To begin making a cabinet, follow these easy steps:
- Draw a draft of your design with measurements or scales. Your draft should be based on the style and location that you want, how much you can afford, and your current as well as projected storage needs.
- Select wood that is strong and can be stained or painted. Avoid those that are warped or damaged. Three-quarter inch plywood shelving is a good choice, and it saves you money. Make a materials and tools checklist, and gather these items where you will build the cabinet.
- Cut the plywood into the parts of the cabinet with a round or table saw. Accuracy is very important here, so double- or triple-check every measurement before cutting. Secure a straight edge across the wood to act as a guide.
- To strengthen the hold of the skeleton, apply glue on the sides and on the sides of the base. Assemble the skeleton by nailing the sides to the bottom and the top using 6D finishing nails. Clamping the sides to the base will stabilize the unit. Don’t hammer in nails until you have checked that your cabinet is geometrically aligned.
- Spread glue on the edges of the face frame and the plywood. Carefully clamp the face frame to the skeleton. Check if the ends of the face frame align perfectly with the skeleton. Pre-drill the nail holes at the top, middle, bottom, and on the sides to use finishing nails without bending them.
- Nail the frame to the skeleton using 6D finishing nails (without heads). Set the nails about 16th of an inch below the surface of the wood. Be cautious in pounding the nails to avoid denting the wood and scarring it. Cover the nails with wood dough so that they will not be noticeable.
- After attaching all the parts, slowly sand the whole surface of the cabinet. Use medium sandpaper for the first sanding and fine sandpaper for a smoother effect. In between sanding, vacuum frequently to get rid of dust. If you wish to attach doors or a false front to the skeleton, sand them along with the surface of the skeleton.
- Apply fast drying polyurethane for finishing, as it is highly water resistant. Eliminate all finger-marks, dust, and excess glue before putting on the finish. Vacuum or brush the entire unit (vacuum the room also), then clean with a cloth. You may coat it with paint or varnish.