Out in the shop #1: Upper Shop Cabinets $36.70

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by MichaelAgate posted 05-28-2012 12:58 AM 12219 reads 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Out in the shop series Part 2: Long spline jig »

Matthew and I were going to do a video this weekend but got side tracked with the need for storage. Things are piling up and disorder is setting in. Time to get things in order a little. Last week I added a drawing for shop cabinets to the free plans section on . They are very basic, and cheap. This is them :)
Mind the doors, they are stuck on with double faced tape for now. Hinges Monday

Cabinet Size
14 1/4×33 1/4

1 sheet 5/8 D grade ply
1 sheet 1/8 Masonite

Kreg Pocket Hole Screws
Mortis and Tennon

Tools used
Table Saw
Kreg Jig
18” clamp
Kreg clamp

So, I will jump right in. Sheet goods are cut up and assembly started. The sides are 14 1/4×12, top and bottom 33 1/4×12. Back of cabinet has a 3/16” dado running 5/8” in from the back. 1/8” masonite for the back. The backing is cut 1/8” shy all around. No need as its not going to expand/contract, just habit.

Everything is Kreg screwed together except for the doors. Will show you then a little further down. We didn’t go too crazy with the screws as we used plenty of glue on all the matching pieces.

Face frames are 1 3/4 wide. A couple of Kreg screws hold them tight and square.

Careful not to over tighten the screws. If you have a torque setting on your drill, USE IT! :)

Face frame together, we install it via pocket screws to the box. The face frame is slightly oversize by 1/32-1/16” purposely. This will be trimmed off later with a flush trim bit in the router, and everything will look as if it were cut precisely. Great tip from George Vondriska.

Due to the limited space inside the cabinet, Matthew is using a right angle chuck on his drill. This is the Festool CXS. It would have been such a pain to screw this on by hand. Clamping the frame in place is helpful as well.

We added the centre rail once the cabinet was hung on the wall. Why? meh, we wanted too. :) Also, it’s easy to add these in at any time with the Kreg Jig, as well, with the CXS angle attachment, there was nothing too it.

The cabinets are hung on the wall using a French Cleat. I didn’t take a pic of the back, but it’s just a 2” wide cleat running along the back with a 45 degree angle. This then hooks into a matching 45 2” wide hook on the wall.

So here they are. The plans make 2 of these cabinets from one sheet of plywood. Sit them side by side like we have or space them apart.

Next we move on to the doors. 1 3/4” 5/8”. We begin with the dado, raising the saw blade to 3/8”. Something a little better than a measuring tape or those stepped depth gauges, we are using the Betterley UNA-GAUGE. Originally obtained for tuning Matthews saw, but unlike other alignment gauges out there, this one does so much more, if you noticed the pic above, we don’t keep it in its case as it’s in and out so often, it’s best left on the shelf.

Next we use the gauge to move the fence 1/4” off the blade. This is perhaps over kill, but just so fun to use.

The blade is set. We get 8’ of 1 3/4” and prepare to run the dados for the panels. Feather board is great to use here. be sure you have the feather board setup BEFORE or IN FRONT of the blade.

Maxswitch makes it fast and easy to setup their feather boards and they hold very tight.

Next we cut the tenons that will sit in the dado of the door. No need for a dado blade as it’s just a few passes.

Here are the pieces we just made. Lets fit them together

Dry fit looks good. everything is nice and square. We measure the inside of the door and add 5/8”, this will give us the panel size.

Time for the glue up. We glue two rails to the side style and slide in the panel.

Get everything in place and clamp up. We left these in for about an hr then glued up the other two doors.

That’s all there is to it. As mentioned above, we need to pick up the hinges, the doors are just held in place with double faced tape for now. The doors are 1/2” wider and longer than each opening.

Cabinets are not difficult to make. They are just boxes with doors. Give them a try.

Thanks for reading

-- Michael and Matthew

8 comments so far

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 3917 days

#1 posted 05-28-2012 01:56 AM

I cant wait until my son is old enough to help in the shop. He is 1 now, so it will be a bit before he is ready. He does go nuts with excitement and even grunts like tim the toolman, when we do go in the shop together. Sometimes it helps to change his perspective when he is having a meltdown in the house, so we go to the garage and his attitude changes immediately.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4811 days

#2 posted 05-28-2012 02:51 AM

Very nice. Its great that you get to spend time with your son in the shop.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View MichaelAgate's profile


398 posts in 3775 days

#3 posted 05-28-2012 03:00 AM

Thanks all. due to the size of sheet goods, Matthew was happy to take care of laying out and drilling the pocket holes and full assembly.

-- Michael and Matthew

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 3653 days

#4 posted 05-28-2012 10:57 AM

Well built cabinets, Having such good help is priceless…...

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View MichaelAgate's profile


398 posts in 3775 days

#5 posted 05-28-2012 03:40 PM

Gshepherd – I find, I am the helper on most days. :)

-- Michael and Matthew

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4256 days

#6 posted 05-29-2012 02:01 AM

Seems like we can all learn a little something from Matthew. He’s very talented.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View MichaelAgate's profile


398 posts in 3775 days

#7 posted 05-29-2012 11:55 AM

Thanks for the comment Roger!

-- Michael and Matthew

View Michael's profile


11 posts in 3566 days

#8 posted 09-21-2012 05:15 PM

Great cabinets. I’d like to know how you fixed the french cleat to the back of the cabinet. Does it attach just to the ply sides using screws? I’m trying to think of how strong that would be.


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics