T-Jacks: Brains Over Brawn in Cabinet Installation
Installing kitchen cabinets isn’t out of range for a one person operation, but it does help to have a little assistance, especially when it comes to the upper cabinets. Holding a heavy wall cabinet in exactly the right place with one hand while you screw it to the wall with the other is a challenge, to say the least. And you’re chances of getting it level and at exactly the right height with this method are less than you might think. But when you’re installing cabinets on your own, good help can be hard to find. Luring a neighbor or friend over and casually inviting them to “give you a hand for a minute” works best when applied a very short bank of cabinets - it’s hard to get an entire kitchen done that way.
Using a support to hold the cabinets in at the right height while you get them positioned and attached to the wall makes the process easy by comparison. Supporting upper cabinets with a cabinet jack leaves both of your hands free to add shims behind a cabinet when necessary or to fine tune the cabinet’s position with a level. Just as important, it lets you concentrate on keeping the cabinet in position and flat against the wall while you screw it down, instead of trying to balance the force required to hold the cabinet up against the pressure needed to drive in the screw.
If you’re the industrious type, you have the option of building your own cabinet jacks. But unless you’re willing to put a good deal of thought and effort into their design and construction, you may find that they lack some important features – like adjustability and a stable upper and lower support. The T-Jack Support System’s quick release height adjustment mechanism makes it easy to get the support plate near the correct height, and the fine tuning height adjustment knob makes it just a simple to get your cabinets positioned exactly on the line. The T-Jack Support System also has a sturdy, stable upper and lower support plate, both of which are pre-drilled with screw holes in case you want to add your own larger or “custom” support.
As you may have noticed, when you’re installing typical set of cabinets you have two options: You can set either the lower or upper cabinets first. There’s some debate over which method is actually better, but we’re not going to take a position. We would like to point out, though, that the T-Jack System “supports” both schools of thought. The standard T-Jack system adjusts to anywhere from 53' to 84' inches, and for you “lowers-first” types, the T-Jack Mini Brute has you covered with a range of 15' to 24'. Whichever way you go, a T-Jack or two will make any solo cabinet installation job faster, almost certainly more accurate, and definitely easier on your back.