Built in Cabinets/Bookcase #1: Intro - Building the Base

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Blog entry by Jerome posted 01-27-2014 09:01 PM 1586 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Built in Cabinets/Bookcase series Part 2: From Base to Cabinet »

My wife and I moved into our first home back in the Summer of 2011. In the family room, the were spaces on each side of the fireplace for shelving etc. Over the years I have browsed pictures and magazines to come up with the perfect way to make use of the adequate space provided.

Fast forward to about a week prior to Christmas (2013) when my new neighbor decided to work on his built-in cabinets. He purchased two base cabinets and painted them white. I listened as he told me his plan to build the upper part. I went with him to HD and picked up the wood and veneer for the shelf faces. To make a long story short, I made some decisions about what I wanted based on his approach. One thing I did know, was that i was going to build mine from scratch, In true lumberjock fashion! Since im kind of a show off, Ill post the finished product first, then tell how it was done. Sorry for spoiling the surprise!

Both areas were 9’ in height and 2’ long. One side was 42 and 3/4 wide and the other was 41 and 7/8
So, with my new Dewalt 24V drill and $100 HD gift card (both xmas presents) I began my long journey of making the cabinets. I removed the MDF base trim, carpet tacks, and carpet from the area. I had taken measurements long before this time in my handy notepad. Keeping a steno notebook was invaluable to recording measurements and items that I needed to pick up. It was also handy because it had pockets for my receipts.

I had HD rip the 4×8 cabinet grade 22/32 pine plywood in half for the base pieces and two 4×8 sheets cut in 16” wide strips for the shelves. I located my studs and secured some scrap wood to the wall to support the lower base of the cabinet.

left side

right side

After the bases were finished, I caught a huge break! A man who recently finished his basement had just posted a free craIgs list ad for what he estimated as 60’ of base cap trim. Upon my arrival, I was ecstatic to learn that the cache was much more! I loaded all the trim up and hauled it back home (45 minutes each way)

I measured all the pieces and labeled their lengths accordingly, as well as the rest of my scrap wood. Turns out that there was 126’ of base cap or chair rail, 81’ of picture molding, 32’ of other fancy molding , and 8’ of base trim, along with 60 pin top balusters! the total value of the raw materials was around $250. Ill have to send him a thank you card soon!

Next entry…Finishing the Cabinet

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

4 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3299 days

#1 posted 01-28-2014 06:28 PM

Looks wonderful Jerome, and it’s interesting to see how you did it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jerome's profile


141 posts in 2095 days

#2 posted 01-29-2014 02:06 AM

Thank you! I would have been in trouble if I were staining the cabinet, but with all white paint ( sherrwin Williams pro classic) I was able to make it look the way it does

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

View wakeque's profile


5 posts in 1143 days

#3 posted 03-06-2015 02:15 PM


View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2832 days

#4 posted 03-06-2015 02:17 PM

Nice work. This is very attractive and adds a lot to that home.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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