How to build your own kitchen wall cabinets. Free easy tutorial from Ana-White.com
3/4" hardwood plywood ripped into strips 11 3/4" wide for cabinet carcasses (Brooke used Purebond) **We'll call these 1x12s in this plan
1/4" plywood for backs in matching species
1x2s for face frames and supports in matching wood species
Recommend edge banding for stained cabinet shelves
1 1/4" pocket hole screws (fine threaded for hardwood)
Optional Crown moulding (if you opt for crown, you may wish to increase the size of your header to a 1x3 or 1x4 on face frames)
Find your overall desired cabinet width and modify this cut list to fit your dimensions. Cabinets are shown standard 30" height but can be made taller or shorter as well - just adjust side cuts.
SIDES: 2 - 1x12 @ 30" or height of cabinet **These are the plywood strips ripped to 11 3/4" widths. You can actually use any width, 11 3/4" just minimizes plywood scrap waste.
SHELVES: 2+ - 1x2 @ CABINET WIDTH - 2" (you'll need a top and bottom + any shelves)
TOP CLEAT: 1 - 1x2 @ CABINET WIDTH - 2"
BACK: 30" x CABINET WIDTH - 1/2"
2 - 1x2 @ 30" or height of cabinet
2 - 1x2 @ CABINET WIDTH - 3"
Take a second to sketch out each cabinet on graph paper and write out a cut list specific to each cabinet. Note that the face frame is the full size of the cabinet, but the carcass actually is 1/2" total less in width (1/4" on each side). This is done so you have a little wiggle room when installing the cabinets to get the face frames to line up perfectly, even if your wall is less than perfect.
Before you cut out all of your cabinets, choose a smaller cabinet to start with and build it first to get the "hang" of it :)
Next, build your box. I recommend drilling both pocket holes for attaching face frames and shelf pin holes for adjustable shelves at this stage or before assembly. TRICK: Place pocket holes to outsides as the adjacent cabinet will cover, and for the end cabinet, you will apply a 1/4" plywood veneer to end to finish off.
You'll need something strong and solid to hang the cabinets on the wall. I like to add a small 1x2 cleat to top, inset, to give me something to screw the cabinet to the wall. You can add more of these under fixed shelves if desired. Easiest way to attach is 3/4" pocket holes on back side and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.
Add any shelves now. If you have fixed shelves, you can add with pocket holes. For adjustable shelves, I recommend trimming shelves down 1/4" to make them easy to place. Also, you can apply edge banding to fronts of shelves for stained finish (you may need to rip off a tiny bit of the shelf face edge or sand down to get the edge banding to fit in there).
It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.