The Saga Continues #1: Making Dining Room Cabinets

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Blog entry by fred posted 03-10-2007 01:11 AM 951 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The Saga Continues series Part 2: Entertainment Center »

After setting up the Shop and practicing making cabinets I felt it was put up or shut up time and decided to make the dining room cabinets. On the West coast oak is plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Since all the floors are oak I decided to make the cabinets in red oak. Now this project was really going to test my new found skills. That is if you really have any skills after 6-7 months as a beginning woodworker. Well reading books and making some garage cabinets out of pine, it was time to just go ahead and test myself.

Took measurements of the width of the room and felt I could make six cabinets on the wall and six base cabinets. I decided to make four of the wall cabinets with glass doors. I made the boxes out of ¾” oak veneer plywood. Glued and screwed them together and then measured for rails and stiles. Did the same for the base cabinets. I then installed the wall cabinets and then the base cabinets. I like about 2 ¼” rails and stiles so to keep it looking in balance I decided to make one huge face frame. Installed the face frame and then measured for the doors. I like use ½” offset hinges to make measuring easier. Measure the opening and add one inch to the width and height.

This time I decided to try a three-wing cutter router bit to cut the slots and the tongues (tenons) on the rails and stiles. After some testing and finding out it is not so easy to cut the tongues on the end of a 2 ¼” piece of wood, I made a coping sled. It never ceases to amaze me what you can build out of scrap and don’t have to lay out money for a manufactured item. I think I am turning into a person who never throws scrap away.

The glass doors were another story. I had never made mullions before so it was quite a challenge. I rabitted the back of the glass doors and put the mullions in slots. When finished it was off to the glass store. I had the glass store make glass shelves for the cabinets that were going to have the glass doors since I wanted to put lights in those cabinets. I had no concept of price for the glass but I found out that not every shop wants to do that type of job. It was relatively expensive (especially the shelves) but it turned out pretty good.

Easy enough installing the doors. Then I installed concrete backer board on the base cabinets and for the back splash. After the tile work and grouting I was finally finished.

The Dining Room Cabinets

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

4 comments so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4279 days

#1 posted 03-10-2007 06:51 AM

Pretty good sized project.

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4141 days

#2 posted 03-10-2007 07:04 AM

Wow, I’m not sure that I would take on a project of this size and I’ve now been woodworking for about seven years. Very brave of you and nice result.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4275 days

#3 posted 03-10-2007 03:44 PM

Nice cabinets. I’ve been woodworking for about six years and haven’t even attempted making my shop cabinets, yet. You’re an inspiration.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View fred's profile


256 posts in 4063 days

#4 posted 03-12-2007 10:47 PM

I am lucky in that since I only do woodworking projects for friends and family I am not under any real pressure to complete them immediately so my projects seem to be large. I generally can only work in the Shop on Saturday and Sunday so it takes a while to complete.

The first cabinets I ever attempted were for the shop since if I made mistakes (and I sure did) they were, afterall, shop cabinets.

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

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