the lower dolly to move base units around. Other uses i have found it usefull for is boxed beams on coffered ceiling, duct work , it's a great tool

Posted By: Ben Hoffman     [09/16/2012]

Neat! I worked my way through college designing and selling kitchens, sometimes doing the installations. I showed up at the job-site with white shirt, tie, jacket and 2 simple, wooden Ts for holding 18" and 30" tall cabinets tight to the soffit. Building contractors thought it was a joke until I left, no sweat, sooner than they expected.

Posted By: Nick     [09/16/2012]

@ JB, I've been considering buying the Gill lift for sometime, I think the reason I haven't is I'm looking for a smaller solution, but considering it's capabilities and that I wont have to do hardly any lifting at all, it maybe worth it...

Question; If you had to buy it again and had a choice between the Aluminum or Steel model Cabinetizer, which one would you buy and why?



@ Mike, Thanks for addressing the stability issue, and to Sternburg who suggested adding a cross brace if needed.

Posted By: JB     [09/17/2012]

Nick, I purchesed mine in the mid 90's when it came out, didn't even know they made a steel version. The aluminum one that i have is very well put together, have had no problems with it , light weight and easy to use. I would stay with the aluminum one it won't rust if left out side on the job, and there is no maintance on it in the future. Looked them up on line and saw the different models that they have now, and quite a price difference from when i purchesed mine at around $ 450.00 get one you can't go wrong it will pay for itself in no time.

Posted By: Kip     [09/18/2012]

Built a wooden one, it worked great but too heavy. Bought a steel one, works great but too heavy and stamped parts are very sharp and it's somewhat wiggly. I wish I had bought the Gil lift.

Posted By: Roger     [09/22/2012]

I don't think they make the aluminum model any more at least I can't find it on the web just the steel.

Posted By: Bruce H     [09/22/2012]

I think you are over thinking what is already a simple solution. If your base cabinets are in place and leveled the distance between them and the underside of the upper cabinets is a fixed dimension. A simple T-block cut to the right height is all that is needed. Jamming them to a ceiling or soffit wouldn't make them align up with an adjacent pantry cabinet. Your efforts should be put into leveling the base cabinets, the rest is a cake walk.

Posted By: JB     [09/24/2012]

I find putting the uppers up first is much easyer then trying to fight over the base cabinets, you are wide open at that point and can work from any angle with ease. This is just what i found that works for me, each installer has his or her own method of installation that works best.

Posted By: Mike Schwartz     [09/24/2012]

I agree that uppers first can be a great technique! Especially with the Gil style lifts, provided you do enough volume to justify hauling one around, and storing it when not in use.

Depending on the specifics of the installation I generally prefer to start by installing bases first. There is certainly a time and place for both methods.

Posted By: Bruce H     [09/24/2012]

I had a cabinet jack and installed the uppers first. wasn't the easiest to make sure the vertical alignment was there, especially when the walls weren't plumb and/or straight. Next I used suspension fittings and steel hanging rail, the uppers went in first but had horizontal and vertical adjustment after they were hung. that worked well except a lot of my cabinets were taller and deeper than what I felt comfortable with using the suspension fittings. (I made a lot of 18" deep uppers 60" tall, had a contractor who liked "BIG") now I install the bases level and straight and then using a "T" supports cut to the right length stack my uppers on top. I stack the entire kitchen before fastening anything to the wall. in this way I can insure the base stove opening aligns laterally with the upper hood opening, they are already level because the base cabinets are, they are plumb because the "T" brackets are cut square. I fasten the corners making everything square, then shim the cabinets to the studs and install screws. the distance between the uppers and base cabinets is fixed anyway because it needs to align with the top of pantry or oven cabinets. most of my kitchens have granite counters, everything depends on a level base cabinet.

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