Beth's built-in, Home improvement
Comments 2

Beth’s built-in: construction begins

Shop plans. I work out details of the project utilizing a full size drawing on the wall where the built-in will reside.

After taking a few days of vacation in Blue Ridge, Georgia, I decided to quit messing around and get busy on the built-in cabinet for my daughter’s small bathroom. After delays trying to complete a drawing of this project using Sketchup, I decided my Sketchup skills were lacking and I took out a pencil, tape and straight edge and drew the project full size on the wall where the built-in will be (click the photo above for a larger view and you should be able to get an idea of what it will look like).

The first step in this project will be to build a box that will house three drawers. I selected birch plywood for this mostly because it is a stable material and the components of this box will be totally out of view. I plugged my iPod into my little shop radio, selected some new Tom Petty and made my first cut…

The first cut. This project finally gets underway by cutting the sides to width. I use a piece of 2’x4′ birch handy panel for material.

Cutting the length. I pull out my trusty cross cut jig and cut the sides to length.

Ready for assembly. On the left, the two sides and on the right, the top and bottom cut to width and square.

Simple joinery. Someday, I may use dovetails to make a joint like this, but after much thought, I feel that dovetails are overkill. I use screws and I am thinking about adding a couple of biscuits to each joint. With the back and face frame in place, this box should be plenty sturdy.

Keeping it flush. The clamp I am using is an old, beat-up corner clamp – a hand-me-down from my Dad. It is useful to keep the top and side flush and held in place while I pre-drill and add screws.

About two hours later. The box, except for the back is completed. As I stated, I am thinking about adding biscuits to the joints for added measure.

Not much to look at just yet, but all projects have a skeleton to build upon. The top section will be made in similar fashion, but I plan to make it out of oak and hopefully, some nice quarter-sawn boards if I can find them without too much hassle.

To see all the posts on this project including design aspects, click here.


Have a question or comment? Leave yours by clicking on the “Comments – post yours here” link below. And if you like this post or this project, you can subscribe to my blog by clicking here.


  1. Amy – thanks for the comment. It's not much to look at right now, but it should quickly start to look like something.

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