First cabinet

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Project by smozes posted 04-01-2018 01:47 AM 1017 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made to plan from Wood magazine. Carcass from scrap AC plywood, face frame from poplar, pre-finished plywood for backing and door fronts. Blumotion compact soft close hinges and Home Depot handles. Pocket screws, dados and staples.

Sprayed with acrylic clear coat satin using LVLP gun.

Some thoughts:

Practicing woodworking on low quality scrap is just not worth it.

Milling the dados for the door fronts was a lesson in non-standard 1/4” plywood thickness and that there exist blades with flat top teeth for a reason.

I got the 1/4” pre-finished plywood on a whim, but it turned out to be really challenging to cut cleanly, I’m not ready for it.

This was actually the first time I cut hardwood on my DeWalt 7491rs, it was a delicate balance between bogging down and burn marks. It also popped the fuse for the first time, because I have it and the dust collector on the same 20amp circuit. This was fine as long as I was cutting plywood but I’ll have to get real about electricals in the garage.

I also sprayed finish for the first time. I have a small 10 gallon California Airtools compressor, so bought the cheap Sprayit LVLP gun that only needs 6cfm and the compressor had no problem keeping up for this scale of work. The end result is pretty good, I was diligent with sanding between coats. Mostly just my mistakes show as drip marks here and there. I sprayed in a tent set up in the back yard and that worked well.

It’s mounted in the garage touching the ceiling, it’s very high, but I need all the space below it for tools.

Thinking of skill advancement, I’m getting the hang of it, I still make too many mistakes around measurements and glue ups but I’m managing to recover and work around issues.

I’m pretty beat but am excited for future projects around the house. Feels like a milestone and anything is possible.

11 comments so far

View Breeze73's profile


102 posts in 1569 days

#1 posted 04-01-2018 02:09 AM

Looks really good, especially for your first cabinet! I really like the sapwood and heartwood contrast in the frames! About the thickness of the plywood, it is actually very standard for plywood to be less than the thickness it is advertised to be. Usually it is a 1/32” less than what it says it is, but that can vary too. Everytime you are making dado’s with plywood, you have to measure it very carefully to set up your dado head. Or use a kerfmaker to setup your standard wood blade.

-- Breeze

View smozes's profile


28 posts in 1588 days

#2 posted 04-01-2018 02:26 AM

Thanks for the kerfmaker tip! I saw a few expensive dado jigs in the past but looking it up I just found a few built from wood.

View waho6o9's profile


8947 posts in 3465 days

#3 posted 04-01-2018 02:31 AM

Nothing beats perseverance, good job on your first cab smozes!

View Joe's profile


529 posts in 1974 days

#4 posted 04-01-2018 12:45 PM

Woodworking is all about challenges, looks like you did a very good job overcoming yours. Thanks for sharing

-- CurleyJoe, "You only learn from your mistakes"

View Bobsboxes's profile


1450 posts in 3552 days

#5 posted 04-01-2018 01:11 PM

Great first project, keep them coming.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View d38's profile


142 posts in 1150 days

#6 posted 04-01-2018 02:29 PM

Looks very nice. Your lessons learned will help with future projects.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3754 days

#7 posted 04-01-2018 09:29 PM

Congratulations on this cabinet.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Hazem's profile


260 posts in 2136 days

#8 posted 04-01-2018 10:02 PM

Looks great. I love the color variation.

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1787 days

#9 posted 04-02-2018 01:02 AM

Good job,
Looks like you made a lot of positive strides gaining experience.
Everyone started the same way.
I call it a success.

View mel52's profile


1708 posts in 1152 days

#10 posted 04-03-2018 03:15 AM

The grain and coloration of it is very eye catching. Good job.

-- MEL, Kansas

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 3921 days

#11 posted 04-03-2018 09:30 PM

Very Nice Work & Well Done Also! Thanks For Posting.


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

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