Cabinet Making #2: Making the Cases

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Tim Dorcas posted 06-28-2010 06:06 AM 4197 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Looking At Actual Cabinet Construction Part 2 of Cabinet Making series Part 3: Making Drawers »

I started with taking measurements of the initial cabinet and combining that with measurements taken from the miter saw itself. With these numbers in hand I created a basic plan in Google Sketchup. Usually I put together a rough drawing and some basic numbers and then I’m off to the races. This usually means I am constantly “planning” throughout the whole build. Learning to use Sketchup is helping me get away from this. I have also made drawings at full scale to see how things will look and to plan the joinery accordingly. Here’s the beginning Sketchup drawing.

Miter Cabinets

After I started drawing it out, I decided I wanted to make the main cabinet mobile so I changed methods and used a story stick for each cabinet.

With plans in hand, I could start to think about material. Initially the plans called for using 1/2” White Melamine. When I got the wood store I noticed they were having a sale on 3/4” shop grade birch plywood. As it was slightly cheaper and I though I might stain it, I decided to buy several boards of it. Two boards I had cut into four pieces and the other two into 3 pieces. While I have all of the tools to cut 4×8 sheets, I hate doing it so I always pay the little extra to have them cut the boards into more manageable pieces.

So how should I put the boards together to make the initial cases? In the past I have used the Kreg Jig but things have a way of shifting ever so slightly when I use it. I could use dadoes but I really didn’t want to spend time clamping things up. I thought of using my Festool Domino but I still wasn’t having the level of success with it that I wanted. In the end, I decided to use a combination of the Kreg Jig and the Dowelmax. Using dowels would let me get the references I required and the Kreg Jig would hopefully eliminate the clamps.



While the dowels did a good job referencing everything, not all of the screws held well in the plywood so I ended up using clamps anyway.

A note of the Dowelmax…I love it! It’s really easy to use and once you get used to the various configurations, it’s really easy to get what you want. I have all of the usual joinery tools including the Festool Domino and I continue to go back to this jig. It’s not cheap but it’s totally worth it.

The cases went together fairly quickly.

-- - A Woodworking & Renovation Blog & - I make. You buy.

3 comments so far

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 3264 days

#1 posted 06-28-2010 02:36 PM

I haven’t had any problems with the Kreg, but I use their right angle clamp when screwing things down. I clamp tight, check alignment, start the screw, recheck alignment (though only once or twice have I actually noticed any movement), and then finish the screw. If you’re using the Kreg a lot, I’d highly recommend it for cabinet work.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3190 days

#2 posted 06-28-2010 07:19 PM

One thing I’ve found useful is to put the screw in the hole and put my drill on reverse. Yes, REVERSE. :) Give it a go in reverse for a second or two. Then switch the drill to FORWARD and drive the screw in. This seems to aleviate the screw following any stray grain. Of course I recommend glue in addition to the screw.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3702 days

#3 posted 06-28-2010 07:29 PM

You is off to a good start!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics