Build Your Own Cabinet

Build Your Own Cabinet – Does cabinetry seem intimidating? It definitely worked for me, but I did some planning and research and decided to build my first cabinet when I needed custom depth for my laundry room.

There are many different ways to build bases and this is just one way to get height for the foot strike area. I decided to build a platform out of 2×4 material as a flat base to use throughout the room. This way I can make my cabinet boxes square. You can also skip this step and cut the kick area with a hacksaw. Either way it will work!

Build Your Own Cabinet

I used 3/4″ plywood to raise the base using 1 1/2″ screws. This gives an overall height of 4.25 inches for your cabinet base to sit on.

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To determine the depth of your platform, subtract the foot strike area from the total depth of the cabinet and be sure to account for the width of the toe kick you are re-placing.

Footrest Definition: The area under a base cabinet that is designed to allow someone to stand next to the cabinet with tables and cabinets at arm’s length. This is a design + ergonomic feature and can range from zero to 4 inches based on preference, but is typically 3.5 to 4 inches.

Now for the cool part! I got some tips from a local cabinet maker and he suggested making the face frame first. This ensures that the cabinet is made to the correct size and without mistakes.

I make my face frame from 1×2 and 1×3 spruce. Spruce is harder than pine and is still available in most supermarkets.

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The face frame consists of a rail and a base. The rails are the horizontal parts of the face frame and the legs are the vertical parts.

Typically, the slats run the length of the face frame and you attach the rails to those vertical pieces. I chose to cut my rails full length so I could cut all my styles the same size – it made the most sense to me and it was perfect!

I use pocket holes to attach 90% of these cabinets. Kreg creates a very user-friendly system that makes this type of joinery a breeze!

The first step is to determine the thickness of your material. You place both the jig and the drill on this setting. For this face frame, I’m using 3/4″ material, so I set the jig and bit on the 3/4″ and drilled 2 holes on each post (vertical piece).

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Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets: Proulx, Danny: 9781558706767: Books

Once you’ve drilled your pocket holes, it’s time to attach them! Kreg also makes it easy by providing a guide for determining the size of the screw to use. I use 1 1/4″ screws designed for hardwood.

These right angle clamps make it very easy to make with pocket holes. Materials can tend to shift, so it’s always a good idea to use a clamp to keep things secure.

Another tip for making is to always make things square! I keep different squares in my shop for different projects – it’s one of those tools you can always use!

Once your face frame is built, it’s time to build your cabinet legs! For this cabinet base, I use 3/4″ plywood material and cut it to the full length of the face frame. For depth, the depth of the entire cabinet will be minus the width of the face frame as it sits on top of it.

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Next, I added pocket holes to attach the front edge of both sides of the cabinet to the face frame. Depending on which side of your cabinet is less exposed, you can strategically decide which side to place these on.

You also want to make sure you leave about 2 inches from the edges to avoid other screws and possible splitting.

Look above: you’ll see that I only added the pocket holes to the sides of the bottom piece…but later I realized that I also needed them on the front to attach to the face frame!

Now it’s time to build the cabinet! I wanted the bottom to be flush with the edge of the bezel, so I measured and drew a straight line on either side of the cabinet pieces. This was my guide line for gluing the bottom piece.

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Aligned the bottom of the cabinet to the sides using the line I just drew, making sure everything stayed square!

I used a larger clamp here so things wouldn’t shift when I attached the bottom piece to the other side.

The last step for a cabinet box is the back support base – this will be the inside measurement between the legs. I used 1×4 material and added pocket holes to the back. This piece will also be used to secure it to the wall!

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Note: You can also add a back to the cabinet, but I think in most cases, this is an extra step that is not necessary.

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The final step is to attach the face frame to both sets of cabinet boxes for a seamless look! Note the pocket holes on the front side of the bottom piece.

I also decided to make 2 boxes instead of one so I could line them up seamlessly with the face frame. You could easily make just one large cabinet box for this project.

And here is the finished cabinet box sitting on the platform. I repeated this for all my other cabinet boxes!

I ordered all of my doors and drawer fronts from Nieu Cabinet Doors – which really customized this look! I hope this tutorial gives you the confidence to make your own cabinet boxes! After tackling this first build, I can’t wait to make more!

All About Cabinets

Wife, mom, remodeler, DIY instructor, and founder of Making Pretty Spaces. If you’re ready to build the home you love with your own two hands, I’m your girl. Building cabinets for your kitchen, bathroom, or closet may seem difficult, but it’s not! Most cabinets are just easy boxes. And the connection can be hidden on the outside of the cabinets, which will be hidden after the cabinets are installed.

Last year I took on the task of building all the cabinets for my DIY kitchen remodel. I saved thousands of dollars and built quality cabinets with basic tools. You can read all about the inexpensive tools I used to build my cabinet here.

So if you want to learn how to build cabinets for your renovations, I’m going to break it all down for you.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn money on qualifying purchases. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

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There are many reasons why building your own cabinets is much better than buying pre-made cabinets or paying a fortune for custom cabinets.

There are two main types of cabinets you may see when shopping or building: face-frame cabinets and frameless cabinets (or Euro-style cabinets). Both of these cabinet styles are made by you.

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Which one you choose depends on your style. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Which one do you prefer based on these items and the style you are looking for in your space?

Face frame cabinets are cabinets that have a front frame of the cabinet box. The box is made of plywood and then the face frame is made of solid wood (usually 1x2s) and attached to the front to cover the edge of the plywood. Face frame cabinets in the US and the ones we use in our kitchen remodel are more traditional.

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Face frames are made with rails and posts around the perimeter and additional rails for framing around the drawer opening. When choosing drawer slides, you should note that the face frame is usually in the way and you need to add blocking to the sides so that the drawer pulls even with the face frame or use special slides for face frames.

You can use veneer cabinet doors (placed on top of the face frame) or inset cabinet doors (placed inside the face frame and flush with the front). Beveled cabinet doors can leave a large face frame view or a smaller view for a more modern look, depending on the hinges you choose.

A frameless cabinet is a cabinet made only of plywood. The edges of the plywood are covered with edge tape to finish. They are sometimes called European style cabinets and were made popular by Ikea. This is a very simple and modern design for the cabinet.

One of the challenges of frameless cabinets is keeping the cabinet box square. If it’s not square, you can have trouble installing a row of cabinets and hanging doors for a uniform look.

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You can also use coated or internal cabinet doors for frameless cabinets. The only coating option for frameless is the full coating, which covers the whole (about 1/8 inch).

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