All the beauty and functionality of expensive built-ins, but none of the cost or limitations. Build this base cabinet to keep your media center both beautiful and organized. Features optional shelf and pullout drawer, two doors, and simple moulding details. Works with the rest of the Classic Storage Collection.
1 Sheet of 3/4″ MDF or Plywood, cut into 23 1/2″ Strips, 8′ long
A) 2 – 1×24 @ 29 1/4″ (Sides)
Door Cut List – Recommend measuring the opening in the drawer and building the drawer 1/4″ smaller thean the overall opening. Remember that the door will cover the middle partitions, as shown in the diagrams. These dimensions give are the ideal door dimensions.
Optional Pull Out Drawer Cut List – Again, measure your opening and build your drawer to fit. These measurements are the ideal measurements.
Cut your 3/4″ Plywood or MDF into strips 23 1/2″ wide by 8′ long. These strips become 1×24 boards. From 2 of the 1×24 boards, cut the the top and a shelf, and the bottom and a shelf. Then cut the remaining sides and middle partitions out of a third 1×24. You will have one 1×24 leftover for future projects.
Work on a clean level surface. You can fasten with nails or screws, depending on your tools and the use of this piece. Screws will hold better, nails are easier. My general rule is screw anything that will be “used” like chairs and benches, and nail sedentary pieces like bookcases and hutches. I will leave this up to you. If you are screwing, make sure you predrill and countersink your screws. If you are using MDF, avoid fastening within 1″ of the edge of the MDF. Do not use wood screws on MDF. Wood screws do not have a straight shaft and will split your MDF. I have had luck with drywall screws (after all, drywall is very similar to MDF). Make sure you predrill the entire distance of the screws. It’s going to screeech, so wear hearing protection. And glue, glue, glue.
My favorite option is to screw the “box” together, and then use finish nails to add the frame. That way the frame does not have blemishes, but the piece is built sturdy.
Make sure you take a square of the project after each step. Measure and mark out any joints before fastening. Be safe, have fun.
Shelves. Determine where the shelf will be placed and mark the bottom edge with a square. Then drill two holes 1″ from the ends with a 1/4″ bit, 1/2″ deep. You can make sure you are only drilling 1/2″ deep by setting the drill bit in your drill so only 1/2″ is exposed. Insert the shelf pins and add your shelf. You can move your shelf at any time.
If you are building with A1 plywood, you will need to finish the front shelf edge with edge banding. See the HOW-TO section for a post on choosing your wood that talks about Edge Banding. Don’t be intimidated by edge banding. It’s cheap and easy and looks great – the odds are your kitchen cabinets are covered in it!
Doors. Dryfit the 3/8″ plywood backs into the base unit. Make sure there is about 1/8″ gap around the door. Check to make sure the type of hinges you choose will als fit in the door. Trim the back if necessary. Then use 5/8 staples or brad nails and glue and clamps to add the rails to the tops and bottoms of the doors, keeping outside edges flush.