One thing you’ll notice in my shop is that
the walls are pretty bare. One reason for that is that I’ve always kept most of my
small tools – as well as my screws and nails – in a small room just outside my garage.
Needless to say it’s super annoying to have to run out and grab a screw every time I need
one. So today I’m going to build a simple wall cabinet in this little nook here that
will store all of my fasteners and hardware. Let’s get started. So the plywood shelves were completely bare
at my local home center, but I managed to pick up a few quarter sheets of ¾ inch plywood
that I’ll use to build the carcass.
I made all the cuts on the table saw following the
dimensions in the plans I drew up. If you’re interested in building this storage cabinet,
you’ll find a link to the plans in the description below. With my sides and shelves cut, it’s
time to make some dadoes – first, for the shelves, which will help give the cabinet
more rigidity – and second, for the sliding doors. Here I’m marking the dadoes on each part
just so I don't get mixed up and make a mistake. Now I could cut these dadoes using my router
and a homemade fence, but… I do have this very nice router table that I made a few years
ago… and that I really don’t use often enough. I’ll use a ½ inch straight bit to make
the dadoes for the doors since the doors will be made of half inch plywood.
Plywood is always
a bit undersized, so the doors should slide nicely. I set the fence to half an inch from
the bit, then set the bit height to about an eighth of an inch, and made a first pass.
I could then raise the bit to a quarter inch and make the second pass. It helps to trail
with a scrap piece of plywood to prevent tearout at the back of the panel. Just hold it down
until the router comes to a full stop. Now the secret to sliding doors is that the groove
at the top of the cabinet has to be deeper so you can pop the doors in.
So for the top
panel, I raised the bit once again, and made the dado a little deeper. I could then move
the fence back a bit and repeat the process for the second set of dadoes for the sliding
doors. Ok I’m sure that was a little confusing,
so let me recap, here I’ve got the bottom and the top panels with 2 parallel dadoes;
the top ones being deeper than the bottom ones. Again this is so you’ll be able to
slide the door in. Over here we’ve got the left and right panels, with the dadoes being
offset just like the doors will be. At this point, just to be safe, I checked
that a half inch piece of plywood would fit to make sure my doors would actually work.
Now to help them slide smoothly, I sanded the inside edges using sandpaper wrapped around
a thin piece of wood, and also broke all the edges.
Okay, time to move onto making the dadoes
for the shelves. This time I’m going to use a 3/4 inch straight bit. I lined both
sides up and marked where the dadoes would go. Now I’ll need to clamp down a guide
for my router and here’s a little trick to figure out where to clamp it. On a scrap
piece, trace a line and clamp a guide on that line, then use your router to cut the dado.
Now you can measure the distance between the dado and the line and use that measurement
to offset your guide.
So with that figured out I clamped my guide
and cut the dadoes making 2 shallow passes – which makes it easier on the router and
the bit and also helps to prevent burning and tearout. As you can see, I made sure to
stop and turn off the router just short of the edge so I wouldn’t blow through. With that done, I could move onto assembly,
but I noticed that my plywood edges are all different in pattern and colour, so I decided
to add some quick iron-on edge-banding to hide the front edges of the cabinet. This
is super easy to apply using an old iron cranked up to the highest setting. Just take it slow,
but keep the iron moving until the glue melts and sticks the banding on. After the piece
has cooled off, I like to use this edge trimmer to trim the sides. I’ll leave a link to
this tool in the description below. Just squeeze and pull along the edge, and voilà. Then
I just snap off the edge and clean it up with some sandpaper.
I ran the sandpaper along
the edges too, and, when I’m done, this will look like a solid piece of wood. Okay, now the shelves have dadoes but the
top and bottom will be assembled using pocket screws. I grabbed my pocket hole jig and quickly
made a few pocket holes in both panels. All right, it’s time for assembly. I applied
some glue to the dadoes and propped up the shelves (edge banding facing front) so I could
pop them into the slots and then added some clamps. After that, the top and bottom get
secured with some pocket screws. I checked for square which is especially important since
this cabinet has no back to square it up. While that’s drying I’ll get to work on
the french cleat I’ll use to hang the cabinet on the wall. It’s essentially a strip of
plywood – that’s the full width of the cabinet – that I’ll rip in two on a 45 degree angle.
I’ll secure one half to the top of the cabinet using some glue, pocket screws and brad nails
and save the other piece to hang on the wall later.
As I mentioned before, I’m using ½ inch
ply for the doors. I thought about using quarter inch, but plywood tends to bow when it’s
too thin, so I think half inch is a safer bet. I used my track saw to break down this
sheet into manageable pieces, and finished cutting the doors to size on my table saw. The doors need some sort of recess to use
as a handle. Now, you could just make a hole here but I have a thing for red hardware in
my shop and I found the perfect little finger pulls for a few bucks, and figured why not. All right: moment of truth. If I did my math
right these should fit perfectly. I just need to insert the top first and push it all the
way up, swing the door in, and lower it into its track. The door should also slide into
the dadoes in the side panels, and this will hide any gaps or “mistakes” if your cabinet
isn’t perfectly square.
You can also add paste wax to help the doors slide better,
but for now everything looks great so I’ll leave it as is. Ok, let’s get this thing mounted onto the
wall, yeah? Ok so I’ve got the other half of the cleat here and I’ve pre-drilled 3
holes. I’ll just roughly transfer the center marking onto the wall. Now, since I’m mounting
to cinder block, I decided to go with Tapcon screws, so I’m using the drill bit that
comes in the package. If you’re mounting to drywall, make sure to anchor your cleat
into the studs. I’m going a quarter inch deeper than the screws will go, and making
sure to clean out all the dust from the hole.
I swear this is not what it looks like…
I’ll secure the first screw and level it, so I can then drill the other holes next.
Like I said – you got to clear away all the dust. Looking solid, so it’s time to get this
cabinet on the wall. Of course it’s awkward… and heavy… and in a second I’m going to
bang my head on the garage door railing, but it’s all worth it in the end, once the cleat
does its thing and the cabinet is hanging solid on the wall.
Yeah, it feels good. I can now pop in the doors just as before. To get myself organized, I headed over to
Princess Auto and picked up a BUNCH of storage boxes. They have all sorts of shapes and sizes
to choose from. And then, well …. I got organized! I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to
have all my screws and nails organized and easily accessible, all in one place. I even
sorted my dowels and biscuits, washers, and pretty much every fastener I have. Oh, and
yes, I labelled them all. And you know what? It’s soooooo incredibly satisfying.
Don’t forget to check out the plans below.
And until next time, thanks for watching, see you soon! [MUSIC].