Gun cabinet

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Project by Randy Sharp posted 02-17-2011 04:48 PM 9319 views 12 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Construction notes: This gun cabinet design comes from the Popular Mechanics website and is recommended for those with advanced woodworking skills, as the plans require you to rely on past woodworking technique experiences. This is my second build of this project.

All materials were available at my local Lowe’s Home Improvement store. The sides and back panels are oak plywood. The door frames and drawer fronts are solid oak. The drawer sides are select-grade pine.

The trim was custom cut on the router table according to the plan specs. The plans included a simple to follow outline for making dentil moldings (photo 5). I am especially pleased with the quality dovetails from Porter Cable Dovetail Jig 4210. As noted in an earlier project, the more one uses it, the more confidence one gains, thus, better results.

The finish is a single coat of cherry stain and three coats of polyurethane (Clear Satin). The door contains 1/8” tempered glass. The lights are wired directly to one of the door hinges. Simply touch the hinge for multiple brightness levels.

The total cost of materials was right at $500. The construction took approximately 35 labor hours, less sanding, finish and hardware (another 20 hours).

Tools used: Tablesaw, router, dovetail jig, brad nail gun, bandsaw, miter saw, sander.

Additional thoughts and notes:
- Rather than using mechanical drawer guides called for in the plans, I chose to go hardware free and framed the drawer compartments with hardwood runners.
- Spending a little extra for solid pine vs. plywood for the dovetailed drawer sides is a good investment. From experience, it is worth the extra cost.
- I stained the dovetailed drawer fronts prior to connecting them to the sides. I like the contrast of the joint by staining the front and just giving the sides a clear coat of finish (photo 4).
- The last photo shows the cabinet owner (my son-in-law, left), me (center) and future son-in-law (right). It was his first woodworking project. I am blessed with fine daughters and their great husbands.

Thanks for looking!

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

11 comments so far

View gtpreacher's profile


96 posts in 3261 days

#1 posted 02-17-2011 04:54 PM

Really nice job. I like the glass-front knife display.

-- Phil, North Carolina

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3137 days

#2 posted 02-17-2011 04:55 PM

Wow, looks great!

-- David

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4214 days

#3 posted 02-17-2011 05:14 PM

Great job, Randy!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2689 days

#4 posted 02-17-2011 05:14 PM

Wow.. awesome job

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


475 posts in 3624 days

#5 posted 02-17-2011 05:39 PM

I have seen it in person.

Nice fit and finish.

Good job, bro!

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

685 posts in 2776 days

#6 posted 02-17-2011 07:18 PM

Smart job, making a delightful display.
Over here in the UK we have to keep our shotguns in hidden-hinge steel cabinets bolted to walls and preferably out of sight!
A clever idea – using a hinge as the electrical connection for the dimmer – I must remember that!
(I assume when you said ‘wired directly’ that doesn’t mean 110V on the hinge LOL )

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3184 days

#7 posted 02-17-2011 08:16 PM

What a great job on this, all the way around. Looks real nice.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3984 days

#8 posted 02-17-2011 09:57 PM

Great looking cabinet. It must be nice to live in a place where you don’t feel the need for a safe.

I really like the glass door display.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View sgtq's profile


370 posts in 2672 days

#9 posted 02-17-2011 11:48 PM

very nice

-- There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~William J. Clinton

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2689 days

#10 posted 02-17-2011 11:56 PM

Really well executed. Spacious and attractive. GaryK’s comment above struck a chord with me. For the first time in my adult life, I live in an area where I don’t need a safe. And it IS nice! Thanks for that bit of gratitude, Gary. Awesome cabinet.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 3758 days

#11 posted 02-18-2011 12:28 AM

Very nice build Randy, I really like the lights and the knife display.

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View WWorker08's profile


41 posts in 2964 days

#12 posted 02-18-2011 05:45 AM

Very nice work. Now you need a few more toys to fill it up

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