Author Topic: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?  (Read 27917 times)

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Offline fidelfs

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Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« on: June 21, 2011, 05:50 PM »
Hi,

I am a hobbiest that likes to try new things and I found this on the web.  It looks interesting, specially that I don't like to use toe kicks within the cabinet.  I made mines and level them by themselves and then I put the cabinet on top.

This could make my life easier.  EZ-level website
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Offline mastercabman

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2011, 06:00 PM »
I have seen it.At $15 a set,as a sub,you don't make any money!!!
SAVING TIME????? ??? ???   I think you can get cabinets level a lot quiker with shims!
You need to install those devices,drill a hole at the front of the toe kick.  THAT TAKES TIME!!! THEN you need to level your cabinets.
A bundle of cedar shims is about $3-4 and you can do a couple kitchens.
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline Jon Hilgenberg

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2011, 06:52 PM »
I'm with mastercabman.  I install cabs for a living, the time you spend installing the ezlevel, you could gave set the cabinets...Time is money, but money is money as well.  At that cost, I would lose my shirt.  Nice concept, if cabinet manufacturers install it (they have no incentive to) then great, I'll use it.  But they won't.

Jon
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Offline Holzhacker

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 07:54 PM »
Yeah, that's total jerk-off stuff for homeowners and newbies. I wouldn't be caught dead on a job with those gimmicks. Watch the dummy fly out the door who shows up on one of my jobs with any of that gimmicky stuff.
Use shims at the floor and wall as needed and adjust your wall screws to tighten in place. No big deal on base cabinets. Remember it's a 2' span, if your floors are that far off to make leveling a big issue, you have other issues to contend with. The important factor is that the tops of cabinets line up across the run so that tops are properly supported. Especially if using granite or composites.
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Offline erock

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2011, 10:27 PM »
You guys are crazy!
This is the future!  Embrace the new technology!  All the extra steps it takes to install the ez-leveler product is well worth it!
Your customer will think you are ahead of the curve!

Just joking.....this product is a joke!

Funny...if you check out the pricing on the web site he still sells composite shims!

oh and it lifts the cabinet off the ground incase of a flood??
wouldn't the water come from the sink base cabinet???   From INSIDE the cabinet?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 10:34 PM by erock »
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Offline jimbo51

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2011, 08:25 AM »
From a structural engineering point of view, this system is far superior to the use of soft wood shims and screws driven into softwood studs. In this system the cabinets are supported from the floor by four steel structures with enough strength to support the heaviest load of stone countertop and objects stored in the cabinets. Also, the level is much easier to readjust after the installation in the event of settling of the overall supporting structure.

In the wood shim method, cabinets are leveled before the countertop is put on. If the shims shift or compress, the major supporting strength could be coming from the screws holding the cabinet to the wall. Essentially the base cabinet might be hung on the wall. Given the weight of stone countertop and potential appliances, this is not an ideal structural situation.

For high end customers, this system could be offered as an extra cost enhancement thus eliminating any contractor profit concerns. When large amounts of money are being spent on the cabinets and countertops, the concept of doing the installation with the cheapest possible methods may not be the best selling point.

Festool products sell based on higher quality and innovative engineering. Why the contempt for the same concept in other products?

Offline Alan m

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2011, 08:45 AM »
i think this is a supior way of doing this job than shims..
over here we have leveling feet that screw to the bottom of the cabinet. we dont allow the sides of the cabinets to come down past the bottom. there is around 6" under the cabinets. each can be adjusted from the front (albe it mire aquard than this set up).
if we didnt have these i would use a product similer to this.
i have used shimes on 1 run of cabinets in the past and found it a pain in the asre. you think you are getting somewhere and then have to raise the whole lot up a 1/4". i will never use them again .

i know it is a lot dearer to use than shims but the labour saving will add and ballence out.
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Offline wood pulp

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2011, 09:58 AM »
Interesting concept...  Please post a review if you decide to go with it.

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2011, 10:00 AM »
I tried contacting Brooks, the owner.  He can't even handle a phone.  My opinion, stick with the tried and true, let someone else be the guinea pig.

