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Old 12-22-2008, 11:06 PM   #1
tdkkart
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Default Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

Moved into our new(to us) place back in Oct.
My portion of it is a 30x40 pole building, unfinished except for a 16' heated and insulated workshop in the rear. So far my shop activities have been mainly re-organizing all my crap so I can actually get something done.

A couple pics first:

View looking north............


Yes, the lift is for my Harley, but it makes a damn fine workbench, welding table and sawhorse when the bike isn't on it.

Heating system, in floor radiant using a 40 gallon electric water heater:


View looking south:


In the above picture I hung some old kitchen cabinets that we had in the basement of our old place. These cabinets immediately reminded me why I hate kitchen cabinets for shop use. The doors are too narrow, and the cabinets are only 12" deep which means nothing of consequence fits.
I had built 16" deep cabinets in my old place which are much easier to deal with.
The workbench was existing from the previous owner. Notice the notch in the middle. He was a woodworker, and a very good one at that, he had his power miterbox mounted in the notch which put it's bed at bench level on either side. Notice the "doggy door" in the left wall which allowed for long stuff to be slid in.
The bench is well built, sturdy and at a very nice height so I'm leaving it.


On to the new cabinets. I came up with a very simple design that uses a minimum of material and is easy to construct.
Please note that I am neither a cabinet builder or even a carpenter. My woodworking tools include a circular saw, a couple squares and a pencil.

Picked up some lumber and got started:

Just some simple 1x4 ladder frames attached to the wall.

Bought 2 4x8' sheets of "Melamien"(sp?) board, which is basically partical board with a hard white facing on front and back. Home Depot sells it in precut pieces for shelving. This product is much less likely to warp than plywood. I cut the doors out of the sheets leaving 3" around the outside and 6" in the middle. I cut them down to 42" wide which is the total heighth of the cabinets from the ceiling.
Bought 2 sheets of 3/8" plywood which I ripped lenghtwise to 16" widths. The plywood was laid on top of the frames in the previous pictures and screwed down, then the face frame was attached to the front:


Did I mention I HATE sawdust?? What a friggin' mess!!!


Doors were cut in half and hung on simple hinges, completing one section of cabinet:

Can you spot my fug-up in this pic??

More shelves:


Another face frame:


Did I mention I HATE sawdust?? I'll be cleaning it up for weeks:


16' of cabinets:


A bit of paint and door handles:


Populating the new storage:


They're not Gladiators, Craftsman, or Snap-On, but they came out pretty damn nice, with a total price tag of just $200. They'll fit my needs just fine.

Distractions out the window:

Last edited by tdkkart; 10-10-2009 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

looks really good
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

Well done. I like it a lot. I would have screwed that build up for sure.

How did you put the bottoms in each shelf? I noticed the framing, the face and then the doors were on. And, how are they attached to the wall to insure they can hold all the weight you seem to have in them?

Good choice on the grey, looks good.

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Old 12-22-2008, 11:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

Put a metal cutting saw, in the middle!

Looks good!
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

nice hinge fug Those look really cool, and I think I'll build some to match, and also paint mine. I built two long but skinny benches in my shop and quickly ran out of storage space (they are 18" x 8' x 42" tall), even with a shelf mid-way to the floor. Needless to say, I have too much stuff to store. For the cabinets, what paint is that?
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

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Originally Posted by iamhistory View Post
How did you put the bottoms in each shelf? I noticed the framing, the face and then the doors were on. And, how are they attached to the wall to insure they can hold all the weight you seem to have in them?

The bottoms are one-piece of 16" wide plywood, put on before the faceframe was installed. Doing it this way will probably bite me in the ass someday when I decide I need one of them out.

The walls and ceiling are all plywood thanks to the original owner so attaching anything is an easy task, though I did make an effort to hit the studs behind the plywood when I could. I've got about 10-12 screws in each one.
There is also blocking attached to the ceiling to hold the face frame and the front of the shelves up.
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

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nice hinge fug Those look really cool, and I think I'll build some to match, and also paint mine.For the cabinets, what paint is that?

Yep, the hinge goes below the line, not above it dumbass

The paint is Glidden "porch and floor" paint in "Steel Gray". Used it before with good results.
I would recommend either a primer base coat or sanding the white surface slightly to roughen it up do the paint has something to bite to, the white surfaces are pretty slick.
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

nice job.

