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AndyInTampa

Requesting a free software recommendation to help with a home project.

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Dana W

I didn't overlook the pre-drilling or any of the other stuff, I deleted over half of my post because I got sleepy and gave up trying to explain this.

 

One does not put in drywall anchors and then try to locate them with a tape measure. One uses the pre-drilled holes in the cabinet to mark holes in the wall for the anchors. One does not put drywall anchors in existing holes, unless they are very small, and not all cracked and crushed up.

 

You have 11/16" +- between cabinets and to the walls? Who is going to dust in there?

 

You seem fairly predetermined to use some sort of drafting program to do this project.

 

Installing these cabinets should take no more than an hour or so, but it will take days to weeks to get up to speed on a drafting program.

 

I have designed and drawn 400 to 500 kitchens and bathrooms in the last 35 years, and even though almost all of that work was remodeling work where existing cabinets were removed, and the drywall left in place, not one of the drawings contain information on existing mounting holes, nor any instructions on how to re-use them.

 

You are adding way too much complication to this thing by insisting on re-using the existing mounting holes, when in fact they should be completely ignored other than maybe to patch them up. Then, on the other hand installing cabinets is not as simple as it might appear.

 

At least look at some cabinet installation video's on the DIY network website.

 

Have you, in considering drawing this out in CAD, accounted for the guaranteed condition that your walls are most assuredly not level and plumb? If you draw a perfectly symmetrical rectangle representing your wall, you will already be off by anywhere from 1/16" to as much as 1", and that is if your house is uncommonly straight, level, and plumb. If you are going to draw and measure this project down to the 1/16" to locate your existing holes, you will have to find a way to determine, and compensate for how far your walls are out of plumb.

 

Measure the horizontal distance across the limits of your wall space half way up the wall, then mark a center line on the wall using half that distance. BUT, measure to your center line from only one spot, on only one wall. You can use blue painters tape to mark the center closely, then pencil mark on the tape to be precise. Using a level, from the first point, vertically mark a second point along your center line. Then establish your cabinet positions off that center line. The longer your center line is, the more accurate you can be.

 

Pre-drill your cabinets FIRST, allowing for room to hold the drill as straight as possible, then use the paper pattern method to locate your holes on the wall, then drill them in the wall. Mark the paper "WALL SIDE" before removing it from the back of the cabinet. You don't want to find out the hard way, why. If you are lucky, you may hit a stud or two.

 

Size your drill bits and holes to accommodate the hardware you are using. Drill your cabinets from the inside out, to eliminate visible splintering.

 

Drill through the cabinets with a bit JUST large enough to allow the screws so slip through freely. You cannot draw two objects together, with a screw threaded in both of them.

 

To install the cabinets, you will have to hold a cabinet up with one hand while folding and fishing molly bolt wings through holes you can't see, in the wall behind the cabinets with the other, or find a hole or drywall anchor with a screw point, then pick up a screwdriver and tighten up the screws, still while holding up the cabinet. Who's watching the level while you do this? It's do-able. I have done it alone, as a LAST RESORT. At least you can tape the level to the bottom shelf of the cabinet, so you don't have to hold it in place too.

 

Now, if I were doing this alone, I would be wearing a tool belt with a rechargeable drill/driver hooked to it, and a spare screwdriver or two tucked into it.

 

I would obtain a straight 2x4 just shorter than my horizontal wall space or cabinet space distance. I would then use 4" deck screws to attach the 2x4 to the wall @ the studs, level at the height of the bottom of my cabinets. Then I would set the cabinets on top of the 2x4 and drill some holes through the cabinets and the drywall. Then I would remove the cabinets, and do what I had to do to the wall for anchorage.

 

This way, nobody has to hold all of the weight of a cabinet hanging off a loose molly bolt, while wondering who is going to pick my screwdriver up off the floor for me. Once the cabinets are attached, I could then remove the 2x4, and spackle the holes over. The next day, I could sand and paint over the holes I made.

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ROBP

Use cabinet preset holes and use metal anchors in order to fit screws into the drywall one can always add new holes in the cabinet and for esthetical matter they should line up inside the cabinet.

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AndyInTampa
One does not put in drywall anchors and then try to locate them with a tape measure.

