Building your own shelves and cabinets can not only save you money, but give you an immense feeling of satisfaction. You don’t even need lots of experience to build a basic cabinet, just some free time, patience, the right tools and some handy pointers. Which is where we come in.
Your basic materials are up to you. Building the carcass – or cabinet box – can be achieved with any number of materials. Do some thorough research online. Gather tools from a reputable firm such as RS Components – click the link to see screws and other materials.
Base cabinet boxes are build with two gable ends (or sides), a back, top and bottom. Naturally, the width of the carcass interior is determined by the width of the top and bottom boards. Using simple butt joints, the gables are attached to the top and bottom boards.
The Back Board
The backboard is often an issue when building cabinets. Is it better to use simple mounting strips, a ¼” backboard, or full width material. The mounting strips are easier to fit, but the full back board makes for a stiffer, more secure cabinet. It also makes it far easier to mount to the wall, and more resistant to twisting (or ‘racking’) which is a distinct possibility when mounted – especially if the wall is less than flawless.
After you’ve built the carcass, you have two options. Firstly, tape can be applied to the front edges. Second, you can build a solid wood frame to cover the exposed edges. Both choices are popular. The frameless style is more after the European fashion, whilst the face frame is more associated with North America.
Before embarking on construction, do some research, especially if you haven’t had any experience before. If possible, take a woodwork class in the evenings. Although this may be an initially expensive outlay, in the long run you will be equipped to build all your own furniture – saving yourself a bunch of money in the long run.
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