Author Topic: Building Cabinets - How to get started  (Read 2347 times)

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Offline puffyshirt

  • Posts: 7
Building Cabinets - How to get started
« on: January 25, 2019, 07:50 PM »
Hi all,

new member here.  Just picked up a Domino XL.  Also have a couple of MFTs, a CT36, OF1400 and a TS55. 

Trying to make the transition from weekend warrior to dedicated hobbyist with a little more focus/precision.  We built a new home last year and left a lot of the finishing touches to ourselves. 

I would like to tackle some cabinet runs next. 

What advice do you have on best educational videos/books to help me get started using my festool armory?  Also have a rigid table saw and a benchdog tabletop router table. 

I have done what I can to watch videos, read blogs, etc... but the problem I run into is they skip a LOT of the specifics I would need to really follow it closely and learn every step along the way... from materials list to finished product.

I work full time and live out in the boonies, so taking local classes has proved to be a challenge.

Thanks in advance for any advice/insight.

Have a great weekend all!

Offline stickman

  • Posts: 24
Re: Building Cabinets - How to get started
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 08:19 PM »
Cabinets are one of the simplest wood projects. Get Greg Paolini’s book and come up with a system that works for you.

Paolini Book

KS-120 | TS-75EQ | DF-500Q | XLDF-700 | RO-150FEQ | RO-90DX | HKC-55EQ-FSK420 | EBQ-420D | MFT/3 | CT-26 | CT-SYS | T18+3 | OF-1400EQ |  TSC55 REB PLUS | HL 850 | RAS-115 | VECTURO OS 400 | PDC 18/4 | LR32-SYS | SYS-ROLL 100

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 345
Re: Building Cabinets - How to get started
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 08:24 PM »
Have at it (part 1 of 7):



...then (part 1 of 21):

ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [po], TS 75 EQ (DE) [po], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [n], CXS (DE) [n], CMS-GE [DE] [po], CMS TS 75 (DE) [n], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [po], VB-CMS (DE) [n], MFT/3 (CZ) [n], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [po], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [n], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [n], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [n], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [n], CT SYS (DE) [po], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [n], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [n], Porter Cable 447 (US) [n], Zyliss Vise (CH) [n], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [h]

[po] pre-owned   [n] new   [h] heirloom   (XX) country of origin

Offline SilviaS7

  • Posts: 35
Re: Building Cabinets - How to get started
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 08:37 PM »
TSO Products has two books listed for sale on their site, specifically chosen for someone who is new to cabinet work to dive in.  I have both and they are great manuals.  I may sound like a shill, but I promise I'm not getting anything in return, LOL.  I am new to woodworking so a lot of terms and knowledge that someone in the trades may have was lost in me in other books that didn't bother to explain the relevant language and what it means, but these two books both do that.  Link here:  https://tsoproducts.com/books/

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 396
Re: Building Cabinets - How to get started
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2019, 09:39 PM »
You have received some great ideas regarding books and videos and I think those are great! I would suggest one important concept. Go buy a sheet or two of cheap cabinet grade plywood and start your first cabinet. Design it the best you can on a  and napkin and start. If you want a cabinet with a face frame cut strips of plywood instead of solid wood for this first test. If you finish the box and you are really pleased with it then maybe you change that up and buy some maple or poplar to make the face frame properly. You will make some mistakes. If it’s a lower cabinet you might put the dado for the bottom shelf in the wrong place for the size of the kick notch that you desire or you may cut the shelves the wrong depth for the way that you let in the back panel or you might calculate the width of the fixed shelf incorrectly given the depth of the dados in the sides and your desired finished width of the cabinet. You might make all of these mistakes or others. What WILL happen is that you will learn a ton more from one wasted sheet of plywood than you will from a $200 - $300 class. Just my opinion but I do know that the mistakes that I made on my first few cabinets have guided me the rest of the way for the 35 or so years since. Good luck!

Offline cpw

  • Posts: 146
Re: Building Cabinets - How to get started
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2019, 10:59 PM »
I agree start small on a some small cabinets for the shop.  Learn what works for you and doesn't.

When I did a Kitchen full of cabinets, Bob Lang's book was the best ROI there was.  Definitely saved me lots of mistakes, and emphasized the importance of planning.  Without the encouragement to plan things in such detail, I'm sure that I would have spent 30% or more on materials than necessary and would have had far more mistakes.

