I read thru Vid's guide on cabinet restoration (several times! ) and on the topic of removing the bottom panel he says something to the effect of "Router the edges then step on the bottom to pop it off." While I did do those things today I will give you a little more detail on how I did it.
First I set up the router. I measured how far I wanted the bit to be exposed so as not to cut deeply into the bottom panel.
Comparing measurments to the router. In the end I fit the bit in loosely and pushed it down on the cabinet to its position then tightened.
Here is where we get crazy. Even with surgeon's hands I was not sure I could router along the edge of the cabinet and keep a straight line. I thought that even using a wood chisel to chip out a strip of wood might look a little ragged.
I called MacGyver and we came up with a plan to create a straight edge along the side of the cabinet using a greenhouse plant table, several 2X4s, and a ratchet strap. There are probably better ways to do this. . . it is probably half unnecessary but at the same time half evil genius so I went with it.
Now all I have to do is slide my router along the table edge for a straight cut.
Measuring the distance between my straight edge and cabinet edge. I want to remove about a quarter inch.
Measuring the distance between my router straight edge and bit. Pretty close. You'll have to trust me, it was a bad camera angle.
My first test cut. I could stand to nibble out a bit more to expose the edge of the bottom panel. . .
So I used a scraper to shim out my table just a bit.
Once I realized this could work I removed the security panel to avoid creating sparks and ruining my bit.
Repeat for the other side.
As promised, some standing in the cabinet to push the bottom panel out. Many popping sounds were heard and several bumps were needed with the mallet in addition to foot power. Besides glue there were several nails holding the bottom panel in at the bottom cross braces. The grounding strap was removed after pics.
I will use the old panel as a template to create a new, thicker one. That will allow the cabinet bottom to be one level height and avoid catching the bottom edges in the future. Sanding will be a bit easier now with better access to the inside walls at the bottom. Guess I know what I will be doing later this week!