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building a drawer/cabinet?

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  • Dec 30th, 2005 9:59 am
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Banned
Oct 8, 2005
159 posts

building a drawer/cabinet?

i want to build one, any tips? like a list of things to buy, obviously i need work and what do i buy to hold and the slide the drawers in and out? and how to i make it study? any tips for that? what about finishing? i was thinking of grabbing the supplies at home depot

TIA, ill ask more questions when they come up
10 replies
Deal Addict
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Oct 12, 2001
3612 posts
92 upvotes
You really need to start with more basic projects to better understand the types of joints, hardware, tools, that are all available choices in doing a job IMHO.

Unless you're a real self-starter, I'd suggest a night course at a local college to help you get on your feet, so to speak and get the learning started.

There are a tonne of resources on the net that can walk you through the process, even some forums like RFD, but for woodworking. From the sounds of it, you'd better serve yourself by getting some hands-on. Its what I would do if I were a beginner getting going.

Or, I think you can go buy kits at Ikea that are all pre-cut, pre-assembled that might work too.

Or, come to think of it, a guy could always just duct tape it together... :twisted:
What the H E double hockey sticks have I done now?
Deal Addict
Jul 22, 2005
1399 posts
47 upvotes
If you want sturdy, use screws and not nails. They "bite" into the wood better.

Making the rectangular box shouldn't be hard for you. But make sure it's perfectly square (90 degree angles in each corner). Then make some trianguler pieces to brace it together and keep the form.
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 25, 2004
5655 posts
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New Westminster
What level of quality are you looking for ??? Something like Ikea or better for inside the home ... or something for the garage / back deck (and my question is NOT where are you putting it but what level of quality do you want?)
Member
Apr 19, 2003
260 posts
Hamilton
Use wood screws and glue for the stress areas (corners, legs etc). You will have to pre-drill the screw holes.
If you intend to apply a finish, avoid getting glue onto the exposed areas of the wood.
You can buy metal drawer glides at Home Depot. They are available for as little as $5 per set(2).
Member
Sep 22, 2005
386 posts
1 upvote
CheapScotsman wrote:What level of quality are you looking for ??? Something like Ikea or better for inside the home ... or something for the garage / back deck (and my question is NOT where are you putting it but what level of quality do you want?)
This is a really good question. You need to answer this before people can really help you.

Having said that, keeping things square is absolutely the most inportant thing. Also, buy good quality runners for the drawers...makes all the difference.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
16035 posts
6209 upvotes
ecet wrote:gonna put it in a bedroom to use for storage, quality doesnt have to be top-notch but decent or above average would be fine. any ideas on what type of wood to get and the finish to use. what are the cost of each type of wood relative to each other and the quality?
Are you going to stain the wood or paint the wood?

If you plan on staining the wood, you'll need to get something that works well with stain (Oak) if you want the best results.

If you're just painted, you can go with a much larger selection of woods.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
16035 posts
6209 upvotes
ecet wrote:probably paint it since its easier, any tips on that? im thinking of just going over it with a can of paint and a wide brush...
I prefer the finish a roller or foam brush would leave behind rather than brush marks.
Member
Mar 17, 2004
425 posts
15 upvotes
You may want to look into specifics on cabinet/drawer construction technics and principles before you start. Go to the library and look at some carpentry books. Learning how to do dado and dovetail joints/cuts etc take time and practice but are much stronger than butting and nailing several pieces of wood together......
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 25, 2004
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Based on the quality you want ... I would seriously take dealhunting's suggestion. You are about to find out why a quality hand built piece of furniture costs dollars.
Member
Aug 11, 2003
434 posts
7 upvotes
CheapScotsman wrote:Based on the quality you want ... I would seriously take dealhunting's suggestion. You are about to find out why a quality hand built piece of furniture costs dollars.
I agree with both dealhunting and CheapScotsman. It is hard to save any money here. I was buying a small piece of 1x2 oak yesterday. The actual finished dimensions is 3/4 inch by 1.75 inches. It costs approximately $1.50 per foot. Check to see what "Good on one side plywood" costs these days. There is a reason why most of the furnature at Ikea is particle board.

A person needs to be quite skilled to cut a clean dovetail using chisels. Or you can buy a good router, bits and a dovetailing jig like the pros. Then you need to get some gluing clamps.

Where are you going to do the work? Have you thought of all the sawdust that the project is going to create. Years ago, I cut several sheets of plywood in the basement of my house to make some simple shelves. Had sawdust everywhere for months. Never again. Now, I cut all my wood outside. I don't have a professional dust handling system.

Personally, I think making cabinets only make sense if you enjoy doing this kind of work (a hobby), you are repairing something or you already have the skills and tools. Most of us cannot do this to save money. Production shops buy materials for far less than the average person, and have jigs and other tools to do the work and have air handling equipment to handle the dust and other debris.

I have never built a cabinet but I did take a cabinet making course. So, here is a limited number of tricks from someone who has never done it before. As others have pointed out, you want things square. Take advantage of the factory edges. Most factory edges are square. Line up the back of the cabinet to the factory edges of the plywood.
In most cases it is more important that matching pieces be precisely the same dimension than to the precise inch or mm. Cut matching pieces at the same time. For example, in most cases, it doesn't matter if the width of a bookcase is precisely 12 inches wide. It doesn't matter if the width is out by 1/16 of an inch. But both sides and the top and bottom should be precisedly the same. Set up your table saw and cut both sides and the top and bottom at the same time. This not only saves time but results in a project that is square.

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