Office Cabinet

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Project by parnoldo posted 06-16-2009 12:32 AM 1544 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a new shop and although I’ve played around with small projects held together with drywall screws and home improvement for years, this is my first real sizable woodworking project.

Measures about eight feet tall by seven wide. It’s painted which hides a multitude of sins, and made mostly of mdf. The box was built several years ago as open shelving in our home office. My wife has been on me for ages to build doors to hide the clutter and I finally go around to it.

I used pocket hole joinery for the face frame (first time for that) which I was very pleased with, and this is my first shot at frame and panel doors. I was very pleased that they all turned out flat and square (even if the box isn’t quite) and the joints all fit together quite nicely. My wife did the custom paint job, it is her office after all.

I wish now that I had used a wider top rail and heavier moulding to balance out the piece. It’s very large and appears a little whimpy on top. But over all I’m very happy with it and I learned a LOT building it.

8 comments so far

View Alan's profile


443 posts in 4321 days

#1 posted 06-16-2009 02:29 AM

Very nice. I recently used pocket hole and was also impressed. I might have tried to make it so the bigger doors were on the bottom, it kind of looks top heavy with the big doors on top, anyway still looks good. Thanks for posting.

-- Alan, Prince George

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4809 days

#2 posted 06-16-2009 02:35 AM

Looks very nice. I like the color choice.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 4242 days

#3 posted 06-16-2009 03:09 AM

Curious as to what your biggest PITA was when putting faces & doors on an already established box? I have a similar project in line. Did you find it easy enough to make the pocket holes within the existing carcass?

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 4225 days

#4 posted 06-16-2009 04:58 AM

I like the style and is very clean. Great job!

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4494 days

#5 posted 06-16-2009 05:03 AM

View Jeff's profile


95 posts in 4215 days

#6 posted 06-16-2009 06:04 AM

I just used pocket holes on my latest project (not posted here yet), and as long as the rails and stiles are cut square and the same length, it really seems to go together square very easily. Those look great. Hiding mistakes with paint isn’t a bad thing, it’s the best way to really learn. Next time when you want to make something that isn’t painted, you may not make the same mistakes.

-- - In the end, everything will be okay. If it isn't okay, it isn't the end yet.

View parnoldo's profile


5 posts in 4184 days

#7 posted 06-16-2009 05:26 PM

Thanks for the comments, all.

mtkate, the face frame was the biggest PITA that I faced with this project and took the most to figure out. Basically I took careful measurements ensuring the face would fit the way I wanted, then cut, drilled the pockets and assembled the perimeter and and two long center rails (of the face frame) in the shop. Then it wouldn’t fit through the door. So I disassembled, brought it inside and reassembled. Jeff is right, if the pieces are cut square it goes together pretty square.

I had installed side trim pieces to the cabinet first to have a finished edge to fit to and more surface to attach to. I hung the frame from a couple of Irwin squeeze clamps from the top of the box to get it into rough position and screwed in the three cross pieces (all pre cut and pre drilled). That made it reasonably rigid but still flexible enough to cheat into position where needed. Then it’s all careful positioning, glue on every mating surface and a brad nailer (I love that thing) to hold it in place ‘til the glue dried. It’s almost impossible to clamp but I was able to squeeze clamp it to the 1×4 side trim to help hold it in place. I considered using biscuits for alignment Norm style but I couldn’t seem to make sense of it and didn’t want to screw up the whole thing trying.

I don’t know if I did it the best way but it worked. Good luck with yours.

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 4242 days

#8 posted 06-17-2009 02:27 AM

Thanks! Hearing/reading lessons learned is the best part of this web site. Putting large face frames together and forgetting whether or not they would fit through the door is something right up my alley. :) My biggest challenge is always cutting things square. I suspect I have a substandard miter gauge and rail guard so even if it starts out (measured) at perfect square something always “readjusts” itself.

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