I have a similar setup but I used 2x4s for the framing. I also left the melamine bare so I could a> write on it and b> its white and shiny so it reflects more light back to the bench (every little bit helps).

That's also why my garage is painted with glossy white bathroom paint.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........



The kitchen cabinets, or at least the doors are upside down.



I spotted the screw-up right from the get go. I have also done the same thing on quite a few occasions. LOL!!! I really like the doggy door idea Great way to utilize space and still be able to cut long boards.



That is why they invented leafblowers Open the door and let 'er rip.



FANTASTIC JOB Great looking cabinets. for not being a carpenter, you sure have everyone fooled
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin54;351700[QUOTE
[The kitchen cabinets, or at least the doors are upside down.

If the cabinets are upside down, they've been that way for more than 30 years. They're the original cabinets out of our old neighbor's kitchen, built in 1976. I've never changed the shelf pins and they're right side up. The front panels have the curves on top also, hard to see in the pics.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

Nice build, looks great.

That's one beefy looking bike lift.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

Good job! They look great, do exactly what you need, and were cheap! What's not to like?!

How did you finish the cut edges of the melamine? What keeps it from flaking? What are you doing for latches? Magnetic?


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Old 12-23-2008, 11:00 AM   #13
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

Really nice looking cabinets. Like alot of others said, not bad for a non-carpenter. Heck, even you a carpenter it ain't bad looking. Maybe I'll do something similar in my garage once I get my other projects caught up.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

Great, professional looking job.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

Personal perferance is white walls and narrow shelves so things don't get pushed to the back and out of sight.
But if you keep everything it totes, you should be OK.
It looks good. It is your space. If you are happy then I am happy.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

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How did you finish the cut edges of the melamine? What keeps it from flaking? What are you doing for latches? Magnetic?
To keep melamine from ripping, there are a few tricks:
- masking tape on the cut line, press with your thumb nail to get a good seal and cut right through it - easy, tape is wide
- score the cut line with a knife - tougher because you have to be right on the cut line
- the more teeth on the sawblade the better, just cut slower becasue the blade isn't optimal for the MDF core
- you can also do the cut in 2 passes; one just to score the melamine and another to cut through the whole board - this is a pain though because it's the bottom side that splits so you're flipping the board and keeping the cut line _exact_ is a pain without a panel saw (which makes it sooo easy)
- cut slower; much slower
- just put the chipped sides on the inside of the cabinet...
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

I didn't do anything special with cutting, left the "good" side down and had very little chipping of the edges. What did chip was on the top side.

I painted the edges of the doors, making sure I got good coverage and got the paint down in the pores of the partical board as much as possible. Hopefully edge chipping won't be a huge issue. I'd be more worried about it if they were base cabinets which would take more abuse.

Magnetic catches on the doors.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

Thank you very much for posting that! I will be building something very similar. That helps me a ton!

I was going to build everything from 3/4 ply..but that design looks even simpler.

Do they feel pretty sturdy?

Im the same as you..Not really a "wood" guy...So the simpler the better.

Last edited by Tom2; 12-23-2008 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:06 PM   #19
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

good to see another rider here -- great job (wish I could remember what I had in cabinets -- I'm a "don';t see it, don't remember ir" kinda guy, so shelves for me . . . . . .

Is that a Handy lift? nice gear, for certain!
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:16 PM   #20
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Default Re: Cabinet project, I HATE sawdust........

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I was going to build everything from 3/4 ply.
Do they feel pretty sturdy?

Go to Home Depot or where ever and look at the plywood on the top of the stacks. With the exception of the fancy cabinet grade stuff at $40-60/sheet, most of it is warped into pretzels. If it's not now it surely will be within minutes of making a door out of it.
I built the cabinets in my last shop basically the same way, the fronts and doors were made with 1x6" tongue and grooved carsiding. Looked really nice at first and then they warped.
Warped doors are a PIA.

The Melamine runs about $32/sheet and is much more dimensionally stable. I wouldn't use it in high humidity areas, but in most applications it should be fine.

The cabinets are sturdy. They feel, look and sound solid. They'll have no problems holding anything I can fill them with.

Last edited by tdkkart; 12-23-2008 at 01:18 PM.
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