I wouldn't have tried. It wouldn't make sense to do that.

One uses the pre-drilled holes in the cabinet to mark holes in the wall for the anchors.

There aren't any pre-drilled holes in the cabinet unless I make them. I'd have to pre-drill them in locations that I know would not line up with the holes already in the wall.

One does not put drywall anchors in existing holes, unless they are very small, and not all cracked and crushed up.

Duh.

You have 11/16" +- between cabinets and to the walls? Who is going to dust in there?

A feather duster will work just fine.

 

You seem fairly predetermined to use some sort of drafting program to do this project.

 

Installing these cabinets should take no more than an hour or so, but it will take days to weeks to get up to speed on a drafting program.

I only need to draw concentric boxes inside another box and twelve holes. Then use a Dimension tool to calculate from hole to inside of a box for each of the twelve holes.

 

...on the other hand installing cabinets is not as simple as it might appear.

I'm not completely useless with hand tools. I've done most of the remodeling in the house. In fact, I put up the previous cabinets, but I had a pristine wall on which to do it.

 

Have you, in considering drawing this out in CAD, accounted for the guaranteed condition that your walls are most assuredly not level and plumb? If you draw a perfectly symmetrical rectangle representing your wall, you will already be off by anywhere from 1/16" to as much as 1", and that is if your house is uncommonly straight, level, and plumb. If you are going to draw and measure this project down to the 1/16" to locate your existing holes, you will have to find a way to determine, and compensate for how far your walls are out of plumb.

No, I had not considered that the walls are not plumb. After reading your post I went in to check and the two locations from which I measured the holes are luckily plumb.

 

Measure the horizontal distance across the limits of your wall space half way up the wall, then mark a center line on the wall using half that distance. BUT, measure to your center line from only one spot, on only one wall. You can use blue painters tape to mark the center closely, then pencil mark on the tape to be precise. Using a level, from the first point, vertically mark a second point along your center line. Then establish your cabinet positions off that center line. The longer your center line is, the more accurate you can be.

 

Pre-drill your cabinets FIRST, allowing for room to hold the drill as straight as possible, then use the paper pattern method to locate your holes on the wall, then drill them in the wall. Mark the paper "WALL SIDE" before removing it from the back of the cabinet. You don't want to find out the hard way, why. If you are lucky, you may hit a stud or two.

Good idea. However, I know exactly where the studs are and how far they are from the wall. There is one behind each cabinet.

 

Size your drill bits and holes to accommodate the hardware you are using. Drill your cabinets from the inside out, to eliminate visible splintering.

 

Drill through the cabinets with a bit JUST large enough to allow the screws so slip through freely. You cannot draw two objects together, with a screw threaded in both of them.

 

To install the cabinets, you will have to hold a cabinet up with one hand while folding and fishing molly bolt wings through holes you can't see, in the wall behind the cabinets with the other, or find a hole or drywall anchor with a screw point, then pick up a screwdriver and tighten up the screws, still while holding up the cabinet. Who's watching the level while you do this? It's do-able. I have done it alone, as a LAST RESORT. At least you can tape the level to the bottom shelf of the cabinet, so you don't have to hold it in place too.

 

Now, if I were doing this alone, I would be wearing a tool belt with a rechargeable drill/driver hooked to it, and a spare screwdriver or two tucked into it.

Yes, I am aware of all of this. I'm pretty handy when it comes to tools. However, there is always something that goes wrong or I didn't account for which is why I'm looking to create a drawing with my measurements. As far as fiddling around reaching for tools, these cabinets will be over a countertop, so finding the tools on a flat surface should be pretty easy unless they roll into the sink. :)

 

I would obtain a straight 2x4 just shorter than my horizontal wall space or cabinet space distance. I would then use 4" deck screws to attach the 2x4 to the wall @ the studs, level at the height of the bottom of my cabinets. Then I would set the cabinets on top of the 2x4 and drill some holes through the cabinets and the drywall. Then I would remove the cabinets, and do what I had to do to the wall for anchorage.

 

This way, nobody has to hold all of the weight of a cabinet hanging off a loose molly bolt, while wondering who is going to pick my screwdriver up off the floor for me. Once the cabinets are attached, I could then remove the 2x4, and spackle the holes over. The next day, I could sand and paint over the holes I made.

