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boba7523 08-17-2008 01:33 PM

Newbie DIY garage cabinets
Hi guys, I'm new here and this looks like a great place for me to get some advice on a project I'm going to be start doing on the weekends, which is to make some cabinets for my garage from scratch. This is going to be my first project ever and I want the whole process to go smooth. I will list out my questions so they are better organized, and hope to generate some insightful responses this way:)

Cabinet #1
The first cabinet will be right beside the door entrance to the home and will be used to store shoes. Here are 2 diagrams I drew, kind of shows my plan I suppose. I hope it's helpful lol. It will look similar to the storage below, except I will be adding a sliding door to it.

Now here's my diagrams.

1.) What kind of wood would you guys recommend for garage cabinets that is strong and durable? I would like to get a smooth finish.

2.) I'm not quite sure what kind of screws and bolts should be used to hold together the wood pieces, and if washers are required, etc.


Termite 08-17-2008 03:40 PM

I'd use 3/4" birch plywood for the cabinet and would build the faceframe (if any) with poplar. I'd skin the back with 1/4" birch plywood or lauan.

The proper way to build cabinets doesn't involve screws or bolts. Ideally, dadoes and rabbets would be cut at every joint, or at least biscuits would be used. With either of these methods, diagonal finish nails would be shot in until the glue dries.

Assuming you aren't a woodworker and don't have the capability to cut dadoes and rabbets or install biscuits........................

Yellow wood glue and some trim head screws (small heads with #1 square drive) will probably work ok. The glue will do the bulk of the work and the screws will just reinforce things.

Be sure to install a couple of horizontal 1x cleats recessed into the back of the cabinet to facilitate mounting to the wall.

If you don't have a table saw for this project, borrow one. This isn't something that can be built easily or nicely with a circular saw.

I think that you'll gain a solid understanding of why custom cabinets cost so much after attempting this project. I strongly recommend getting a book on cabinetmaking so you can get a grasp on the fundamentals of building frameless cabinets before you undertake this and end up wasting $40/sheet plywood.

Termite 08-17-2008 03:42 PM

Also, if you can or if you want to...

Size your cabinets to get the most out of the material that you're purchasing. For example, your plywood will be 4'x8'. Having the cabinet only 35" tall will waste quite a bit of wood. The plywood is 96" wide, but with your 50" width you're losing a lot of wood to gain 2" of width. I'd aim for 48" width.

boba7523 08-17-2008 11:02 PM

Thanks for the informative reply! So circular saw isn't suggested in attempting this DIY? I'm not sure where to borrow a table saw... Do you know any places that can rent out these tools?

TazinCR 08-18-2008 07:44 AM

1 Attachment(s)
You can do it with a circular saw, just clamp a straight edge to the piece as a guide and take your time. Measure twice and cut once. Also with limited tools you may want to build the frame and the shelves would be cut 1/2 way from each side to slide together (can't remember what the joint is called). You have seen dividers in cardboard boxes that slide together to form dividers. If you go this route make sure you lay them out correctly and cut as close as you can for a better looking job.If you use 3/4 they sell trim to cover the face edges. Make sure you get a plywood blade for your saw. Rough cut blades will splinter the wood.

Termite 08-18-2008 08:03 AM


Originally Posted by thekctermite (Post 149396)
This isn't something that can be built easily or nicely with a circular saw.

I'll stick with this statement. :yes:

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