How To Make Wall Cabinets Workshop Projects

These wall cabinets are a modular design, much like the base cabinets I already made in this series. There will be two identical units that will be installed side by side, with shelves and doors.

Once again I’m using 3/4″ maple veneer plywood to make most of the parts for the box (carcass) of the cabinets:

The side panels are rabbeted on the back edge for the back panel, and the top and bottom edges for the top and bottom panels.

I’m using my homemade shelf pin jig with a router to drill the shelf pin holes in the side panels:

I didn’t have a 1/4″ bit that was long enough, so I shortened a regular drill bit and used that instead:

It made very neat, clean holes:


These are assembled in the same way as the base cabinets. The bottom and top panels are glued and screwed into the rabbets cut into the sides. I drove brads to hold the parts before drilling and driving the screws at a slight angle:

That angle places the screw more in the centre of the plywood for greater strength.

I used polyurethane construction adhesive as the glue. Mainly because it’s cold in my shop and this glue works better than regular glue at low temperatures. Also, it’s thick and doesn’t drip all over the place when using it on vertical assemblies like this:

The back is 1/2″ plywood that’s glued and held in place with 1-1/4″ brads:

Installing the back panel also squares the box, so it a good idea to do that before the glue dries.

These cabinets have a face frame, and again I’m using solid oak for this. I picked out enough rough lumber and trimmed it to rough length:

And here’s what’s left after ripping, jointing, more ripping and planing. Four stiles (vertical parts of the frame) and four wider rails (horizontal parts of the frame):

I decided to assemble the frame directly on the box. I started with the rails cut to the right length and glued those on with 1-1/4″ pin nails to hold them:

I then added the stiles in the same way. Since the edges of these frames will not be seen (they either go up against each other or other cabinets), I reinforced the corners with 2″ screws:

The same could be done with dowels glued in and cut off flush.

I installed cabinets after letting the glue dry on the face frames:

The cabinets are screwed to the wall studs with at least four screws per cabinet. I’ve found that provides more than enough holding power even for the heaviest (fully loaded) cabinets.

I also gave the cabinets the first coat of water based polyurethane to protect them and keep them looking good:

I want to make doors for these as well, and that’ll come next. They can be left open, though, especially if you use nice plywood for the inside.