Built-ins That Blend In

We shadowed two experienced makers and installers of custom cabinetry to bring you simple tips and tricks that will keep your built-in projects (and your sanity) “on the bubble.”


Finishing reclaimed lumber

Building a project from reclaimed lumber creates a piece with instant character, not to mention the green benefits of salvaging some wonderful material. But freshly cut edges and ends lack that time-worn patina and stick out like a sore thumb. With a little trial and error, plus a mix of finishing techniques, you can have your reclaimed-lumber projects looking good as old.

To demonstrate, we built the chairside chest from issue 229 (November 2014) using pine shelving rescued from a shut-down, century-old shoe store. 


Cut perfect rabbets with a router bit

Virtually every cabinet you build uses rabbet joinery somewhere: for lock-rabbet drawers, on inset doors, as a recess to house the back of a bookcase. A rabbeting router bit helps you make them all.