How to Make Wooden Shutter Cabinets

Making a wooden shutter cabinet is one method of having attractive yet functional furniture where a wide variety of things can be stored. Depending on the amount of space available, one can be built to sit in proportionally with other items in the room. Shutter cabinets allow free flow of air which eliminates stuffiness. It is easy to build simple and basic designs using materials and tools that are commonly found around the home. 

Materials and Tools

  • 2 x 4 Pine or hardwood
  • Tape measure
  • Wood adhesive
  • ¼-inch Plywood
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Drill
  • Plunge Router
  • Router table
  • Chisels
  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or stain
  • Brush
  • Saw
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Screws
  • Screw driver
  • Saw
  • Protective overalls and working gloves

Step 1 – Cut Rails, Stiles and Slats

Collect necessary materials and clear enough working space. Pay attention while working on the project as some of the tools involved can easily cause injuries.

Cut the 2 x 4 wood to make a 30 5/8 inch tall x 23 inch wide panel, measure two stiles 30 5/8 inch x 2 ½ inch. The rails should be 20 inch x 2 11/16 inch wide; this measurement allows it to accommodate a 1 inch tenon on each end. Cut to make four panels.

These stiles and rails leave an opening of 18 inch x 25 ¼ inches. Get the remaining 2 x 4 piece of wood and cut 25 slats each 18 ½ inch and ¼ inch thick. Cut a few extra pieces in case some pieces get spoiled or damaged.

Step 2 – Round over Rails and Stiles

Fix 1/8 inch radius bit on the router on the router table to round over the rails and stiles. Place each one at a time on the router table and easily move the four edges along the bearing and along the edges. Follow this by sanding the slats until each piece is smooth.

Start by cutting ¾-inch mortises on the on the stiles by using a mortiser, a chisel can also be used to make the joint. On the rails, cut 1 11/16-inch wide tenons using a small hand saw or radial arm saw.

Step 3 – Assemble the Panel

Make grooves for the slats in the stiles. To cut an even number of grooves, make 1/2 inch mark at the center and then a mark every inch on each side. Before assembling the four panels, sand each piece of wood to get a smooth finish. Mark each joint to its corresponding piece. Make sure all stiles have grooves that provide a good fit for the slats.

Apply wood adhesive on the mortises and tenons and join them together, work with one panel at a time. Wipe excess glue and leave them to dry. Apply wood adhesive to the dry panel frames and fix the louvers. Continue until the four panels are complete. Clamp the stiles so as to make sure they are fast enough.

Step 4 –Make Open Cabinet

Cut the board so as to get three pieces to serve as bottom, middle and top part of the cabinet.

Join the bottom piece with two side panels, apply wood adhesive at the joints, let them dry and fasten them using nails. Fix the middle part at the top and secure it with nails. Fix the side panels and the top part of the cabinets using adhesive and fasten the pieces together using nails.

Measure the opening at the back and use the figures to cut a piece of plywood. Fix it at the back using glue and screws.

Step 5 – Apply Finish

Give the cabinet time to dry, leave it for about 24 hours. Use a fine-bit sand paper to smooth out rough surfaces. Apply the first coat of stain or paint. Let it dry before putting a second coat.