Offline puffyshirt

  • Posts: 7
Re: Building Cabinets - How to get started
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2019, 03:19 PM »
Thank you for all the replies & advice.  i ordered the Bob Lang book and have set aside time to watch the video's.  Sincerely appreciate the help!

Looking forward to learning more and being an active contributor going forward.


Offline TSO Products

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  • Posts: 847
    • TSO Products
Re: Building Cabinets - How to get started
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2019, 04:05 PM »
Thank you for all the replies & advice.  i ordered the Bob Lang book and have set aside time to watch the video's.  Sincerely appreciate the help!

Looking forward to learning more and being an active contributor going forward.

@puffyshirt - you received really good advice to which I would add the emphasis on "Planning". You might say "plan twice - cut once". But really, what we have noticed about Pro's is the planning detail they go to before buying material much less processing anything. Bob Lang's book does the best job of emphasizing that.

The other point: while Bob Lang's and Greg Paolini's book titles both include the word "Kitchen-" the reality is that much of the information pertains to any cabinet regardless of purpose.

Notice, too, in these books the absence of FESTOOL being shown or mentioned by and large. Don't let that throw you off. Publishers need to reach a wide audience with titles and content. Basing important sections on the use of specialty tools would limit their sales appeal. That's why Greg Paolini, who teaches the authorized FESTOOL School  still does not demonstrate FESTOOL use in his very good book - which is aimed at more narrowly focused "just get it done" with a great DVD include in that book.
We recommend both books- as @SilviaS7  kindly  pointed out in her earlier post.

Please post what you do in response and share your reaction for others to benefit from

Hans
TSOproducts.com

Home of the GRS-16 and GRS-16 PE  plus TPG Parallel Guide -  the MTR-18 Triangle - TDS-10 Dog Stop and GRC-12 Guide Rail Connector; Work Holding solutions plus AXMINSTER UJK in the USA

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 477
Re: Building Cabinets - How to get started
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2019, 04:40 PM »
@puffyshirt I'm much in the same boat as you. I have all of the above books and videos and while they help I think the best thing to do is just make something... Any cabinet will do. I also got this excellent video for Christmas on sale

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/how-to-build-your-own-cabinets-techniques-and-projects.html

There's just so much practical advice and content in the series that's geared toward the beginner. He even uses a track saw at one point. Between that series and erocks excellent Festool any videos you should have any questions answered. That all being said...I signed up for Greg Paolinis Festool training class on cabinet making. I'm all in on Festool and I feel it will jump start me on what I want to do.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline Builtinking

  • Posts: 29
    • Builtinking.com
Re: Building Cabinets - How to get started
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2019, 06:56 AM »
Check my YouTube channel have many how tops and using festool a

Builtinsbykreg.  At youtube
Kreg's Custom Carpentry I'm back

Offline cgrutt

  • Posts: 70
Re: Building Cabinets - How to get started
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2019, 09:44 AM »
I built a kitchen on weekends for a vacation house that I used to own.  The bases and top cabinets were all made with boxes using 3/4 maple ply capped with a solid Chestnut face frame.  My advise to you is to build all of the boxes separately with pretty much standard sizes (standard height with different standard size widths eg 12, 18, 24, 30 etc to suit your needs).  Build a separate base frame level it off and you can then put the boxes wherever they need to go to suit your needs.  You can line them all together or put some space in between any gap will be filled with the face frame.  Same concept for wall cabinets.  I put a 1/4 maple ply sheet across bottom and top to fill any gaps then added face frame and solid side panels.  The boxes were all glued and stapled together.  I used a simple joint just cut with table saw for all of the connections.  Run a saw kerf 1/8 deep along back panels spaced so groove ends at width of thickness of plywood.  Then take a saw kerf off of each of the sides leaving a strip that is 1/8 x 1/8 thick.  This fits into the dado at back of cabinet.  Once glued and stapled it makes for a very simple yet strong joint.   I also used cabinet shelf standards set flush with the inside of each side that allowed me to put shelves wherever they needed to be (obviously two on each side).  You can also use same joinery for draw boxes with Baltic birch ply except be sure to cut  the groove on each side not front and back.  Hope this helps and good luck!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 09:50 AM by cgrutt »