Offline Mirko

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2011, 12:54 PM »
I use shims that I make...

We have a wooden box that holds 3 3/4" X 3 3/4" blocks in thicknesses from Veneer 1/64 - 1/8 up to 3/4. Its all scrap and its free.
These block have more uses as well.

My cabinets have the kicks attached, I prefer this method, compared to "loose" kicks or the cabinets with the cheap levellers.

What is nice about my shims is that they are usually plywood or mdf and they lay flat and will not compress.
To shim the rear of the cabinet just do it the way the guy in the video, by placing a shim stack under the kick and let it hang out so it supports the next cabinet.
At the front just keep them flush, and you will never have to go around and flush cut cedar shims anymore.. HA!

I still use the cedar shingle type shims but only about 10% of the time.


I think these EZ-shims are a complete waste of time, and are too costly for most installers.



Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2011, 01:17 PM »
i think this is a supior way of doing this job than shims..
over here we have leveling feet that screw to the bottom of the cabinet. we dont allow the sides of the cabinets to come down past the bottom. there is around 6" under the cabinets. each can be adjusted from the front (albe it mire aquard than this set up).
if we didnt have these i would use a product similer to this.
i have used shimes on 1 run of cabinets in the past and found it a pain in the asre. you think you are getting somewhere and then have to raise the whole lot up a 1/4". i will never use them again .

i know it is a lot dearer to use than shims but the labour saving will add and ballence out.

Totally agree with you alan

I cant believe people still use shimes crazy!  They are sooooooo soooooo soooo slow and rubbish and akward.   Out dated and if you make them your self your adding more labour time.      The bloke is on about feet which adjust through  the top so you need to drill holes in your cabinet but the plastic feet I use you adjust by turning them manually underneath so no holes in your cabinet.

Like Alan said you think you found the highest point in the room but then you come a across a area which is higher you then have to go back and adjust everything. I have done it I have used shimes and plastic packers  it was a joke took so much longer never again!

   Also like Alan said our sides stop at the bottom of the cabinets what's the point in having them going so far down. You stick a end panel on which you scribe to the floor so it sits flush waist of wood and more awkward for services pipes and cables. 

I shake my head to people using shimes [unsure]



Jmb
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Offline Jon Hilgenberg

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2011, 03:40 PM »
I
i think this is a supior way of doing this job than shims..
over here we have leveling feet that screw to the bottom of the cabinet. we dont allow the sides of the cabinets to come down past the bottom. there is around 6" under the cabinets. each can be adjusted from the front (albe it mire aquard than this set up).
if we didnt have these i would use a product similer to this.
i have used shimes on 1 run of cabinets in the past and found it a pain in the asre. you think you are getting somewhere and then have to raise the whole lot up a 1/4". i will never use them again .

i know it is a lot dearer to use than shims but the labour saving will add and ballence out.

I agree that making shims is a little too time consuming, but installing with them is not.  At least not if you know what youre doing.  Re set an entire run of cabinets because you hit a high point in the room?  Seriously?  How about taking two minutes to trim the cabinets, then keep moving.  Very easy and fast when using the TS.

The adjustable legs are garbage, slide a cabinet even a little and they break off.  Great, now I have to flip the cabinet over and reinstall the leg(s).  Not only that, but most of the high end cabinet manufacturers don't use adjustable feet, so it isn't even an option.

Shims settling?  Once again, seriously?  I can see this happening if you shim the cabinets up too high, like staking two shims at full height.  Shouldn't be done. 

I do sometimes send a little more time making sure everything is on plane, but take a look at the picture and you'll wonder why I even bother.  darn granite on the last few jobs is warped!

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Offline Deansocial

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2011, 03:55 PM »
I
i think this is a supior way of doing this job than shims..
over here we have leveling feet that screw to the bottom of the cabinet. we dont allow the sides of the cabinets to come down past the bottom. there is around 6" under the cabinets. each can be adjusted from the front (albe it mire aquard than this set up).
if we didnt have these i would use a product similer to this.
i have used shimes on 1 run of cabinets in the past and found it a pain in the asre. you think you are getting somewhere and then have to raise the whole lot up a 1/4". i will never use them again .

i know it is a lot dearer to use than shims but the labour saving will add and ballence out.

