Cabinet Making Books

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Forum topic by Beams37 posted 06-08-2015 12:52 AM 1490 views 1 time favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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166 posts in 2155 days

06-08-2015 12:52 AM


Can anyone recommend a book to learn about cabinet making? I’m not looking to start a business, but would like to understand how to make a ply box and put a hardwood frame on the front. It would just be nice to make a few things around the house.

Thanks for looking.

-- FNG ... On a quest for knowledge.

23 replies so far

View Pezking7p's profile


3359 posts in 2617 days

#1 posted 06-08-2015 12:55 AM

Beams, I went looking for the same thing a few years ago. I only bought one book but I found it lacking. I learned a lot more from YouTube than from books.

If you’re just making regular cabinets, I strongly recommend pocket screws.

Good luck and let me know if you have any specific questions.

-- -Dan

View Beams37's profile


166 posts in 2155 days

#2 posted 06-08-2015 12:57 AM

I will probably reach out at some point Dan. Thanks for the advice.

-- FNG ... On a quest for knowledge.

View Woodknack's profile


13541 posts in 3345 days

#3 posted 06-08-2015 01:40 AM

A “cabinetmaker” is a furniture maker but I’m guessing you are interested in kitchen cabinetry.
This book is the nuts and bolts of building kitchen cabinetry along with measurements.

A book of diagrams on how to build just about any kind of furniture.

Bob Lang has a well regarded book on kitchen cabinetry but I haven’t read it.

If you want to make furniture. Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking is the book you want.

-- Rick M,

View mountainaxe's profile


158 posts in 3470 days

#4 posted 06-08-2015 10:40 AM

The Complete Cabinetmaker's Reference (Popular Woodworking) Hardcover – October 28, 2005
by Jeffery Piontkowski. You can get this used for just a few bucks on Amazon.

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 2196 days

#5 posted 06-08-2015 11:05 AM

I read everything and then went to work in a cabinet shop. What I read was really bad. What I learned was really good.

Ever thought about a free evening apprenticeship? Offer your services to the local shop.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3335 days

#6 posted 06-08-2015 03:27 PM

I’m in the planning stages of our kitchen remodel and just finished reading Robert Lang’s “The Complete Kitchen Cabinet Maker”. It was a very informative book, but I wouldn’t consider it a sole source of information for cabinet construction. It does an excellent job of discussing materials, joinery, hardware, countertops, installation, etc. It does give you enough information on various types of joinery to make an informed decision on what type you think you might use. What it does not do is give detailed step-by-step instructions on how to construct a cabinet using a particular type of joinery, but it gives you the basic overview. I think it was money well spent.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6717 posts in 3459 days

#7 posted 06-08-2015 04:33 PM

I have Bob Lang's book and find it to be very good. Buy a used one for dirt cheap.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View wiwildcat's profile


58 posts in 2928 days

#8 posted 06-08-2015 04:57 PM

Also check out your public library. A good place to start without spending a buck.

-- Wisconsin Wildcat

View skatefriday's profile


487 posts in 2448 days

#9 posted 06-08-2015 05:14 PM

+1 to the library suggestion.

I checked out roughly 10 or so cabinet making books from LA’s library over
the course of 6 months or so.

Most were complete junk. I ended up repeatedly renewing Bob Lang’s
book and so then decided I should support the author and bought a copy.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4196 days

#10 posted 06-08-2015 05:17 PM

You Tube is loaded with just about anything you can ask for. I have watched a lot of videos. some folks (like me) just aren’t cut out to be videographers! They might have a good idea but they video is shaky, out of focus, or the narrator (usually the same person) rambles on and on.

Sayin’ all that, I did find a few. Kris Reynolds Custom Cabinets has several videos describing and demonstrating how to build custom kitchen cabinets. His videos are easy to watch and straight to the point.

I have watched them several times. I decided I could follow his basic workflow and build our cabinets. Well, I wound up building a buffet in our dining room, our complete kitchen, a complete kitchen for my sister-in-law and some cabinets for my mom’s kitchen.

Basic boxes with face frames. His methods work for me. I use mostly full extension soft close drawer slides and Blum soft close hinges for the doors.

Good luck

Kris Reynolds Custom Cabinets

Our Buffet

Mom’s Cabinets

Our kitchen

Terry’s Liquor Cabinet using faace frame construction

Our grandson’s dresser/changing table

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View BobLang's profile


177 posts in 4366 days

#11 posted 06-08-2015 09:37 PM

Thanks for the kind words about “The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker”. You can buy it directly from me at this link, and there are some posts on my site that are adapted from the text of the book.

My apologies for being self-serving and commercial, but if you buy any book directly from the author your $ provide much more support than if you get it elsewhere.

-- Bob Lang,

View Robert's profile


4279 posts in 2446 days

#12 posted 06-09-2015 12:41 AM

I’ll weigh in by saying:

1) Cabinet making is NOT furniture making (unless you call making raised panel doors “furniture making”). It is basically joining sheet materials together and there is no need for joinery in doing that. In cab making its all about efficiency and repetitive, repeatable steps. The only real craftsmanship in the accuracy of cutting sheet goods and precisely joining them together.

2) I strongly recommend you NOT use pocket screws, especially on frame and panel doors. They have been proven to be one of the weakest joining methods out there. Building the boxes with simple butt joints and screws are much, much stronger. Standard cope and stick doors are also much stronger than pocket screws.

I’ve built a kitchen and numerous cabinets using the 32mm system (aka “frameless cabinets, Euro style cabinets).
I recommend a book by Danny Proulx.

Invented in Germany about 70 years ago, I believe this is the simplest, most accurate way to build a cabinet box.
The methodology is simple, easilly repeated and extremely accurate.

Euro style or concealed hinges were actually designed for it.
The lack of a face frame opens up alot of possibilities for design, for example, sliding shelves.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Andre's profile


4092 posts in 2771 days

#13 posted 06-09-2015 12:58 AM

Start with A Cabinetmakers Note Book or The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking by James Krenov then you feel inspired he has a few more worth reading! Changed my outlook on life as well as working with wood!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Beams37's profile


166 posts in 2155 days

#14 posted 06-09-2015 02:16 AM

First off, thank you all for your input.

Second, there are clearly strong opinions.

I am looking for insights and instruction. I am not going to pick one way to do it today and never change. But, I like that you all have given me some good places to start.

-- FNG ... On a quest for knowledge.

View Beams37's profile


166 posts in 2155 days

#15 posted 06-09-2015 02:18 AM

Thanks for the kind words about “The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker”. You can buy it directly from me at this link, and there are some posts on my site that are adapted from the text of the book.

My apologies for being self-serving and commercial, but if you buy any book directly from the author your $ provide much more support than if you get it elsewhere.

- BobLang


Your book sounds like a great place to start. I am all about supporting the “little guy” and you should see an order from me in the near future.

You also may see some PM’s HAHA

-- FNG ... On a quest for knowledge.

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