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Cutting strip off uneven built in wall shelf

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  • Dec 14th, 2022 3:58 pm
[OP]
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Dec 18, 2017
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Alberta

Cutting strip off uneven built in wall shelf

I have a butler window between my kitchen and living room. For simplicity, it's basically a rectangular cut out in the wall. The bottom of the cut out forms a small shelf. The shelf sticks out unevenly as they must not have lined it up properly when the house was built.

I am having new kitchen tile backsplash installed and this uneven shelf edge is causing a problem. I would like to cut the length of the shelf so that it is flush with the wall allowing the tile to be installed right up to the bottom opening of the butler window. Right now it cannot be as the shelf sticks out approx 1/4 inch or a little more on one end and then tapers down to sticking out less and less toward the other end of the shelf.

This cannot be removed to be cut with a table saw or something and I don't have that kind of a tool, anyway. It needs to be addressed in place.

Would a Dremel Max tool with a wood/metal saw blade attachment work for trimming the length off this shelf so that it is flush with the wall? If not, any other suggestions? I had thought of perhaps a really rough rasp to shave it down but I haven't been able to find a really rough rasp.

Thanks!
27 replies
[OP]
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Dec 18, 2017
471 posts
399 upvotes
Alberta
Why would someone down vote this question? Isn't asking questions and sharing information what this forum is for?
Deal Addict
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Feb 25, 2004
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Maybe post some pictures? It would be easier to understand and you might get more answers.
Try not! Do or do not, there is no try...
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Jul 5, 2004
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Skill saw?

Hard to make recommendations without seeing it though
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Oct 6, 2007
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Kootenays
Is the shelf a wood cap? If so, a hand plane might work, or a router or oscillating tool. Pictures or a better description would definitely help.
Member
Aug 25, 2006
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Toronto
Couple ways.

1) You can use an osciallating tool and a steady hand to trim off the unwanted wood.

2) If you have a super sharp chisel you can slowly shaveaway material and then finish up wioth a small block plane

3) Use a Belt sander with an 80 grit belt and you'll get rid of 1/4" of anything in no time. Draw a refernce line and sand snug up close to the thisline. For the last 1 mm or so maybe change out to a 200 grit belt or soemthing less aggresive to let you sneak up on your reference line.
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Nov 17, 2012
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Toronto
Rip it all out and re-trim the pass-through properly considering the backplash tile you plan to have installed.
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Nov 12, 2006
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London
dbracer wrote: Couple ways.

1) You can use an osciallating tool and a steady hand to trim off the unwanted wood.

2) If you have a super sharp chisel you can slowly shaveaway material and then finish up wioth a small block plane

3) Use a Belt sander with an 80 grit belt and you'll get rid of 1/4" of anything in no time. Draw a refernce line and sand snug up close to the thisline. For the last 1 mm or so maybe change out to a 200 grit belt or soemthing less aggresive to let you sneak up on your reference line.
It sounds like the tile will cover the edge that you trim up.
Therefore, while you want pretty good, it doesn't have to be perfect.

The above suggestions seem good to me.
#2 I'd start with the plane, and not the chisel.
#3 Just hand sanding with a block won't be bad. This isn't a huge job, and slow and careful might be better than fast and aggressive.

There is a way to do it with a router, but my gut is this is beyond the OP.
(and dust everywhere)

You sure don't have to rip it out.
[OP]
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Dec 18, 2017
471 posts
399 upvotes
Alberta
Thanks to all who gave suggestions.
dbracer wrote: Couple ways.

1) You can use an osciallating tool and a steady hand to trim off the unwanted wood.

2) If you have a super sharp chisel you can slowly shaveaway material and then finish up wioth a small block plane

3) Use a Belt sander with an 80 grit belt and you'll get rid of 1/4" of anything in no time. Draw a refernce line and sand snug up close to the thisline. For the last 1 mm or so maybe change out to a 200 grit belt or soemthing less aggresive to let you sneak up on your reference line.
The Dremel Multi Max is an oscillating tool with an attachment for wood and I was thinking that that would work. I don't have a belt sander. I did think of chisel but the Dremel seemed like it would be easier (I could be wrong!).
arisk wrote: It sounds like the tile will cover the edge that you trim up.
Therefore, while you want pretty good, it doesn't have to be perfect.