I agree that making shims is a little too time consuming, but installing with them is not.  At least not if you know what youre doing.  Re set an entire run of cabinets because you hit a high point in the room?  Seriously?  How about taking two minutes to trim the cabinets, then keep moving.  Very easy and fast when using the TS.

The adjustable legs are garbage, slide a cabinet even a little and they break off.  Great, now I have to flip the cabinet over and reinstall the leg(s).  Not only that, but most of the high end cabinet manufacturers don't use adjustable feet, so it isn't even an option.

Shims settling?  Once again, seriously?  I can see this happening if you shim the cabinets up too high, like staking two shims at full height.  Shouldn't be done. 

I do sometimes send a little more time making sure everything is on plane, but take a look at the picture and you'll wonder why I even bother.  darn granite on the last few jobs is warped!


plastic legs don't break that easy, high end german kitchen have them. I you hit a high spot you could cut a cabinet down but not a fridge or dishwasher, anyway try putting a level on the floor before you start. Shims suck bigtime

Offline Alan m

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2011, 04:04 PM »
i notice a trans atlantic split of opinion on this one
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Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2011, 04:15 PM »
i notice a trans atlantic split of opinion on this one

Like everything else, but I'm surprised by the Brits responses. After all, they came up with the tune Shim Shimminy Shim Shimminy Shim Shim...

Sorry, couldn't resist a little Mary Poppins humor.

Offline fidelfs

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2011, 04:37 PM »
I am not saying they are superior, because I don't know.  I am asking everybody (I am the OP) so I can make up my mind.
BUT...

I work in IT and every time we want to change a way to do things, there is a lot of resistance; users tell me they have always done it that way, and it is better.

Could it be one of those cases? 


This is just my hobby, woodworking that is.  So I don't have the knowledge nor the experience, but it sounds something similar to what I described above.

This is my objective opinion, without knowing how good those ez-level things are.

Cons.
- Wood shims settling, it depends on the type of wood and how many you use and how you install.  (This can go either way).
- Faster with shims. Well, if you don't make the toe kick at all, then that time can be used for installing the legs.  (so I think that is relative).
- Legs will break.  I don't think this one is true, I think that, because the European industry uses this and I don't think they will base the whole industry on something that doesn't work.


Please take my findings with a grain of salt, I am not a pro.

Could be this one of those cases of resistance to change? or do they just not work flat out?
There is never a situation where it can't be done with the right hand tool - even though it may be a lot more work.

Offline mastercabman

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2011, 04:59 PM »

i know it is a lot dearer to use than shims but the labour saving will add and ballence out.

LABOR SAVING???    You do realize that you have to install all of those leveler?   And drill a hole on the front of the toe kick? per set?
You don't think it is a lots of work?

Let's see how much this is costing you.
1 SET = $15.00
On average a new construction house,pays about $300.00-$400.00
I can get it done in 1 day.On average i will need 15-20 sets= $225.00-$350.00  Does that make any sense?
Also,it will most likely take you about 10 minuts to instal a set.That would be over 2 hours of your time!!!! [eek]
Save you time and money? ???
There is nothing wrong with cedar shims.I use them all the time.
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Online Peter Halle

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2011, 05:08 PM »
While searching the web to look at the history of kitchen cabinets I came across some information to share that might explain the the divide in opinions of legs versus integrated toe kicks and cabinet design in general

First:  

