I'm new to woodworking and need some advice on my first real project.
I'm building some cabinets for my garage and haven't found any good
plans to go by so here's what I'm thinking of doing and my questions:
I'm going to build the cabinets out of ¾ in. birch plywood. If they
come out nicely I'll put a finish on them, otherwise I'll just paint
them. I want to make dado cuts in the sides for the top and bottom and
use 1/4 plywood for the back and set it in the width of the plywood (I
forget what you call this cut). The doors will be very simple. Just
3/4 inch plywood with hidden hinges. I'm going to finish the exposed
edges with iron on veneer. Here are my questions.
1) How deep do you cut the dado for the top and botton and for the
inset for the back panel? For that matter is it structurally sound to
make dado cuts in plywood?
2) What is the best way to cut the holes to set the hidden hinges in
3) What is the best way to cover the exposed edges of the plywood.
I've seen the iron on veneer used on a TV show but not sure if another
solution is available.
I don't think I was very clear on my question regarding the depth for
the dado and rabbet cuts. The sides will be 3/4 in. plywood. How
deep into the 3/4 in. should the rabbet and dado cuts be?. Should I
remove 1/4 inch of material, leaving 1/2 left in the side panel?
If I'm understanding coorrectly...
1/4" back, and you're making a rabbet cut into the end of the sides.
So your cut is 1/4" deep to handle the thickness of the back panel, and
you're asking how much of the 3/4" thickness of the side panel to cut
I'd take 3/8" to 1/2" depending on my mood. Taking 1/2" isn't going to
"The thing about saying the wrong words is that A, I don't notice it, and B,
sometimes orange water gibbon bucket and plastic." -- Mr. Burrows
Resources for you, check your local library:
I use 1/4 to 3/8" deep dadoes in 3/4" plywood. Inset the back panel so
it's flush. For example, if the back is 3/4" thick, you'd inset it 3/4"
Iron on edge banding or thin strips of solid wood both work well.
Don't forget to build in hard points for hanging cabinets. You don't
want a heavily loaded cabinet hanging from a 1/4" thick back.
As usual, there are many ways to do it, but what's worked for me are
3/4" ply or 3/4" solid wood, like oak or birch, rails 2-3" wide along
the top and bottom of the back, or a solid 3/4" ply back plate.
Danny Proulx's books are excellent for learning this type of stuff.
1 - I cut Dad's 1/4" deep but 1/2" will work and yes, it is structurally
2 & 3 - I would go with a face frame and Blum 35mm euro hinges for face
The hinges, a convenient and inexpensive jig and special drill bit can
be found in the Rockler's on line site or catalog. If you decide to go
with the euro style, no face frame, and banding the jig to cut the 35mm
holes will still work for the doors.
Note, face frame or no face frame I'd still go with a solid wood edge
for the carcass.
I built garage cabinets out of plywood and used 3/4 screen molding to
cover the front edges of the shelves.
On the doors I just used my router to but a roundover and bead on them.
The soak up extra varnish so they look darker than the faces of the
doors but I was happy with it.
I saw a lot of other people giving advice on the cabinet construction so
I'll pipe up on the edging. If you have a decent table saw, just cut your
own edgeing about 1/8" thick and glue it on. I don't know of anything
wrong with the ironed on stuff, but it is pretty easy to just glue the
banding on as well.
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