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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to find some cabinet plans and try my hand at making some simple units for utility purposes. Anyone have any suggestions on where to start?
 

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As regards cabinetry, function begets form

so the first step is to decide the function of the enclosure. Where will it be placed and how would you like it to be finished. After you have satisfied those questions in your mind, I'm betting that the design will be easy for you without searching for someone elses ready made plans. If you have specific questions regarding the construction of the joints etc, fire away but address the stated preliminaries first.

Ed
 

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For my first cabinet, I bought a woodworking magazine that had a description that I liked of how to build a basic cabinet and face frame. I made sure that the techniques described matched the tools I had or could be modified. Then I adjusted the dimensions for my particular application. Also, Rockler sells books that have basic cabinet building techniques. I have been using that basic design ever since, but have now modified it a bit as the "case" may be (pun intended).
 

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I employ a practical system

for cabinet fabrication that is probably not all that unique. I cut a ¼" deep dado in the sides and back to accept the bottom panel the shelves (if fixed location) and the top. The sides are also cut to recieve the back panel. If the cabinet will have next door neighbors, I will drill through from the inside on the center line of the dado so that I have accurate placement for the screws I will use to hold it together while the glue dries. Otherwise, if the end panels are exposed I will use glue and angled brads on the inside and clamps outside. Faceframes are normally assembled with pocket screws and attached with biscuits and gravy (glue) or just glue and brads. Some tricks I employ include finishing the cabinet components prior to assembly. If you don't finish the full sheet before you cut it to size. Remember to mask your joint surfaces before you apply the finish so as to not compromise the glue joint. I also finish the faceframe before I install it because it will normally be stained where the inside of the cabinets most likely won't be.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ed, lots of questions, some are very basic. I'm really new to woodworking.

I cut a ¼" deep dado in the sides and back to accept the bottom panel the shelves (if fixed location) and the top. The sides are also cut to recieve the back panel.
How much space do you leave between the edge of the material and the dado?

... I will drill through from the inside on the center line of the dado so that I have accurate placement for the screws I will use to hold it together while the glue dries.
Screws go in from the outside to hold the shelves in place?

Otherwise, if the end panels are exposed I will use glue and angled brads on the inside and clamps outside.
I don't quite understand how you angle the brads from the inside. Maybe this ties in with my earlier question about dado setback from edge of material?

...pocket screws and attached with biscuits and gravy (glue) or just glue and brads.
What are "pocket screws?"

Thanks in advance.
 

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Well....here goes.....as best as I can.

[1] The dado cuts for the back (¾" thick for me), top and bottom actually perform as a rabett cut in that when assembled, the back is flush with the edge of the sides as are the top and bottom.
[2] As to the screws going in from the outside, that is only when there is another cabinet or a dress panel going against it to conceal the screw heads.
[3] The angled brads go through the shelf at about 30 degrees and penetrate the side. The back can be nailed into the edge of the dado as can the top and bottom. The specific purpose of the brads is to hold everything together until the glue cures.
[4] Pocket screws are used in conjunction with pocket screw holes, pocket screw drill fixtures and pocket screw drivers and the current leader of the pack is "Kreg". Give them a look. Once you try them you will find a gozillion uses for them.

Ed
 
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