Cabinet building, as a DIY project, requires selecting styles, cutting panels, joining biscuits, varnishing edges & installing the drawers & doors.
Building a cabinet is one of the typical DIY tasks you will come across. Although there are various types of cabinets available, namely kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, stereo cabinets, garage cabinets, etc., the basic construction is pretty much the same for all the cabinets.
First, you will need a plywood box. After that, you will need to add a solid wood frame. Then add some hanging cleats & shelves & you can call it a day.
However, the following tools are essential for building a cabinet:
Tools You Will Need To Build A Cabinet
For any type of cabinet, these tools are always necessary:
- Circular saw
- Table saw
- Utility knife
- Combination square
- Framing square
- Putty knife
- DrillS & bits
- Yellow Wood Glue
- Drywall screws
- Wood screws
- Purpose screws
Each of the tools is important. You can also use a trim saw to quickly finish your work and make efficient cuts. Moreover, to precisely cut frames, make accurate linings and angles, you will also need to have a high-quality speed square. Explore your tool options on BestOfMachinery as they provide detailed guides and honest reviews on the best tools in the market today.
If you want to build a basic cabinet as a DIY project, follow these eight steps below-
1. Select Your Desired Cabinet Style
First, decide where you want to use the cabinet. Once you select your desired type, focus on the construction. For any cabinet, there are three construction types available.
- a) The carcass construction: you will find three types of carcass constructions. These are frame-and-panel, box or case, & leg-and-rail type. The leg & rail type is the most ordinary one. You will see this sort of style in chairs, benches, stools, tables, etc.
- b) The frame & panel construction: this construction delivers an aesthetic appeal as these are custom-built designs. You will have dust panels everywhere with side, doors & interior frames. It’s costlier than the leg & rail type.
- c) The box or case construction: this construction type provides the simplest of designs. You can use it as a kitchen or a bathroom cabinet. Besides, desks, chests, dressers, etc. also follow this simple design.
After finalizing your desired cabinet type, focus on the measurements that will meet your needs.
2. Cut The Base Panels
To cut the base panels, first, start with the side panels. Keep in mind that only durability & strength matters with the sides – appearance doesn’t play a significant factor here. So, start cutting the side pieces of the plywood or a proper laminate type.
Then move on to the bottom section. While cutting the bottom part, remember to cut the width according to your kitchen’s dimension.
When it comes to the front & back base panels, use lumber to cut your bottom panel. Keep two pieces of the panels according to the bottom’s width for further operation. You can also use a bandsaw if you have the experience.
3. Use A Biscuit Joiner
You can join parts cut from sheet goods by biscuit joining. To add biscuit joining, first, cut & mark a sweet spot.
To make sure you have the sturdiest cabinet, use biscuit joining, rabbets & butt joints.
You may go with biscuits to join sides to the bottom. For installing back, use rabbets. To cement the steadiness of the biscuit & rabbets, use screws.
Hold the base panel perpendicular to the floor & make biscuit slots in the panel by cutting.
4. Apply Edge-Banding To The Exposed Edges
The last thing you will want is to have the rough edges visible in your cabinet. To escape from it, band all the rough edges before you assemble the cabinet. You need to varnish the edges with a rounded scrap & hot glue.
Do the same with all the edges of the carcass, shelves’ edges, drawers’ edges, etc.
If possible, trim the edges a little before varnishing. Once you have varnished all the edges, take a utility knife to trim overhanging edges.
5. Assemble The Base with The Drawers Boxes
It’s not difficult to assemble the base as it is merely an edge frame. Use biscuits & cleats to form the base. Be sure to secure the bottom with the back & front before clamping.
For drawer boxes, keep enough space for ease of sliding. Mount the runners underneath the drawers. Rebate the sides of the drawers for easy movement of the front & back. After installing all the parts correctly, use glue & clamps to assemble the box.
6. Set The Cabinet
While setting the cabinet, keep it in mind that dry assembly is crucial for this purpose, as you won’t get a second chance once you glued it up.
Once you cut & banded all the carcass perfectly, assemble the clamps to begin the dry run. Don’t hesitate to use biscuits if you have to.
Don’t hurry while setting the cabinet. Take your time to insert the biscuits in the bottom and rails. After clamping down the frame, join the base cleats with the top edges.
7. Make Doors
Making a flat panel frame door is relatively straightforward. However, you will need a long stub tenon & straight bit to make cuts on the plywood for making doors. After that, you will have to assemble the frame stiles to clamp & glue the doors.
You may find it challenging to install hinges. Use a jig to locate the screw positions & save yourself unnecessary trouble. Finally, clip the baseplates to hang the doors.
Once you hang the doors, don’t forget to double-check the balance & evenness of the doors.
8. Finish Installing very Part
You are just a few steps away now from installing your cabinet. To keep the drawers in place-
- Screw the under-mount slides
- Place the brackets & line the slides afterward.
- Clamp the frames & slides into place
You have done most of the hard work; now install the slides in the box.
After installing the slides, do the same for the back. You can also apply finish now to those banded edges. Once you have installed the hardware & assembly, put some glue in the back rabbet & then screw it.
Remember, choosing your wood is just as crucial as all the other steps. No matter what woodworking project you do, always make sure you get your wooden planks, frames, pallets from the right manufacturer.
Building a cabinet, whether to be used in the kitchen or bathroom, or anywhere else, is satisfying. No matter how many varieties there are, the basics are almost the same for any cabinet. Start following the steps mentioned above & keep working your way through. In the end, you will end up building some fine cabinets.