DIY Tips for Your Cabinet Project
Cabinetry is not as difficult as it is made to believe. It doesn’t require any conventional training nor does it require a heavy investment in tools. All you need is a passion for DIY projects, some basic skills, a brilliant guide, patience for following woodworking plans and instructions, and a fundamental knowledge of tools and their usage! This article will show you how to build your own cabinet using the provided cabinet plans. Check out our DIY woodworking projects.
Before You Begin
As a novice woodworker, there are some basic woodcraft skills that you need to have.
An elementary dexterity would be required in all building projects at one time or another. Also, they form the basis of which new skills are learned. Therefore, a beginner should start with polishing them before moving on more complex activities.
In addition to these, a woodcrafter should know how to handle the electric equivalent of the manual tools.
Basic Skills For a Beginner
You should be comfortable with the following basic woodworking activities:
- Drilling holes is not a difficult job. The skill is in hammering requisite sized holes within the desired depth, and in predisposed positions.
- Cutting materials into different shapes and sizes is another important aspect of the job.
- Screws over nails should be chosen for connecting the parts of the product. There are different types of screws available for various applications. One must be aware of the different sizes and have a ready stock.
- Sanding the uneven surfaces of the product to get rid of splinters and burns is another thing one must be knowledgeable about.
- Painting the completed product provides the finishing touch to the project.
A Tool for Every Project
- A cordless drill machine is the most useful tool in your box. It is easy to manage, lasts longer, works where there is no easy accessibility to an electrical point, is low cost, and helps not just while drilling holes but tightening screws too.
- There are different types of saws available for separating the wood into various shapes. Handsaws, circular saws, and jigsaws, work for more than 90% of all DIY projects, are cost effective, and their interchangeable blades are easily available.
- Every material has a specific screw that can hold it together securely. Recognizing each one and its application is very important. Wood, sheet metal, drywall, and machine are examples of separate kind of screws.
- Hand, orbital, and belt sanders besides sandpaper of various grits is a must have equipment in a woodcutter’s arsenal.
- Depending on the surface of the product, latex or oil-based paint should be chosen. Also, the kind of gloss required and demanded should be kept in mind as well.
Before starting to build a cabinet, there are a few key points one must determine. They are:
- The type of cabinet that needs to be built like arcade (MAME), kitchen, speaker, bedside, garage, liquor, gun, bathroom, restoration projects, etc.
- Space where the cabinet will be placed, or hung
- Materials to be used, buying new or reusing old ones
- Work area
Building Staple Kitchen/Washroom Cabinets
The design for both the kitchen and the bathroom cabinets is the same. The only differentiating factor between the two is its size and depth.
A simple construction using plywood with no edges, solid wood doors with an easy groove and tongue building, 1X6 drawers, traditional straight-line layout, and detachable panels, is done as follows.
A general list of materials, screws, and tools required for the job include:
- Plywood for side, bottom, and other hidden shapes
- Solid wood or plywood for door panels
- Type of solid wood for face and door frames, and for the front of the drawer
- Kind of drawer slide for the number of drawers to be installed. Euro style in this example
- Door hinges depending on the design of the door. Overlay hinges for this construction
- 1 ¼” pocket hole bolts
- Table and circular saws
- Drill machine
- Any kind of pocket hole joint.
The first step is to make the case for the panels. Using a circular saw, the plywood is cut into manageable sheets. A table saw is then used to cut the sheets further into side panels and end shelves. The rest is kept for later. The cropped sheets get a 3”X3” snip in the extreme front corner for the toe kick.
The next step is to create the frame of the cabinet. The frame is necessary for that it indicates the placements of the drawers and doors of the cabinet. It also helps in providing solidity to the structure. The size of the frame depends on the number of drawers and doors required. The frames are constructed using pocket holes.
Assembling the Parts
Attach the side panels and bottom shelves to the face frames using pocket holes. Ensure none are visible from outside.
Preparing the Plywood for Door and Building Drawers
- In the next step, stain the ¼” plywood for the door and set it aside to dry.
- Drawers are made by first screwing the ¾” plywood with the ⅜” plywood using pocket holes and then gluing and nailing the drawer frame to the bottom.
- The sliders should be attached to the bottom of the drawer and the cabinet as per the instructions on the packet.
- Fronts for the drawers can be cut from one common board in 1 X 6 dimension to create a continuous effect. Securely screw them in.
Making the Door for the Cabinets
- Grooves and rails for the door are cut using the table saw to fit into the pre-cut plywood panels.
- Don’t use glue in case solid wood is used to make panels. Solid wood expands and contracts and this will hamper the assembly of the door.
There is sanding, staining, and then applying water based varnish. Use white paint for interiors to improve visibility in dark corners.
The last thing to do after all the paint and polish is dry, is to install hinges and pulls.
Though easy woodworking jobs are not difficult and are cost effective, they should be attempted once the crafter is proficient in the required basic skills and can handle power tools safely.