Garage Cabinets #1: First cabinet

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Blog entry by BigJim posted 04-10-2008 03:49 AM 774 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
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I started this project by creating some rip guides for my skil saw. I glued and nailed a 1/2”x 1” piece of strapping to the edge of a piece of luan making after making sure it was nice and straight. Then I set the skil saw up against the strapping and ripped the luan. Now I have a really slick rip guide for sheet stock. I made a second one that is 4ft long to server as a cross cut guide.

Plywood router bits; apparently a 3/4” piece of ply wood is not 3/4”, it is a 16th smaller. So if you use a regular 3/4” router bit the resulting joint will be real slopy. They do however sell plywood router bits that take this into account and will create a nice tight fit.

Sheet 1: 3/4 sandply from HD
I first routed a 3/4” rabbit in the top edge of the sheet, full width for the top panel. Next I routed a 3/4” dado 5” from the bottom edge to hold the bottom panel and a ¾” dado in the middle of the sheet to hold the middle shelf. The next set of 5/8 dados will hold the shelf standards. I made marks on the top and bottom 2 inches from long edge and set up the rip guide as a guide for my router. I did the same for the opposite side. Once those dados were cut I made marks on the top and bottom 24” from the long edge, set up my rip guide, and ripped the sheet to separate the two side panels. Next I setup my rip guide again along the new edges to cut the 5/8 dado to hold the shelf standard. Finally, I routed a 5/8 rabbit along the new edges to hold the back panel. At this point if I were smart I would have finish sanded and applied poly, greatly simplifying the finishing and assembly process.

Sheets 2 and 3: ¾ sandply from HD
The next step was to cut the top, middle and bottom panels. These are 23” wide and 47” long. The remaining plywood was cut into 22 ½” x 46” for the inner shelves. I actually cut 5 of these but it became clear I the end that I could only use 4 of them. I left some room at the end of shelf so that I could support it with a strip of poplar. The poplar is routed so that the shelf would sit in the rabbit. I fastened the poplar to the shelf with glue and nails.

I glued and screwed the top, middle and bottom panels to the sides. Then set about making the face frame. I cut the two uprights 84” long and the horizontals are46 1/16” long. I used a kreg pocket screw jig to make the pockets in the horizontal pieces and screwed the frame together. Then I glued and nailed the face frame to the carcass. A bit of sanding to clean up the joints and I was pretty well done. The last part to take care of before finishing was the doors. I cut those from the 4th sheet of ply. And these are 23”x 39”. I rounded over the 3 outside edges for each door using my router.

The Finish is simple and a bit anticlimactic. I sanded it all down and used 3 coats of poly. Now I just have to install and admire.

1 comment so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3240 days

#1 posted 04-10-2008 04:28 AM

Hi Jim,

This sounds interesting and making your own cabinets is both a satisfying experience and saves some money. As a suggestion why don’t you add some pictures to the blog as well. In situations like this pictures are indeed “worth a thousand words”.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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