"Adjustable feet[/i]
A relatively new type of adjustable leg has been adopted from the European cabinet system which offers several advantages. First off, in making base cabinets for kitchens, the cabinet sides would be cut to 34½ inches, yielding four cabinet side blanks per 4 foot by 8 foot sheet. Using the adjustable feet, the side blanks are cut to 30 inches, thus yielding six cabinet side per sheet. These feet can be secured to the bottom of the cabinet by having the leg base screwed onto the cabinet bottom. They can also be attached by means of a hole drilled through the cabinet bottom at specific locations. The legs are then attached to the cabinet bottom by a slotted, hollow machine screw. The height of the cabinet can be adjusted from inside the cabinet, simply by inserting a screwdriver into the slot and turning to raise or lower the cabinet. The holes in the cabinet are capped by plastic inserts, making the appearance more acceptable for residential cabinets. Using these feet, the cabinets need not be shimmed or scribed to the floor for leveling. The toe kick board is attached to the cabinet by means of a clip, which is either screwed onto the back side of the kick board, or a barbed plastic clip is inserted into a saw kerf, also made on the back side of the kick board. This toe kick board can be made to fit each base cabinet, or made to fit a run of cabinets. [6] Kitchen cabinets, or any cabinet generally at which a person may stand, usually have a fully enclosed base in which the front edge has been set back 75 mm or so to provide room for toes, known as the kick space."

One real reason for the development of legs - increased yield of materials.

I am sure that you can get various qualities of adjustable legs just like anything else.

Second:

Another interesting link explaining cabinet construction and reasons why they have evolved, benefits of different styles, etc:  Cabinet Information

I am not jumping into the fray of one versus the other, just offering some food for thought - OR NOT.  Up to you.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 05:10 PM by Peter Halle »
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Offline justinmcf

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2011, 05:15 PM »
hi mastercabman.

i have read alan's post and i am sure he is talking about the plastic adjustable feet being superior to the ezy-level system.

i agree. the ezy-level system is a joke. give me the plastic adjustable feet any day.

maybe i am a posh builder. i buy 5000 plastic packers in half millimetre increments for a couple of hundred bucks.
i hate cutting my own packers, the days are not long enough......

regards, justin.

Offline mastercabman

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2011, 05:27 PM »
hi mastercabman.

i have read alan's post and i am sure he is talking about the plastic adjustable feet being superior to the ezy-level system.

i agree. the ezy-level system is a joke. give me the plastic adjustable feet any day.

maybe i am a posh builder. i buy 5000 plastic packers in half millimetre increments for a couple of hundred bucks.
i hate cutting my own packers, the days are not long enough......

regards, justin.
OK,maybe he did,but it look like he was talking about the leveler that the OP was asking about.
I know all about those adjustable legs that you install on the bottom of the cabinet.
It's just another way to build cabinets.But the manufactuer drills the holes and suplies the legs.No cost to me exept for putting the legs on,witch is pretty simple.
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2011, 06:24 PM »
On going project properly never get time to finish it!  Any way unused legs as I hate shimes as I value my time  [tongue].


kitchen by me

I bought cheap ones from howdens nothing special and not the best but it was easy for me to get hold of them and I have an account with howdens.      The better plastic legs are these ones which have two positions the second position allows you to over hang the legs from your unit/cabinet so for example normally your would have 4legs per unit/cabinet.  You would only 4for the first cabinet and the rest would have two.  

So two units/cabinets would have 6legs. Saving you 2legs so over a few units you save legs saving money but also time!    Because once you levelled up the first unit the second one sits on the other unit/cabinets legs so it's flush and you just adjust the other two legs.   Plastic legs all the way!

I think the EZ-level looks okay and would be the quickest way to level units BUT the initial setting them up takes time so defeats the object and they require the panels to run down to the floor which to me seems just a waist of material and time so I wouldn't use the EZ-level I'm sticking with the plastic legs. As far as I know nothing is quicker for leveling units than plastic legs shimes don't come close don't waist your time with shimes dude.    Once you go plastic you ain't going back!

I use plastic packers all the time now like Justin I buy 5000.of each sort 1mm,2mm,3mm,4mm,5mm plastic packers.


I see in the video the guy sticks a shime under e first unit and then he stick another unit next to on the shime now a shime is a wedge shape correct?  Now would the unit next to it actually be slightly higher seen as it's sitting on a higher part of the shime so not as accurate as you would like it to be then.

Jmb
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 07:50 PM by jmbfestool »
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Offline Alan m

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2011, 07:00 PM »

i know it is a lot dearer to use than shims but the labour saving will add and ballence out.


i was saying that legs or levelersare more expencive than the shims but slower.