I considered a similar idea except that I was going to build up some pieces of wood on the counter top to do the same thing. That way I don't have to remove the 2x4 and repair the wall. Also, I'm going to remove the mirrored doors to alleviate the weight and allow the drill driver to work unempeded by the hinge mounts. There's also less chance of chipping a mirror that way.

 

 

Thank you to everyone that offered their ideas on my project. I'm sure it will go okay with so many ways of doing it. This has been one of the few forums where I've actually gotten answers. I have questions in a Windows Vista forum that are weeks old and haven't had a single answer yet even after I've bumped them. Again, thank you everyone.

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Dadgad
I wouldn't have tried. It wouldn't make sense to do that.

 

There aren't any pre-drilled holes in the cabinet unless I make them. I'd have to pre-drill them in locations that I know would not line up with the holes already in the wall.

 

I only need to draw concentric boxes inside another box and twelve holes. Then use a Dimension tool to calculate from hole to inside of a box for each of the twelve holes.

 

I'm not completely useless with hand tools. I've done most of the remodeling in the house. In fact, I put up the previous cabinets, but I had a pristine wall on which to do it.

 

Good idea. However, I know exactly where the studs are and how far they are from the wall. I was going to build up some pieces of wood on the counter top to do the same thing. That way I don't have to remove the 2x4 and repair the wall. I'm going to remove the mirrored doors to alleviate the weight and allow the drill driver to work unempeded by the hinge mounts. There's also less chance of chipping a mirror that way.

 

Thank you to everyone that offered their ideas on my project. I'm sure it will go okay with so many ways of doing it. This has been one of the few forums where I've actually gotten answers. I have questions in a Windows Vista forum that are weeks old and haven't had a single answer yet even after I've bumped them. Again, thank you everyone.

 

Andy, why not just do your drawing right on the wall, after all it would be the most accurate way to do it.

Start by giving yourself a nice horizontal level line (use a level, don't trust measuring from the floor) as a reference, and make it even with the inside bottom of your cabinet back.

Use a framing square to draw the inside wall lines of your cabinet, checking carefully to ensure that you have drawn them plumb.

Now it will be really easy to accurately locate your vintage holes.

The hardest part of this exercise is establishing a reliable frame of reference.

 

Not sure how far you have gotten with your CAD voyage, but we are talking UCS (User Coordinate System) here.

Without that, CAD won't be able to help you, except with the addition and subtraction, which is easy enough anyway.

 

Removing the mirrors is a very good idea, as it then becomes really easy to work, and to snug it against the

wall with one hand. Yeah you will have a lot of little piano hinge screws to reinstall I suppose, not a big deal with

a power driver.

 

As a betting man I would have to say that the odds of your being able to drill 8 totally random new holes in your cabinet back

without hitting an existing hole, would be astronomically higher than drilling 8 new holes EACH of which has been laboriously aligned

within 1/16 of an inch of your 8 old molly holes. The term scientific notation comes to mind. :|

 

Should you still insist on doing this with CAD, use the OFFSET command to create your concentric rectangles.

 

If it has been almost 30 years since you hung the first cabinet, I suspect that you will do just fine.

Remember we all want you to succeed, and to see how they look after the fact, and if they aren't level I will be all over your case!

Good luck, stop thinking and go hang the damn things! :beer:

Edited by Dadgad

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Dana W
Thank you to everyone that offered their ideas on my project. I'm sure it will go okay with so many ways of doing it. This has been one of the few forums where I've actually gotten answers. I have questions in a Windows Vista forum that are weeks old and haven't had a single answer yet even after I've bumped them. Againe, thank you everyone.
When there has been no mention of a level of experience, we have to assume that there is none. You will also have to excuse our tendency to tell a person how to build a tower clock when the question was simply "What time is it?":lol: Counter tops are even better to hold tools on than a tool belt. Counter tops don't pull my pants down.

