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Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 22: Start Building Cabinets

Now that you can easily mill boards to consistent size, prepare lumber for a set of base cabinets. A countertop bridging two cabinets, as shown above, creates another shop worksurface. Plywood makes quick work of assembling the boxes, and a pocket-hole jig helps you make the face frames fast from solid wood.

Plywood door panels rest in frames joined by stub tenons and grooves, and the drawer and door joinery can be cut entirely on the tablesaw. Watch a free video demonstrating how to cut the drawer joinery, then read about making the doors. Download tips for selecting hinges and hanging cabinet doors, and learn great tips for installing drawer slides.  For the countertop, simply trim 34 " MDF with 1 12 "-wide hardwood to protect any exposed edges. This free article provides all the specifics on how to construct these cabinets. 

Pocket-hole joinery requires a special jig, below, to drill angled holes on the hidden face of a workpiece. Washer-head screws driven into the holes bite into the mating piece, pulling the joint tight. The Kreg R3 pocket-hole jig comes with a special bit for drilling the flat-bottomed holes, and a long square-drive bit for installing the screws. You can buy plugs to fill visible holes. Get tips on making pocket-hole joints here.

IS6 Kreg Jig

To add adjustable shelves inside your cabinets, make a simple shelf-pin drilling jig, below, that perfectly aligns the holes for all four pins. Fabricated from a couple of scraps, this jig automatically spaces the next shelf-pin hole by indexing from the hole you just drilled. A stop-collar on the bit limits the hole depth so you don’t drill through the workpiece.

IS6 Shelf-pin Jig

The pocket-hole jig, drill-bit stop collar, and materials for the cabinets eat up most of this check. Paycheck 23 provides more building opportunities.

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