JMB.
i think it is time to get the camera out and show them janks the difference . shim 3-4 cabinets both ways.
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Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2011, 07:13 PM »

i know it is a lot dearer to use than shims but the labour saving will add and ballence out.


i was saying that legs or levelersare more expencive than the shims but slower.



JMB.
i think it is time to get the camera out and show them janks the difference . shim 3-4 cabinets both ways.


You might be saying it jokingly but I did actually think about making a video you know. LoL


Jmb
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Offline mastercabman

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2011, 07:21 PM »


I see in the video the guy sticks a shime under e first unit and then he stick another unit next to on the shime now a shime is a wedge shape correct?  Now would the unit next to it actually be slightly higher seen as it's sitting on a higher part of the shime so not as accurate as you would like it to be then.

Jmb
Right,but that's because he does not know how to use shims! [smile]

I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline Alan m

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2011, 07:24 PM »
could you enlighten us on you way to use shims as you say it is very fast and accurate.
i presume you are using the shims as folding wedges
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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Offline GPowers

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2011, 07:41 PM »
Looks like an expensive but clever solution.

One option is to build the toe kick/platform as a separate unit for multiple base units. Then  place the base cabinet on top of the platform. The platform is easy to level, and the top is open. The you can use shims or leveling legs.
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Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2011, 07:57 PM »
Looks like an expensive but clever solution.

One option is to build the toe kick/platform as a separate unit for multiple base units. Then  place the base cabinet on top of the platform. The platform is easy to level, and the top is open. The you can use shims or leveling legs.



Kinda like this??
kitchen by me

   I did use to do it out of 2x2 made up frames slightly smaller in height to allow me to pack it up level using packers or shimes but like I keep saying I don't like that method so I changed and now make MDF base and use plastic legs.   If you make it to the depth you want and the front legs are flush then you kick board has something to clip to and goes against the straight edge of the MDF.  


 In the topic kitchen by me I am using the bottom MDF as a decore this time so that's why it's deeper and the legs are set back so the kick board goes underneath set in clipping to the legs.    It was very easy for me to get it dead flat and level and I can now simply slide the units onto the base and position it exactually where I want and no need for a level any more.

Jmb
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 07:59 PM by jmbfestool »
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Offline mastercabman

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2011, 07:46 PM »
could you enlighten us on you way to use shims as you say it is very fast and accurate.
i presume you are using the shims as folding wedges
I was browsing around some older post and just noticed this reply.
For your answer,it's quite simple.Take 2 shims and stack them together,but facing the other way.What i mean is,the thin part of the top shim is on top of the thick part of the bottom shim and vice versa.Now you have a shim that has the same thickness thru out and all you do is push them together and it will become thicker.Does that make sense?
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline Kevin Stricker

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2011, 08:43 PM »
Just a comment here...I believe the main difference in construction/installation between Europe and the US has more to do with real-estate law than "advances in cabinet construction".  Those on the other side of the pond can correct me if I am wrong but I believe that cabinetry in Europe is considered personal property and people often move their cabinets with them.  The main reason conformat construction, french cleat, and adjustable leg cabinets came about is to facilitate the quick and easy assembly/disassembly of cabinets.

Here in the US cabinets are considered real property, and are included in the sale of real estate.  As a result most cabinet jobs are considered permanent  and the construction reflects this.  Many custom cabinet shops utilize European( sys32) systems and make 30.5" tall base cabinets.  They will build a separate toe kick out of 3/4" stock and level/attach it to the wall and floor then set the cabinets on this. 

To say that plastic foot levelers are better than shims is largely a subjective opinion based on personal experience.  Although it may be faster to level cabinets with levelers, once you factor in the time to install them shims will win 9 times out of 10.

Offline Deansocial

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Re: Has anyone used the EZ-Level before for cabinets?
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2011, 01:31 PM »
depends what cabinets you mean as normally stuff done with legs is permanent and is sold with the house. As for shims vs legs, legs cost less as less panel is used and we are not blessed with low cost sheet goods over here