How to Build a Freestanding Kitchen Cabinet Part 2

What You'll Need
Wood panels
Measuring tape
Paper, ruler and pencil
Wood glue
Nail gun
Shelf brackets
Wood putty
Door hinges
Door catches

Building a freestanding kitchen cabinet is not an overly difficult task if you follow some basic tips and guidelines. In Part 1 of this series, you already designed the cabinet, cut the wood and formed the base. Follow the simple steps below to attach shelves and doors. To return to Part 1 of this 3-part series, click here.

Step 1: Sand the Shelves

The next step is to prepare the inner side of the cabinet. This will be made up from a number of shelves and drawers, depending on what you planned in your initial sketch. Sand the shelving wood panels a good sanding to make them as smooth as possible. Then, wipe them clean so as to remove dust particles, and note if there are any imperfections.

Step 2: Apply Wood Putty

If you see any imperfections in the wood, like nicks or scratches, use some wood putty as a patch. You may also opt to finish the wood by means of paint, especially if you have to match it with the other cabinets in the room. This is best done now because once the shelves are attached, it will be difficult to paint them or do any other finishing.

Step 3: Attach Shelf Brackets

Next, attach shelf brackets on the inside of the cabinet. These will serve as a support for the shelves. These are especially ideal in case the shelf will hold up a significant amount of weight or if it is quite large.

Try to attach the shelf brackets in the precise positions. Measure well, and use a marker to faintly mark the point where you will position them. The right preparation will prevent the shelf from being wobbly or misaligned.  

Step 4: Place the Shelves Inside the Cabinet

Once you have installed all the shelf brackets, you can fix the shelves in the cabinet. Start from the bottom shelf as you mount them on their respective brackets, and then secure them with some finish nails as well. This is particularly essential if the shelves are large or if they will be supporting a lot of weight.

Step 5: Build the Doors

Once the shelves are ready, you can then move on to building the doors. The doors will not only be used the most, but they are the face of the cabinet, so they must look most appealing. The doors may be made from a number of wood panels fixed on each other to form a particular design or decorative element. Otherwise, they might even include some engravings. Most doors often feature some beveled edges.

Try to be as neat as possible, and do your best to match all the doors to each other as any differences will be evident since they will be fixed probably one next to the other.

At this point your cabinet is almost ready. Follow the steps in Part 3 of this series to complete your project.