 

Since you know more than I thought about tools, I have some handy ones for putting up cabinets over counter tops. They are reversible 24" woodworking bar clamps. When I reverse the end clamp head, and slide the movable one down, they become jacks. I've held 42" high x 30" wide kitchen cabinets in place with two of them, for drilling. The soft rubber clamp pads don't slide around, and I use a couple of chunks of a rubber shop floor mat to pad the counter top. They were very cheap 20 years ago. See picture. Of course, I still had to stabilize the cabinets with one hand, so they didn't shift side to side or fall over, but it is easier than holding 30 lbs of white oak up with one hand, and the clamps are very good at minute adjustment for level.

 

Oh, the pre-drill thing. I mean't pre-drilled by you.

 

Good luck with the project.

clamp.jpg

Edited by Dana W

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Dadgad

Dana, strangely I happen to have bought a pair of these exactly 2 days ago at ACE hardware,

which is expensive, and they were about $16 each.

I have bought lots of other clamps recently too, as we are trying to put my new house to bed.

In my shop in the states I had a huge inventory of wonderful clamps, you can never have too many,

Bessey makes great ones for woodworking and cabinet assembly.

I bought these to hang some custom jigs for mortising hinge gains in the top of my very large

hardwood window frames, and they are working great, spent all day yesterday working on hanging some of those.

 

I was aware that the jaws can easily be reversed on these to use as spreaders, but used in this jacking situation,

they are absolutely inspired, and as you say easily adjusted, with nice rubber feet to prevent sliding and damage.

Good call, I will remember that when I get around to installing my kitchen uppers! :beer:

In fact this is fantastic, now I can justify going out and buying a few more longer ones! :D

I am such a tool junkie, just can't have enough.

Edited by Dadgad

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ReMark

In the time it took to have this conversation the cabinet could have been installed. Twice.

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Dana W
Dana, strangely I happen to have bought a pair of these exactly 2 days ago at ACE hardware,

which is expensive, and they were about $16 each.

I have bought lots of other clamps recently too, as we are trying to put my new house to bed.

In my shop in the states I had a huge inventory of wonderful clamps, you can never have too many,

Bessey makes great ones for woodworking and cabinet assembly.

I bought these to hang some custom jigs for mortising hinge gains in the top of my very large

hardwood window frames, and they are working great, spent all day yesterday working on hanging some of those.

 

I was aware that the jaws can easily be reversed on these to use as spreaders, but used in this jacking situation,

they are absolutely inspired, and as you say easily adjusted, with nice rubber feet to prevent sliding and damage.

Good call, I will remember that when I get around to installing my kitchen uppers! :beer:

In fact this is fantastic, now I can justify going out and buying a few more longer ones! :D

I am such a tool junkie, just can't have enough.

Yeah, cheap and handy, but be careful, using them as jacks can be dicey. Of course there is no side to side stability.

 

Speaking as one who has had to figure out how to re-attach a piece of wood along the bottom inside edge of a hand made blanket chest, spreader/clamps are almost like discovering Sofia Vargera in my shower. Of course the clamps did not make me abandon my project as the other circumstance surely would have.

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Dana W
In the time it took to have this conversation the cabinet could have been installed. Twice.
Hey, we're talking tools here now. Who needs to worry about time?

 

Another favorite tool of mine, a Milwaukee M18 rechargeable drill/driver with headlights and buckets of torque. I could almost change a tire with this thing. You can turn on the light BEFORE the drill starts moving. YAY!!! A couple days ago, running E5 cable through my attic, I used it as a flashlight. If you have ever had to crawl ceiling joists on your hands and knees dragging a box of parts and hardware in one hand, a drill in the other and a Maglight in your teeth, you know how nice that is. I tried a hat light, the roofing nails and trusses keep knocking it off. My wife asked where the claw marks on my back came from. I told her to see previous post.:twisted:

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Dadgad

I recently bought an AEG tiny little 12V lithium cordless drill, driver, (lust at first sight) which is also a hammer drill,

LED light in just the right place, 18 step clutch variable speed trigger

and 2 speeds, it is epic, hand candy, and more torque than

probably anything south of an 18V, high quality keyless chuck. It purrs when you use it. As do I. :beer:

I was unfamiliar with AEG when I saw it in my friend's tool store.

I liked it so much that when I went to buy a planer for all these hardwood windows I opted for the AEG

again, though I had figured I would get a Bosch planer, which is fine but does not MOVE me,

I am very happy with the AEG, it is quite ergonomic and includes a nice dust collection bag which can be fitted on either the left or right side

and makes planing pretty much dust free, which is a big plus.

