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Building shop cabinets vs purchasing

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Forum topic by rkwoods posted 06-03-2016 04:21 PM 1120 views 3 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rkwoods

21 posts in 1452 days


06-03-2016 04:21 PM

Just getting my new shop set up. Everything is just dumped out there till I can get some cabinetry and organization.
I’m debating on whether to build some cabinets or buy them. It’s such a mess that Until I get everything put away I don’t have the room to build anything so if I could find something affordable I’d like to go that route. Any suggestions on who sells well made, decent looking shop cabinetry?


17 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3043 days


#1 posted 06-03-2016 04:31 PM

Depending on how fancy you want you cabinets to be ,perhaps used cabinets are the answer,they would be the most affordable and readily available through craigslist or a recycling center.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View ClammyBallz's profile

ClammyBallz

309 posts in 603 days


#2 posted 06-03-2016 04:35 PM

If you want some base cabinets, Lowes usually runs 20% off in-stock kitchen cabinets once a month. You can use the 10% off coupon on top of it. If you don’t care about a matching set, you can scour a couple of the stores and usually get a good price on a damaged one or one missing a drawer.

For my 7’ wall cabinets, I ended up building them from scratch with melamine. Anything available that size was made of 1/2” MDF.

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

764 posts in 1865 days


#3 posted 06-03-2016 05:23 PM

Suggest considering http://sommerfeldtools.com/professional-equipment-and-tools/router-bits-and-sets/router-bit-sets/3-pc-tongue-groove-cabinetmaking-set.

Utilizing this system is quick and accurate and can save a lot of money.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 462 days


#4 posted 06-03-2016 05:27 PM

I recently built my own. Mostly because I couldn’t get wall cabinets in the size I wanted without having them custom made.

I made five 36” tall, 30”, 16” deep wall cabs and a 10’ long set of base cabinets and laminated my own counter top.

I made them from pre-finished birch plywood for the cases and melamine door and drawer fronts.

They came out great, but it was close to 6 weeks of effort several hours or more each day. It was a great project, I’d do it again. But it was a lot of work.

Materials cost were probably in the range of what off-the-shelf cabs from the local BORG would have been. But I’m sure these are ultimately much better built. The cost was much lower the quality cabs and much, much lower than custom.

Only you can choose your battles. I started out where you are at, with the same issue, stuff I can’t use because I have no place to put it. So it is enticing to get off-the-shelf and be done with it. But as I said, I couldn’t find the size I wanted easily or even moderately priced, so I went for it.

-- Clin

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4036 posts in 1818 days


#5 posted 06-03-2016 06:45 PM

I was in the same dilemma a few months ago. I got a hold of “Practical Shop Cabinets” by Tom Clark and in a few days I had an assembly table with 8 large drawers. It went a long way towards organizing my new shop. Tom has a very easy and fast system of cabinet assembly, I recommend his book highly. Link here. He is also a fellow Lumberjock.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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rkwoods

21 posts in 1452 days


#6 posted 06-03-2016 07:33 PM

Great book! Gives me a lot of good ideas. I’m gonna order it today. Thanks!

View nkawtg's profile

nkawtg

204 posts in 718 days


#7 posted 06-03-2016 08:00 PM

We are makers, so make them.

View Dabcan's profile

Dabcan

252 posts in 2137 days


#8 posted 06-03-2016 08:05 PM

I didn’t want to spend time making shop cabinets since I was keen to start other projects. I picked up used kitchen cabinets someone was throwing away. Work perfectly and free, I don’t care what they look like

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 919 days


#9 posted 06-03-2016 09:05 PM

(Sorry – dupe)

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

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MadMark

978 posts in 919 days


#10 posted 06-03-2016 09:08 PM

You’re kidding, right? Only you know what you need to store and the space you need. Build them, its how you ‘stand up’ your shop. Its like building your bench. Its part of the joy of setting up your shop.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View rkwoods's profile

rkwoods

21 posts in 1452 days


#11 posted 06-03-2016 09:22 PM

My wife showed me some ideas on Pinterest so I’ll probably end up making them.

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 462 days


#12 posted 06-03-2016 11:23 PM



I was in the same dilemma a few months ago. I got a hold of “Practical Shop Cabinets” by Tom Clark and in a few days I had an assembly table with 8 large drawers. It went a long way towards organizing my new shop. Tom has a very easy and fast system of cabinet assembly, I recommend his book highly. Link here. He is also a fellow Lumberjock.

- bondogaposis

Glad you brought this up. I too bought a copy of Tom’s book. It does have some great ideas. I didn’t end up doing everything his way. For example, set the back directly on rather than recess it. This was because I used pre-finsihed plywood for the back, and that stuff doesn’t glue well if at all.

One idea of his I made use of was simply attaching drawer bottoms to the bottom edge of the box, vs the common small dado slot. Easier, and you get more usable drawer depth. Unquestionably strong enough. And in some aspects stronger. In that case I used unfinished plywood.

I also strongly recommend getting his book. Maybe even to help you decide if you want to try making your own.

-- Clin

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2326 posts in 1763 days


#13 posted 06-03-2016 11:39 PM

You could always put up open shelves and as time and money allow build face frames and doors to enclose it all.

View ki7hy's profile

ki7hy

503 posts in 205 days


#14 posted 06-04-2016 12:37 AM

We have a recycled home tear down type place that has loads of housing materials, fixtures, etc. I went and bought some so I could get things in it’s place. I would have rather made them but it was cheaper to just buy ones they tore out of old houses. It’s also a charitable organization so it’s kind of a good thing too.

View emir's profile

emir

3 posts in 268 days


#15 posted 06-04-2016 07:39 AM



I didn t want to spend time making shop cabinets since I was keen to start other projects. I picked up used kitchen cabinets someone was throwing away. Work perfectly and free, I don t care what they look like

- Dabcan


I agree with dabcan, or rather buy second hand cabinets for a cheaper cost.

-- http://www.emir.co.uk/workbenches/

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