Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinet

Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinet

Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinet – Building cabinets for your kitchen, bath or shower seems like it should be hard, but it’s not! Most cabinets are just simple boxes. And the joint can be hidden on the outside of the cabinet which is then hidden when the cabinet is installed.

Last year I took on the task of building all the cabinets for our DIY kitchen renovation. I saved thousands of dollars building a high quality closet with basic tools. You can read all about the inexpensive tools I used to make my cabinet here.

Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinet

So if you want to learn how to build your own cabinets for renovation, I’m going to break down all the information for you.

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There are many reasons why building your own cabinets is better than buying pre-fab cabinets or paying huge prices for custom cabinets.

There are two main types of cabinets you can look at when you’re looking to buy or build: front-frame cabinets and frameless (or Euro-style cabinets). Both of these cabinet styles can be made by you.

Which one you choose depends on the style you are looking for. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Choose one based on this and the style you are going for in your space.

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Front frame cabinets are cabinets that have a frame that covers the front of the cabinet box. The box is made of plywood and then the front frame is made of solid wood (usually 1x2s) and attached to the front to cover the edge of the plywood. Front frame cabinets are very traditional in the US and are what we use in our kitchen renovations.

Front frames are made with rails and stiles around the perimeter and additional rails to frame around the drawer openings. When choosing drawer slides, you need to be aware that the front frame will usually be in the way and will need to add blocking to the sides to bring the drawer slide even with the front frame or for the front frames. Use special slides.

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You can cover cabinet doors (they sit on top of the front frame) or install cabinet doors (they sit inside the front frame and are flush with the front). Cabinet overlay doors can leave a large exposure of the front frame or a small exposure 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 folded over to finish. They are sometimes called European-style cabinets and are made very popular by Ikea. This is a very simple, modern design for the cabinet.

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One of the challenges with frameless cabinets is keeping the cabinet box perfectly square. If it’s not square, you can fight by installing a row of cabinets and closing the doors to make it even.

You can either cover or install cabinet doors for frameless cabinets. The only coverage option for frameless is a full coverage that covers all (about 1/8″) of the cabinet sides.

Since there are many types of cabinet boxes, this post will be an overview of how to build a cabinet. I will try to cover all aspects of all cabinet types. If I missed something, leave a comment and I’ll answer it there.

To begin, let’s look at the different parts of the cabinet box. These parts are slightly different depending on whether you are doing front-frame cabinets or frameless cabinets.

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Each cabinet die will have two sides made of 3/4″ plywood. If you are building cabinets for the kitchen, all the sides of your base cabinets will be exactly the same size and all the sides of your wall cabinets will be the same. You can build deep cabinets for the refrigerator and pantry if you want.

The back of the cabinet can be made of either 3/4″ plywood or supports (3-4″ pieces of 3/4″ plywood) can be used to keep the box square and sturdy, followed by 1/4″ plywood. Cover the back. This is especially useful for cabinets that need plumbing holes drilled through them. You can also save a lot of money by using 1/4″ plywood for the back of a large cabinet project.

Below is the lowest shelf of the cabinet. For a base cabinet, it sits flush with the top of the toe kick. For a wall cabinet with a front frame, it sits flush with the top of the bottom front frame rail so you don’t have a lip on the shelf.

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Base cabinets usually have toe kicks to raise the cabinet slightly off the floor. The toe kick can be cut into the side of the cabinet. Or for larger cabinet sections, you can build a 2×4 box on the floor as a toe kick and then set the cabinet on top of it. This is useful when doing larger cabinet spans because you can cut more sides from a 4’x8′ sheet of plywood when using standard cabinet heights, therefore saving money. And you can easily level the 2×4 box before installing the cabinet.

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Top: Wall cabinets will have a top piece, but generally base cabinets mounted with a counter top do not have a top piece. Instead, supports are used to keep the cabinet box square and sturdy, then the cabinet is closed when the countertops are installed. If you are building a built-in without a countertop, you can add a top instead.

The supports are small pieces of plywood (usually 3-4″ wide and the width of the cabinet body) that are used to keep the cabinet box square and strong. You will use 1 or 2 in the cabinet top space that will hold the countertop. For frameless cabinets, you’ll use spacers to separate the drawer sections.

Front Frame: If you are building a front frame cabinet, you will add a front frame to the front of the cabinet body. The front frame is made up of slats (the full height of the cabinet’s front frame) and rails (running horizontally between the slats).

The carcass of the cabinet is the plywood that makes up the box. If you are building frameless cabinets, it will be all built. If you are building front frame cabinets, you will rebuild your front frame then attach the two.

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If all your pieces are square and cut at a perfect 90 degree angle, you will have complete cabinet boxes. Then the only challenges you will face in installation are your uneven walls.

When building multiple shelves, take the time to show how you will cut each piece from the plywood sheets. You generally want the grain of the plywood to run vertically in the side piece. For horizontal pieces, the grain should run sideways, not front to back.

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To use a circular saw with a guide track to cut plywood, lay a 2″ piece of rigid foam on the ground or your work table and lay the plywood on top of it.

Make sure the plywood is square, if not, start by cutting the short side to square with the long side. Then cut out your pieces. Label them as you go to make it easier to collect later.

How To Build A Diy Wall Cabinet

Adjust your pocket hole jig to drill holes in 3/4 inch thick material. I love the Craig Jig K4 system and use it on almost every woodworking project.

Drill pocket holes on both sides of the bottom piece, top piece, and support piece. How many pocket holes you will need depends on how long your piece is. You want them to be at least every 4-5 inches. For the support pieces, make sure you have 2 on each end.

For a front frame cabinet, also drill pocket holes in the front of the top, top and side pieces to attach the front frame later. It’s easier to drill the pocket holes before assembly so don’t skip this step.

If you are cutting the leg kicks from the sides of the cabinet, cut them now. You can use a jigsaw to easily cut toe kicks any size you want, usually they are about 4″ high and 2-3″ deep.

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All joints will need wood glue to stick to your cabinet box. If you are using pre-made plywood, regular wood pellets will not work. Instead, use melamine glue (I love it with RooClear glue).

Place one side under your work surface so that the outside (the side with the pocket hole) is facing down. Apply glue to the side of the bottom piece and glue it to the side piece.

For the base cabinet, make sure it is level with the bottom of the toe-kick or the bottom of the side (if there is no toe-kick). For the wall cabinet, make sure it is set up so it will be level with the bottom face frame

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