Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets Free Plans

Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets Free Plans – Get custom cabinets at a low price by making them yourself! Learn how to build a simple base cabinet with quick and easy frameless construction.

Building cabinets sounds like a big, scary project, but it’s really just a bunch of boxes! In this cabinet series, I will first show you how to build a simple cabinet. In later tutorials, I’ll go over how to add drawers, pull out shelves, and hidden bin compartments to customize your base cabinets.

Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets Free Plans

I’m building these cabinets as part of my long overdue kitchen remodel! I painted the cabinets and backsplash and covered the counters with contact paper to make it less horrible, but it’s time to rip off the patch and start from scratch!

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I’m going to work on this massive project in parts, starting with this random group of cabinets. It will be transformed into a symmetrical group of upper and lower cabinets with a long counter that stretches across the entire wall.

With the base cabinets installed, I started building the DIY wall cabinets. I hope that by working in such departments, I will minimize distractions in the kitchen and that I will not run out of space in my workshop!

Don’t forget the door! Check out this article on different types of cabinet doors to learn more about the different styles you can choose from. Once you’ve decided on a style, download my free worksheet to help you measure your cabinet doors correctly! Then check out my tutorial on how to make your own Shaker cabinet doors!

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Before you start cutting and assembling, there are a few things to keep in mind. By planning ahead, you can avoid many mistakes and build a better closet!

There are many choices when it comes to different types of plywood, but not all of them are great for making cabinets. You usually want to look for sheets labeled “cabinet grade” for better quality. If you’re putting in all that effort, spend a few extra bucks to make sure they last and look good!

There is usually a “good” side to plywood. This side must be free of knots and irregularities. The other side will be of lower quality, but will probably be hidden behind a wall, an adjacent cabinet, or an end panel. Use the good side for the inside of the cabinet.

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Birch plywood (that’s why it’s shiny). Prefinished means a clear protective topcoat was applied at the factory, which saved me a ton of time! I plan to paint the doors, drawer fronts and end panels, but the interior of the cabinet will remain natural wood with a clear coat.

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One of the hardest parts of working with plywood is that the leaves are so big! I have ¾” plywood at the shop, cut down the middle lengthwise. This gives me two 2’x8′ boards that fit easily in my car and on the workbench.

When planning plywood cuts, pay attention to the direction of the wood grain. The grain should run vertically up and down the sides, and horizontally across the bottom and shelves. If you have the plywood pre-cut into these long strips, the grain direction is already correct!

Draw a rough diagram to get the most out of your material without a lot of waste. I usually draw the larger pieces like the sides and bottom first and then use the scraps for the stretchers and nail strips. If you are not familiar with these terms, in this article I explain the different parts of the cabinet.

The cabinet toe kick is the part on the bottom that lifts the box off the floor. It is offset 3-4″ from the front of the cabinet and 3-4″ from the bottom. This gives you legroom while you work at the counter so you’re not constantly bending over.

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There are two ways to create a toe kick in the cabinet. You can build a separate platform for the cabinet to rest on, or integrate it into the side pieces and cut a notch in the bottom.

I’m making a separate toe kick platform instead of integrating it into the side pieces. This saves on materials as I can get almost all the pieces for two base cabinets from a single sheet of plywood! Plus, it’s easier to level a small platform than a huge cabinet when it’s time to install.

Add 4″ to the height of the side pieces for integrated toe kicks. If you are making a standard 30″ wide base cabinet, you will need to use the other half of the sheet for the bottom.

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All cabinet pieces look the same, especially if you are making several at once. Instead of driving yourself crazy trying to figure out which piece goes where, label them as you cut them out!

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I stick a piece of blue painter’s tape on each piece with the name of the piece and dimensions written on it. Even if all the pieces are in a huge pile on the workbench, I know which piece goes where so I don’t accidentally use the side piece as the bottom!

Although the 2’x8′ boards are a bit easier to handle, they are still too large to safely push through a table saw. I prefer to use a caterpillar to break down the larger sheets into the rough size needed for each part of the cabinet.

You can also use a circular saw, but you will need to use a circular saw flat edge vice to keep the cuts straight. If you are interested in learning more about these two tools, I have a whole article comparing a track saw and a circular saw.

One of the benefits of a track saw is that it can make really clean cuts, but I still like to use blue painters tape to prevent tearing on the cross grain. Before cutting, check that it is square and use the factory edge as a reference edge.

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Once each piece of cabinetry is cut to the correct height with the caterpillar, it can finally fit on the table saw! Cut the rough, split edge that the shop saw made down the middle first, using the factory edge along the fence.

For the final cut, move the fence to its final width to remove the factory edge. Use this fence setting for all side and bottom sections to make them exactly the same size.

Use scraps of ¾” plywood to cut 4″ wide strips for the front and back racks. I usually dig through my scrap wood cart for pieces of nail strips as they are hidden behind the back of the cabinet.

Finally, cut the back panel from ¼” plywood. It should be ¾” less than the height and width of the finished cabinet box. It will be recessed into the grooves that will be cut in the next step.

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There are a few different ways to attach the back panel of the cabinet. I prefer to cut a groove for the plate to slide into. This is quick and easy to do with a table saw and hides the nailing strips.

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The groove is ¾” from the back of the case so the nail strips can fit behind it. Use the nail strip to set the table saw fence. ¾” plywood is not exactly ¾”, so you’ll get a more accurate measurement that way.

Adjust the height of the table saw blade between ¼” and ⅜” so that it cuts a third to a half of the ¾” plywood. Make a test cut with a scrap piece of plywood. If everything looks good, set the test piece aside (you’ll need it later!)

Cut a groove along the back edge of the side, bottom, and back supports on the “good” side of each piece using this table saw setting.

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Now take your test piece again. Move the fence of the table saw slightly further from the blade. I prefer to go about half the width of the blade away. Make a trial cut to widen the groove.

Check the fit of the ¼” plywood in the groove. If it doesn’t fit, move the fence over a small piece and cut it again. You want this fit tight enough to hold the back panel in place, but not so tight that it can’t slide inside the groove. It’s better to make several cuts to sneak in rather than cutting too loosely the first time.

After adjusting the fit, cut wider grooves on the same sides, bottom and back of the bracket.

If you are making frameless cabinets, you will need to apply edge strips to all front edges to hide the layers of plywood. This includes the bottom, sides and front rack.

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Cut the edge band to the length of your piece of plywood and iron it. I used a pre-made birch edging strip to match

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