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Project Information

Since I had a few panels of oak MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) I decided to use that, I usually don't like using MDF because its not a very strong material and its as bad or worse than plywood with the exposed edges. That is why I also decided to use solid oak edge banding on all exposed edges of the pieces of MDF.
Here are the parts and corresponding material type

Sides (MDF) + Solid Oak Edge-banding
Back (MDF)
Shelves (MDF) + Solid Oak Edge-banding
Shelf fronts (Solid Cherry)


My first step in this project was to cut all the parts to final size on the table-saw and this was pretty uneventful other than making sure I followed my cut-list dimensions precisely.


As I stated previously I used solid oak edge banding to cover the horrible MDF edges, and since I was using Oak veneered MDF I used solid oak edge banding.
There are many ways to edge-band I chose to use my biscuit jointer and glue to adhere the oak wood to the edges of both the sides and the shelves as these would be visible unless I didn't. I didn't need to edge the back as both sides of the back would be sitting in rabbets in the sides.
Edge banding provides a few benefits especially when dealing with MDF, it provides more rigidity to the edges and it also makes a panel look like solid wood even though it is not.
After the I left the edge banding glue up over night I returned with my router and flush trim bit to make everything flush.


The part of this project with the most to do was definitely the sides of the unit because:
I needed to add the solid oak edge banding I also needed to cut all the joinery for the unit into the sides, which included rabbets on both back edges of the sides. I also needed to position 2 dadoes per side to attach the shelves to. I also needed to pre drill the sides with countersunk holes that I would later add walnut dowels to cover up the screws. Finally I needed to cut 1 hole per side that fit the 3/4" diameter dowel that would later hold the paper towel.


I figured it would be better to pre-drill the sides now before I assemble and make it easier to install the screws at the end of the project, so I used my drill and counter-sinking bit to make the hoes needed to attach the 1-1/4" screws that will secure the shelves and the back in place while the glue cures.
I also added some walnut dowels to cover up the screw holes, I had some walnut dowel leftover from the assembly table project.


I wanted to use solid wood fronts on the shelves for a couple of reasons, I wanted to introduce a different wood to provide the unit with some contrast, so I used some scrap cherry that had been lying around, I also wanted to add some design elements into the unit so I added some curves using my scroll saw and sanded it on my spindle and belt sander. I think they came out ok but they really came to life after adding the polyurethane wood finish.


I almost always do a dry assembly on a project before I glue it up for a couple of reasons
- Make sure all the joinery was cut correctly
- Rehearse the order of clamps that need to be used.
- See How it looks


All that was needed was to apply a couple coats of polyurethane to the unit to protect it and stock it full of stuff.
I decided to place all my glue bottles and accessories on the top shelf and my disposable gloves on the bottom shelf, so everything I need for a glue up (except clamps) is in one place.

I do have a blog that provides more detail on the build and you can find it here



1,902 Posts
I think its great, functional, looks great. May I ask what holds the wooden dowel that holds the paper roll in place? From the pic it Seems like some sort of plastic black nut..????
Kind Regards

1,069 Posts
I think its great, functional, looks great. May I ask what holds the wooden dowel that holds the paper roll in place? From the pic it Seems like some sort of plastic black nut..????
Kind Regards

- anthm27
Thanks Anthony this