Edited by Dadgad

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ReMark
There is one more thing to take into consideration. I have no help installing the cabinets. There is no one to help hold up cabinets while I make markings.

A ledger board and a 2x4 will suffice.

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Dana W
I recently bought an AEG tiny little 12V lithium cordless drill, driver, (lust at first sight) which is also a hammer drill, LED light in just the right place, 18 step clutch and 2 speeds, and it is epic, hand candy, and more torque than

probably anything south of an 18V, high quality keyless chuck. It purrs when you use it. As do I. :beer:

I was unfamiliar with AEG when I saw it in my friend's tool store.

I liked it so much that when I went to buy a planer for all these hardwood windows I opted for the AEG

again, though I had figured I would get a Bosch planer, which is fine but does not MOVE me,

I am very happy with the AEG, it is quite ergonomic and includes a nice dust collection bag which can be fitted on either the left or right side

and makes planing pretty much dust free, which is a big plus.

AEG? OMG! Never heard of them until now. I suppose they ship to the US. You just slowed down my whole day. Now I have to peruse their website, and a nicely done site it is, too. Excuse me, while I go window shopping.

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Dadgad

German company, no doubt you will have seen the compound sliding miter saw by now, which looks very nice.

I like their reciprocating saw too, just not sure why I need it, but will probably get it as it is on promo here now and I can get it for about $100.

I figure that if I don't buy the tools I like before I finish my house I have really missed my chance.

Tool porn. :beer: All the prurience, but without the nudity.

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AndyInTampa

Why are some of the dimensions off 1/16"? I have a circle (a hole) that is 19-5/16" from the left wall and the inside of the cabinet is exactly 2" from the left wall, but DraftSight is telling me the circle is 17-3/8' from the inside of the cabinet. My Unit Precision is set to 1/16". Why is the math off?

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Dadgad

What happens if you jack up your precision?

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Dana W
Why are some of the dimensions off 1/16"? I have a circle (a hole) that is 19-5/16" from the left wall and the inside of the cabinet is exactly 2" from the left wall, but DraftSight is telling me the circle is 17-3/8' from the inside of the cabinet. My Unit Precision is set to 1/16". Why is the math off?
Draftsight is probably rounding up. I always set my precision a level or two tighter than I need so the rounding doesn't mess with me. Also, the precision in the units, and the dimension style should match.

 

I have found that even AutoCad doesn't deal with precision in expected ways unless one uses all decimal. Often with 1/16" precision, when dividing for example 5 equal cabinet doors across 6 or 7 feet, and accounting for the 1/8" door gaps, I have issues. AutoCad will sometimes put the remainder, if there is one, in one of the larger spaces (doors). So, what I end up with is 4 doors at equal sizes and one that is 1/16" bigger. If I go in and change the units precision, and the dimstyle precision to 1/32", the problem goes away.

 

Then again, flip over a typical carpenter's rule. The other side doesn't even have marks between the 1/8" lines.

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Dana W
Why are some of the dimensions off 1/16"? I have a circle (a hole) that is 19-5/16" from the left wall and the inside of the cabinet is exactly 2" from the left wall, but DraftSight is telling me the circle is 17-3/8' from the inside of the cabinet. My Unit Precision is set to 1/16". Why is the math off?

 

You could draw a plumb line through your hole center on the wall, and measure it again, about 6" above or below the hole and get a number you'll like better.:lol:

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AndyInTampa

The math in DraftSight is off. 8" minus 1/2" does not equal 7-9/16". That is the math that is off.

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Dana W
The math in DraftSight is off. 8" minus 1/2" does not equal 7-9/16". That is the math that is off.
How did you come to this? Can you post that drawing? It is still probably a rounding vs precision thing. Also, if your dimensions are missing the snap points you won't get accuracy. You have snap turned on, right? Heck, what does Draftsight call that anyway?

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AndyInTampa

Main Bath Mounting Holes 4.dwg

 

This is the drawing I'm working on. The measurements in green are incorrect.

 

In DraftSight, I'm using ESNAP and the precision is set to 1/16".

Edited by AndyInTampa
wrong color

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