The above suggestions seem good to me.
#2 I'd start with the plane, and not the chisel.
#3 Just hand sanding with a block won't be bad. This isn't a huge job, and slow and careful might be better than fast and aggressive.

There is a way to do it with a router, but my gut is this is beyond the OP.
(and dust everywhere)

You sure don't have to rip it out.
Right, the tile will cover up this edge that I plan to trim up so it doesn't have to look great after it's trimmed.

I have watched several youtube videos on planes and oscillating tools and I was torn on which would be better, which caused me to make this thread. Maybe a plane would be better.

Yes, a router is beyond me. I don't know what that is. Smiling Face With Open Mouth

Will edit this comment in a moment to upload a pic from my phone. Thanks all!
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That's a job tailor made for an oscillating tool if I've ever seen one.
[OP]
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Alberta
cliff wrote: That's a job tailor made for an oscillating tool if I've ever seen one.
That's good news as I bought a Dremel. Since my last post above, I've been reading about planes and I don't think that me using a plane for the first time on this project would be the way to go.
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BaileySyd wrote: Why would someone down vote this question? Isn't asking questions and sharing information what this forum is for?
Most threads get 2-3 downvotes simply for existing :facepalm:
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Why not just use a hand planer?
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Nov 12, 2006
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BaileySyd wrote: Right, the tile will cover up this edge that I plan to trim up so it doesn't have to look great after it's trimmed.

I have watched several youtube videos on planes and oscillating tools and I was torn on which would be better, which caused me to make this thread. Maybe a plane would be better.

Yes, a router is beyond me. I don't know what that is.
Given your apparent skill level, I think the oscillating tool is the best option.
Even for more experienced, it is a good option, but they also have the additional acquired skill options too (planes, chisels)

My suggestion is use an oscillating tool, but leave a bit extra.
Then sand that by hand.
First, it leaves a margin for error, and second a little better finish.

Use some sort of straight edge to ride the blade on.
It will help leave that extra to sand, as well as generally assist with creating a straight edge.
I think your cut will also be prone to being angled across the narrow dimension if you aren't careful.
That's another reason to leave the last bit to sanding (with a block).
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hoob wrote: Why not just use a hand planer?
No offence to the OP, but there is some acquired skill, and there is a high chance it wouldn't go well as a first task.
[OP]
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Dec 18, 2017
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Alberta
arisk wrote: Given your apparent skill level, I think the oscillating tool is the best option.
Even for more experienced, it is a good option, but they also have the additional acquired skill options too (planes, chisels)

My suggestion is use an oscillating tool, but leave a bit extra.
Then sand that by hand.
First, it leaves a margin for error, and second a little better finish.

Use some sort of straight edge to ride the blade on.
It will help leave that extra to sand, as well as generally assist with creating a straight edge.
I think your cut will also be prone to being angled across the narrow dimension if you aren't careful.
That's another reason to leave the last bit to sanding (with a block).
arisk wrote: No offence to the OP, but there is some acquired skill, and there is a high chance it wouldn't go well as a first task.
Thank you for your feedback. Really appreciated. I'm going to tackle this with the oscillating tool and a sanding block.

I absolutely think that using a plane for the first time on a job like this likely would not go very well.
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Jan 25, 2007
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BaileySyd wrote: Thank you for your feedback. Really appreciated. I'm going to tackle this with the oscillating tool and a sanding block.

I absolutely think that using a plane for the first time on a job like this likely would not go very well.
I am a reasonable hand planer and I dont think i could do it with a block plane. I also wouldnt risk my plane blade hitting crap on the wall or nails potentially in that wood.

A flush cut blade in an oscillating tool is what I would reach for.
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Based on the pic personally I'd just remove the entire thing, do the tiles, then put in a new one. It's not anything worth salvaging.
Si Tacuisses, Philosophus Mansisses
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Dec 25, 2007
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GTA
Agreed with above. If you wanted to try to shave that back, I would try a jigsaw and use something as a straight edge guide. Use the oscillating multi tool for whatever little bit is left.

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