I have been slowly building my shop and acquiring skills and tools (mostly hand tools, with the exception if a drill, circular saw, router, and cheap bench top band saw). Thus far I have constructed a couple of picture frames, and obviously my workbench and some winding sticks for planing panels.
My goal is to construct a cabinet to place over the toilet in my bathroom, and I think I am comfortable enough with my tools to start it, but I am having some trouble with design of the cabinet.
I know how big I want it to be, what the legs will look like and how to attach them o the body of the cabinet. I know I'm making raised panel doors with mitered corners for simplicity - no tennons or special router bits necessary.
But the part I'm not certain of is what I use for the back of the cabinet. I don't have a table saw, and working with sheet goods is a bit difficult with hand tools. What did people do for cabinet backs before plywood was invented? Half lap boards/beadboard? If so, what is it that keeps the cabinet square? Additional rails in the back of the cabinet at a few points, maybe?
Basically what I need to know is, what are my options for the back of a cabinet? Can I use solid wood rather than plywood, and if so, how?