HHS Wood 2 - Wall Cabinet #1: Building the casework

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Blog entry by Tooch posted 09-25-2016 02:55 PM 1891 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of HHS Wood 2 - Wall Cabinet series Part 2: The face frame (mortise and tenons) »

This blog posting is designed to take students in Wood Manufacturing 2 through the process of building a wall cabinet. The cabinet can be made with either plywood or hardwood, which will be determined by myself. Note: The final size will be slightly different; this blog was made while using a scrap piece slightly under-sized.

To get started, obtain a piece of plywood from storage and head to the table saw. Safety glasses and a push stick will also be needed.

Check that the table saw blade is raised to its proper height, with the depth of the gullets above your work piece.

Set the fence to 5-3/4” and rip the work piece a total of 4 times.

Set 2 pieces aside, and take the Left and Right Side pieces to Table Saw #2. You will need to stack enough dado blades together to create a 23/32” dado. This will be the two outside silver blades, three 1/8” blades, and one 3/32” blade. Set the blade height to 3/8”, which is done with the Kreg setup bars. In the picture below, the blade height is set too high.

The bottom of the setup bar should just barely touch the blade while the two base sides are flat on the table.

Because the operation consists of making dado cuts, it is safe to use a combination of the fence and miter sled. Set the fence to 3/4” to maintain accurate cuts. This will need to be done with a ruler, not the gauge on the fence, because that gauge is calibrated for a single blade.

Make dados on both ends of each of the 2 boards.

Change the fence setting to 8-1/2”, and make a third dado on the bottom of each side. The third dado will also be on the inside.

Your two pieces will then look like this:

Now change out the dado blades so that only the two silver blades remain, creating a 1/4” dado. The fence should also be set (again with the use of a ruler) at 1/4”.

Make dado cuts along the back side of each of the sides, and the top of your bottom shelf. Be sure to use a hold down style push block in order to maintain a uniform dado the entire length of each piece.

With the Inside Top Support piece set up on edge, cut a 1/4” dado the entire length of the piece.

Now to cut the tenons on the Inside Top Support, the blade height will be lowered to 1/4”, which can again be done with the setup bar.

The fence should be set to 1/8” away from the inside blade.

Using the miter sled, start on the outside of the piece and make a pass.

Slide the piece so it is touching the fence and make a second pass. After your second pass, flip the piece over and repeat the process.

Now the pieces can be dry assembled (without glue!) And tested for fit. You may need to sand some of the ends of the plywood if they splintered when crosscut to final length.

Make sure the dado is facing down on the Inside Top Support.

If all pieces fit together, double check the inside measurements for the back panel.

Disassemble the carcass and cut the back panel to final size. I will have a piece of paper labeling the measurements for the holes to be drilled on the inside of the side pieces for the floating shelf. After those holes are drilled, all pieces are ready for final assembly. Glue should be used in all dados, with a minimum of 3 clamps, one spanning across each shelf. The final casework will look Like this.

This part should now be set aside and production can begin on the face frame and/or door, which will be outlined in the 2nd and 3rd blog entries.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

3 comments so far

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3411 days

#1 posted 09-25-2016 03:09 PM

Nice step by step

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

23765 posts in 3712 days

#2 posted 09-25-2016 03:50 PM



-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View doubleDD's profile


8971 posts in 2650 days

#3 posted 09-25-2016 06:59 PM

Nice and easy presentation.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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