Learning how to build a cabinet is a fine way to save a significant amount of money while ensuring that your cabinet is made of what you prefer and fits where you need it to go. How to build a cabinet is explained herein, covering the major steps coupled with valuable tips. With basic woodworking skills, you can learn through doing, in addition to a table saw and a limited number of inexpensive tools. Custom-building your own cabinets is not only possible but fun.

How To Build A Cabinet

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Following is the key information you need to create your own cabinets. Although keep in mind the many parts can be made in many ways, with varying levels of difficulty.

Beginning On Cabinets

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To start our journey on how to build a cabinet, for the exploration presented. We will use a simple cabinet base to help you get it together and moving without excessive difficulty. We’ll be using 3/4 inch plywood to eliminate panel jointing, planning, and glue ups. We’ll cover the plywood edges with face frames that overlap on the edges, allowing for alterations during the work.

When we use plywood for the panel doors and drawer fronts, we don’t require routed profiles. While the drawer slides we’ll use provide a good amount of mounting flexibility. As well as adjustability to correct any issues as we move forward.

Materials and Measurements On How To Build A Cabinet

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Knowing how to build a cabinet is informed by careful measurements and consideration of the materials used. When deciding upon materials, consider the dimensions of the cabinets you prefer. And then factor the thickness of your materials into your measurements. The use of clear, straight-grained wood is suggested. And the frame should be assembled soon after machining in order to reduce warping.

In terms of dimensions and measurements, standard base cabinets measure 34.5 inches high. For a 36-inch high work surface with a 1.5-foot countertop. 24 inches deep is the general depth, allowing the user to reach in to recover select items. The width of the cabinets may be tailored to your particular needs. Although keep in mind that wider doors lead to a greater tendency to rack and warp. Wall cabinets generally measure 12 inches deep, and mount 18 inches above the base-cabinet countertop.

Making the Case

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For base cabinets that are less than 4 feet wide, all parts beyond the back and toe kick can be cut from a single 3/4 inch 4 foot by 8-foot sheet of plywood. Make sure to measure the plywood, as actual dimensions may vary from the stated measurement.

Begin by ripping two side pieces to the cabinet depth, and cut them to length, labeling them right and left. Subtract the thickness of the back from the fence-sitting. And cut the bottom panel to the width and the bottom to length. Using the plywood thickness, set the stacked dado width. Cutting a 3/8 inch deep dado on the inside face of each side piece to accept the bottom.

The same setup can be used to cut the 3/8 rabbets along the inside back edge of the sides to accept the cabinet back. After this, notch the bottom front corner of both side pieces for the toe kick installed below. Then cut four 2.5 inch wide stretches and a 3.5-inch base block. Drilling two pocket holes on both ends of each part. An adjustable shelf can be added by drilling pin holes into both sides and drilling corresponding pin holes into the cabinet box’s interior wall.

Assembling the Cabinet

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To put together a square cabineta dead-flat assembly is suggested to avoid twisting the glue-up. To begin place a side panel on the work surface with its dadoed face up. Apply a dab of glue to the dado and insert the bottom. Supporting the other end of the side panel with top stretchers that you’ll pocket-hole-screw in place.

For the front drawer stretcher position to be determined, add 1 inch to the height of the drawer boxes that you’ll make. Cut two stretchers at that length to space the front drawer stretcher that distance from the front top stretcher. Then pocket-hole-screw the drawer stretcher back into place. Measure and center the back drawer stretcher flush with the bottom of the front drawer stretcher. Check the square with the upper cabinet, and as the glue dries, cut the back to fit, then glue and nail it into place.

Pocket Hole Joinery

The use of pocket-holes for joinery is a choice, with other options being dowels, half-laps, or mortise-and-tenon joints. Pocket-hole joinery is of value as it eliminates gluing and clamping.

Frame Parts

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For frame parts, it’s best to use 3/4 inch thick stock that is 1.5 inches to 2 inches wide. As those less than 1.5 inches don’t mount easily to the case. While a width greater than 2 inches can interfere with access to the cabinet.

Start by cutting 2 inch wide stiles, 1/8 inch longer than the dimension from the toe kick cutout to the top of the case. Should the walls be uneven, make the stiles 2.25 inches wide. And you may later trim any overhangs to better fit the opening. Cut the middle rail beneath the drawers to 2 inches wide also. From the 1.5-inch wide stock, cut the top and bottom rails. Calculating their measurement by adding 1/4 inch for the two 1/8 inch overhangs.

Position the middle rail, so its top edge is flush with the upper face of the middle stretcher. Cut the upper and lower vertical dividers to fit between the middle rail and the top and bottom rails. At each joint use two pocket-hole crews, and assemble the frame. Apply glue to the edges of the case, and center the frame between the case sides. With the lower frame inside the 1/8 inch edge above the inside face of the case bottom. Clamp the frame in place, inserting the middle rail to the drawer stretcher.

Cabinet Doors

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Cabinet doors are an important issue when learning how to build a cabinet. They can be made from a great many potential methods. With the easy-to-cut stub-tenon-and-groove joint. Presenting an option to achieve your custom cabinet in style. To accomplish this method refer to additional tutorials available only from the Wood Craftsman and our peers in the woodworking community.

Mounting The Cabinet Doors

What sets the cabinet aside from the bookshelf is the door, and if you’re looking to learn how to make a cabinet. Knowing how to mount the doors is absolutely essential. For the purposes of this introductory lesson on how to make a cabinet, we’ll employ European-style hinges. Which are as simple as their assembly.

To start, drill 1 and 3/8 inch holes 1/2 inch deep with a Forstner bit. Position the holes 4.25 inches from the top and bottom of the door for sufficient clearance, and the center of the whole 13/16 inches from the edge of the stile. Place a hinge cup in a hole with the straight hinge edge parallel to the stile edge, and mark the center of the mounting screw slots. Drill screw pilot holes, and install the hinge, repeating the process for the other hinge.

We’ll then hold the door in position, centered vertically in the opening, marking each hinge screw mounting location along the edge of the frame. Drill pilot holes and screw the door to the frame.

Here’s A Video on How To Install Cabinet Doors & Drawer Fronts

Cabinet Drawers

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The creation of drawers for your cabinet may seem a daunting prospect. However, this need not be the case insofar as a simple design is chosen. The creation of cabinet drawers is first comprised of making the cabinet boxes, the suggested form being that of the frame-and-panel drawer and front, assembled like a smaller version of a cabinet door. Then the glides are mounted below, with plastic mounting brackets used to adjust the slides for smoothness. Refer to tutorials for the assembly of frame-and-panel drawers for in-depth instructions to fully master how to build a cabinet.

To ensure spacing between your draw and the cabinet door, place a spacer above the cabinet door prior to determining the location of the cabinet front. Allowing space between is visually appealing and also improves upon the smooth functioning of the drawer. Identify the center of the drawer front, and place a template on the drawer front of the pulls, drilling pilot holes, then mounting the drawer pull.

The Finishing

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Now that you’ve assembled your cabinet box, doors, and drawers. You’re almost at the end of learning how to build a cabinet it’s time to finish up the wood. We’ll remove the doors, drawers, and all the hardware, remembering or taking photos to determine exactly how to re-assemble. Apply a finish to the wood, and when reattaching ensure that edges are flush and spacers are used to maintain equal distance between the various parts. Cut a countertop to fit the cabinet, overlapping it to run flush with the front.

How to Build a Cabinet – Conclusion

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Having assembled the parts, doors, and drawers, finished the wood and created the countertop, the cabinet is ready to be mounted to the wall. For ease and support, create two supports at the height at which you wish to mount the cabinets. Rest the upper cabinet on the supports, and screw it into place. Remount the doors and drawers, and get to filling up your cabinets with all the things you needed to store and organize.

How to build a cabinet is a complex task, broken down here in tasks you can achieve with time and effort. Check back in with us at Wood Craftsman for more woodworking projects that will build your skills.

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