I passed on a stand-alone cabinet job last year because the prospective
client poo-poohed the idea of anti-tip measures ... she had one small
boy, and another in the oven. I can't afford to risk what's taken years
to build defending a liability suit, insurance or no.
1. Buy a Kreg jig
2. Buy pre-finished 3/4 plywood
3. Build the boxes
4. Build a sub base to set cabinet on.
4. Build a face frame
5. Finish with gel stain and varnish.
The face frame is optional depending on your taste.
No face frame means flush mounted doors.
You need four doors for a cabinet that tall in my opinion.
You might also consider a wardrobe on top and drawers on the
Well, that's remarkably like what I was planning, if the word "planning"
can be applied to the random musing that I've done so far.
Haven't tried gel stain yet. But I have lots of scrap pieces, many of
which already have test finishes on them. Time to make some more I guess.
I had some similar cabinets made some years ago. They have two
full-height vertical doors. As I mentioned before, they are "faux" panel
style, 3/4" ply with 2" x 1/4" strips glued on to mimic three vertical
panels. I haven't had any trouble with those doors, perhaps because they
are essentially a solid piece of relatively thick plywood. Are you
suggesting that a tall true panel door might warp?
That's pretty handsome looking. I might consider something like that, if
I can get over my fear of drawers. :)
I made some cabinets for an entertainment center using maple plywood, and
some 1/4x1" maple strips as "banding". It was a pain to get them down to
be even on both sides with the plywood. The iron-on maple banding veneer
was much easier. Finished with blondest shellac as a seal coat, plus a
couple more coats. Then shellac- alkyd(?)poly mix, and finally poly-
pastewax mix with a touch of shellac. The latter a couple of coats. Then
rubbing, and the finish is looking like it will last.
I think I can be of some assistance here, which is rare given my modest
knowledge. I used a rabbet plane for a similar job. I set the fence on
the plane to the thickness of the edge piece, so I couldn't accidentally
cut into the face of the plywood. Then I set the depth stop so that the
plane would cut the edge piece exactly flush with the surface of the
ply. Someone with more developed skills might be able to do this by
"feel", but it worked nicely for me.
The iron-on maple banding veneer
I have to say, that looks like an argument for prefinished ply, at least
for a busy guy with limited skills. I count six or seven steps,
something I might try on a smaller project, but not on this one.
Great idea for a needed tool I don't yet have! Thanks!! Which brand and
model do you have?
Well, I do take my (retired) time, that is true, but shellac dries in
minutes, so several caots go on really fast. The other coats don't take
that much time either. So for me a little more time is fine, versus the
(likely) expense of prefinished ply. Although, maple ply of good quaity
isn't exactly cheap.
It's a Stanley #78, inherited from my Dad, who's still around but not
using such things anymore. You can use the right arrow key to see some
Looks BEAUTIFUL!! And the other pics are great as well, at least the
ones I looked at!
FB, other computer stuff, just being retired.
As far as what I do between coats on the wood, with the coats of shellac,
nothing. Light sanding later on, and with the pastewax final coats,
apply with #0000 steel wool, or similar non-steel, drying for a half-1
hour, then buffing with a car buffer (something Sears sold me decades
I considered using a router for that task. In my case, I was trimming a
1x2 oak edge that I had glued around the perimeter of a desktop (with
the 1.5" dimension vertical). I thus had a 3/4" thick surface to take
down a very small amount, and only in certain areas. I think I may even
have asked for advice here.
My fear was that I'd have trouble keeping the router square with only a
1.5" surface for the plate to ride on. Someone with more skill and
confidence might not have that problem. That notwithstanding, the plane
did a nice job and I wouldn't hesitate to do it that way again.
That's where a laminate trimmer comes in handy, like the Bosch Colt.
My problem with using a plane on plywood banding is the sheer thinness
of veneer in today's plywood. Even with my sharp, low angle, Veritas
block plane, I've knicked about as much veneer as I've gouged with a
router down through the years ... sometimes the grain just works against
That said, I trimmed all the banding on these parts yesterday with a top
bearing, flush trim, bit in the router table, with a split fence and
Much less chance of a screw-up when you're on a deadline, out of
material, and with no spare parts that would take hours to re-cut if you
slipped. ... and that is ALWAYS when it happens.
I often use an itsy-bitsy Stanley...don't recall the number but it is about
1/2 the size of a block plane, fits easily in one hand and lets me use my
palm and finger tips to guide/control it.
With either it or a block plane I point it about 60 degrees to what I want
to cut and then sort of slide the blade along the high edge. Much easier to
avoid nicking the veneer.
I have one, but I still wasn't confident that I wouldn't let the thing
tilt at some point, gouging out the edging.
In my case, the edging was solid...
... and the rabbet plane's "fence" made it impossible to cut anything
but the edge piece, handy for a guy like me. I had actually made a small
mock-up with the same materials (but only nailed together) as a test
before I did the trimming on the desktop.
My work piece was 72" x 32", so the router table was out.
No deadline but my own, but I was also well motivated not to screw up
what had cost a good bit of my time.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.