Cabinet Building Software?

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Forum topic by Maveric777 posted 05-11-2010 02:10 PM 6378 views 2 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2494 days

05-11-2010 02:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource

I have been holding off starting my vanity project due to…. Well…. not knowing what in the world I am doing. I been looking for books, trying to come up with plans, loosing sleep…lol… and still don’t feel I am any farther ahead than I was 2 weeks ago. I do have a general sketch of what I want the finished product to look like. I’m just not sure how the guts should be put together.

So this morning driving to work I thought “Why not use one of those cabinet building programs?”

Just wanted to pop on here and ask if A) Would this help my dilemma? B) What software to pick up?

I have already spent a good bit of money buying tools for this project so I am committed to it (you married guys know what I’m talking about…lol). So I have no choice, but to try everything I can to get this done for my bride.

I do pan on building a vanity in another bathroom, and even build the cabinets in our kitchen. So I will get my money’s worth I feel if something like this will be beneficial (not to mention side work I could use this on)

Thanks for any form of help on this…. Please help…. I’m clueless…

P.S. Don’t tell my wife…. lol

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

15 replies so far

View SKFrog16's profile


661 posts in 2617 days

#1 posted 05-11-2010 02:50 PM

Maveric777, I use eCabinet design software.

There is a high learning curve with this software and may not be your cup of tea. It has standard cabinet libraries you can download, then modify cabinets to suit your needs. Great for designing kitchens, baths, libraries, and closets. If this is your business then it is great. If not, maybe a bigger pain than it is worth.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2415 days

#2 posted 05-11-2010 03:20 PM

Hi Maveric777

It is not exactly a cabinet building program but I highly recommend spending some time to sit down and learn to use Sketch-up from Google. They have a free version and a commercial version. It is quite capable for designing cabinets and much more. It is more of a general purpose CAD program but it has it’s own neat things. There are also a lot of pre-designed stuff to look at to base your design from in it’s 3D warehouse.

As far as the general guts of how to put things together, look at other cabinets and check out some of the books and magazine articles to see the way stuff fits together.

Also, have a look at some of the cabinets designs for sale. They are generally cheap and there might already be stuff similar to what you are looking for. No sense spending hours to design something that is available where someone has already worked out all the details.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3066 days

#3 posted 05-11-2010 03:33 PM

my suggestion may not be the quick answer you’re looking for (aka, a software that will show you what parts you need and where) – but in the long run, may be a better solution.

I recommend you go and read about cabinet construction, and built-ins. FWW has lots of articles/documents about this, including some very informative sketches and exploded views of such cabinets, both online on their site (I’m a member, and it’s worth every penny) or in their books which you can either find in the local book store, or in your local library (that’s where I got all of mine)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 3423 days

#4 posted 05-11-2010 03:43 PM

You don’t need software for a one off vanity. Make you a full scale “story pole” out of a scrap 4” wide plywood strip. Where you’ll lay out the width, height, ends, dividers, drawer locations, dado locations ect…..
You can make your cutlist straight from taking measurements off your story pole.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 2682 days

#5 posted 05-11-2010 04:09 PM


I wonder if you could elaborate on this “story pole” idea. It sounds interesting….

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View TheMechanic007's profile


41 posts in 2418 days

#6 posted 05-11-2010 04:37 PM

I have to thank ya Dan, When it comes time for me to do this-I will be able to ask the expert!!

If youve never heard of a story pole google woodworking story pole and you will get the idea, Its a basic way of having your plans on a stick…

-- Chris From Maryland, If it aint broke, You havent tried fixin it yet...

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 3423 days

#7 posted 05-11-2010 04:46 PM

It’s about taking your tri square and a pencil to a piece of 3/4” x 4” x ?? whatever length needed piece of plywood. Where on one side you’ll lay out cabinet width and the other side cabinet height. Denoting in full scale the location of 3/4” (or varying according to need) components of the cabinet. You can do like dashed lines or maybe a red pen for locations of dadoes in the components. Show 1/2’ space for dwr slides. Dwr side heights can be pre figured by denoting locations on the height side of the stick…...The whole cutlist, including even dwr parts can be determined by simply taking measurements off this story pole.

Basically, you’re doing a full scale layout of your project on a stick that hangs around for easy reference till the project is complete. Then sand it off and use it or the next project!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2415 days

#8 posted 05-11-2010 05:14 PM


It is an old standard method of measuring things. Instead of using a ruler with inches or mm or whatever, you make marks on a board (or pole) to represent the different measurements for parts and dimensions.Many parts of a cabinet will be the same lengths and widths. You just refer to the marked dimension of say cabinet depth rather than remembering measurements. You can also store the story board for future reference and projects.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View a1Jim's profile


115166 posts in 2994 days

#9 posted 05-11-2010 05:46 PM

e cabinets is a good one and it’s free.
If you want the low down on story poles and cabinet making get a copy of Jim Tolpins book
“Building traditional kitchen cabinets”

-- Custom furniture

View SouthpawCA's profile


262 posts in 2650 days

#10 posted 05-11-2010 05:58 PM

I think you would be more interested in the standard requirements when it comes to building furniture. Like, How much room is required for the toe kick, etc. In that case you might use – check it out.

-- Don

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2494 days

#11 posted 05-11-2010 06:51 PM

Thank you so very much for all the info everyone. I am at work at the moment and cant really do much research right now, but plan on sitting down tonight and check out all the info….

Thanks again!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 2460 days

#12 posted 05-11-2010 09:59 PM

Maveric, I sent you a PM.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 2472 days

#13 posted 05-11-2010 10:12 PM

I am in the process of downloading the extras that come with eCabinet. What a cool looking program.

I design houses with AutoCad and SoftPlan, so learning this one shouldn’t be too hard, but, I will look into the training, so I can get the best use of the program.

--, Making design and application one. †

View GregD's profile


777 posts in 2553 days

#14 posted 05-13-2010 07:20 PM

I am at best not far from clueless but it looks to me that Kreg has a pretty clear system for making cabinets with their pocket hole jigs without a lot of experience and not so much additional equipment. I recently got their “master” system and it came with a url and coupon code for a free download PDF on building standard cabinets that even spells out which dimensions on the cut list change depending upon the width of the cabinet. If you want more info, PM me for the url of the PDF – I have a hard time finding anything on Kreg’s sites without looking up the url beforehand.

-- Greg D.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5300 posts in 3130 days

#15 posted 06-07-2010 03:59 AM

I’m joining this a bit late (I am way behind on reading all these posts :-) but I was in the same boat this time last year and used Sketch-up and Bill Hylton’s “Illustrated Cabinetmaking How to Design and Construct Furniture That Works” (I reviewed it at The best part (for me) of using SU is that you actually get a chance to ‘build’ the piece on the computer so you can see how pieces will go together or won’t go together if I am designing it LOL!. You may already have this done so I may be too late to add my 2 cents worth, if you’re not done I wish you success!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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