Fridge won't fit, need to cut back countertop

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Just bought a new fridge that I measured twice in the store to make sure it would fit the fridge alcove. I guess I should have measured three times because when I got it to the house, I found it wouldn't fit due to the width.
On the left of the fridge is a wall. Can't do much about that. On the right is a laminate countertop. I estimate I need to shave off about 1/4" from the countertop to make the fridge fit comfortably. I'm just unsure the best way to do this.
I've read one source that says a belt sander with some 60 grit paper will work well, but I think this might be tough to keep a straight edge with. I've also read that a router will work. I've also thought I could try to remove the countertop entirely and take it to someone with a bandsaw so the edge will stay straight.
Thoughts?
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If the other side of the countertop isn't against a wall, unfasten the top, move it over 1/4" and refasten.
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Unfortunately that won't work as there's a stove on the other side of the counter. I'm not going to take the fridge back either. They simply don't make the style we chose any narrower. Some friends at work say the belt sander idea is probably the best one. I guess I'll have to try that.
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Roy wrote:

I predict it'll turn out to be an unsatisfactory arrangement w/ time unless there's intent to do a remodel and build the kitchen around it.
$0.01, imo, ymmv, etc., etc., etc., of course...
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Roy wrote:

Take it back and get one that will fit the opening. Also ensure that you have enough room to open the door sufficiently to remove the shelves and drawers for cleaning else't you'll likely learn to really regret the choice (and go ahead, amhikt)...
--
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Roy wrote the following:

Not having a picture of the countertop and cabinets, I would also consider moving the entire cabinet structure 1/4" or 3/8", if it can be moved at all, and how long it is, and how many cabinets in the assembly have to be moved. You are already considering taking the counter top off and taking it somewhere to be cut, so it can't be that long. If there is a sink in the counter, 1/4" or 3/8" wouldn't be a problem since the existing plumbing can be adjusted for the difference. I have cut laminate counter tops with a rotary (Skil) saw, but that was before the countertop was installed, so it could be cut from the bottom to get around the splashback, if it had one..
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote the following:

OK, I read your response to Joe, so forget the above.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote the following:

By the way, I had a brain fart and wrote 'rotary' when I meant 'circular' saw. So sue me! :-)
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Roy wrote:

Wow! That's tough!
You're gonna be there for a year trying to sand down 3/8ths of an inch. Then, too, you'll have some difficulty getting the sander close to the wall.
Here's a thought. Use a jig saw or the HF MiracleFunction tool to take off MOST of the countertop, then a few hours with a sander should get you close.
Can you change locations between the fridge and the stove?
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I had the same problem. By removing the base molding from the wall I gained another 1/2" of space which permitted the fridge to fit.

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wrote:

I had already removed the base molding before I even measured, so I can't gain anything there. To Heybub - I think I've gotten off the sanding idea. I have a friend at work who says if I can get the countertop off I can feed it through his bandsaw. If it ruins the countertop or something, I'll just have a new one made that's the appropriate size. Matching the laminate might suck, though.
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A 3x21 belt sander with 40 or 60 grit belt will remove a LOT of material quickly, unless you are talking about a solid surface counter, which will require dynamite.
Or, just clamp a straightedge to the counter to guide a common circular saw, and make the cut.
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On Fri, 19 Mar 2010 10:47:10 -0500, Roy wrote:

Put masking tape on the cut line.
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On 3/19/2010 9:24 AM, Roy wrote:

when you try and open the door. Is the hinge on the left? On the right side, I'm assuming that the countertop overhangs the cabinet by at least 1/4". If that's all ok, I would try to remove the plastic laminate on the counter edge. A lot depends on how it was glued. But, I would 1st try a hot iron to melt the glue and try pealing it from the front edge. This can then be reused to finish the end once it is cut. Next use a router with straight edge clamped on the counter or a router guide. With a router guide the edge must be smooth and not have any bumps. The router won't get all the way to the wall so you have to do some careful hand work with a good, properly sharpened chisel. This is easy. It's very fussy work. You can then re-glue the laminate back in place .... especially if it is visible at the front edge. You could also use a belt sander instead of a router, but the edge might not be a square or even .... but that may be ok because it is hidden. If there's a backsplash, more careful manual carving would be required.
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Roy wrote:

I had a similar problem, though I realized it before I bought the refrigerator. I was able to move the wall a couple of inches. Well it really wasn't a wall, it was built in shelving that now over hangs the split level floor by an inch.
Presumably the doors of the refrigerator are forward of the end of the counter.
Also, you probably want to take off more than 1/4". You can't easily slide it in or out if you have no gap at all on either side. Probably you want 3/4" extra. A band saw is likely to leave chips in the laminate, but nothing you can do about that now.
I wasn't a fan of side by side refrigerators, but it actually works much better in our kitchen because the doors don't open so far out into the kitchen.
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wrote:

This is a side by side as well and that's one the reasons we chose it. I don't know that I can shave off more than 1/4" because that's about all the overhang there is on the countertop. The last option I've been thinking about is that if all else fails I can just have a new cabinet and countertop built that is of appropriate size to fit the fridge next to. Might run in to some problems matching style and wood color with the rest of the kitchen, but at least it would look the best.
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Your laminated worktop can be cut perfectly easily. The key thing is to cut it from the top surface if using a handsaw or from thre underside if using a circular saw TC teeth are best, it goes blunt really quickly.. The reason is if the cutting stroke is tending to separate laminate from the base/particle board, it will make a hell of a mess, the laminate is brittle & will shatter and peel off. The belt sander will finish the job again making sure you only sand with te belt going fom the laminate to the base. The router also does a good job but goes blunt quite quickly. You need to seal the cut edge to keep water out. If it can't be seen, you could use a few coats of oil based paint. (If it's still available over there.)
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I'd use a router with a flush cut bearing bit as a guide. It will cut flush to the cabinet giving the maximum clearance. You won't be able to get to the very end if the countertop is in place, but you can finish the last couple of inches with a hand saw or sander. The router will give a nice finish too.
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On 3/19/2010 9:24 AM, Roy wrote:

you could remove the drywall and replace it with something much thinner. Once painted and the fridge pushed back in place, no one will even notice that it is not drywall. Just my $.02
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To rmorton; Tommy Silva used the idea you suggested on an episode of ATOH. You could probably use 1/4" plywood or masonite hardboard. No one has mentioned this yet but no matter which way you decide to cut the counter top I would use a utility knife and scrbe a deep scratch in the laminate. It should then break off at the scratch. Joe G
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