How to Build Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets add value to a residence along with providing a lot of useful storage space however, they can be really costly. Nevertheless if you have previous skill with woodworking you can build kitchen cabinets on your own and get rid of the cost of hiring a professional; here’s how.

How To Build Kitchen Cabinets

Required Tools

Table Saw/circular saw

A doweling jig or a horizontal boring tool




Clamps for gluing


Required Materials

Cabinet grade plywood for carcass (frame)

Plywood for door, false front insert and kick plate face

1″ x 6″ oak for face frame





Finishing nails (6d)

Self drilling screws

Drawer materials and slides (if needed)

Counter top materials


The base for the cabinets should be 3¼ inches high and the size ought to be that of the floor of the cabinets without the sides, front and back of the cabinets. Use the table saw or a circular saw to cut the plywood to the necessary size and nail it all together.

Use the cabinet grade plywood to create the floor of the cabinet and use a bit of glue and some finishing nails to join it to the base. Next glue and nail the sides of the cabinet to the base, using the clamps to keep them in place while you drive the nails. Ensure that the carcass is properly squared. You can now install any shelving you intend to include.

When the carcass is completed move on to the face frame; cut the oak wood to the desired length and then decide where the dowel holes will go and set out the face frame and the stiles (vertical pieces) to ensure that everything fits properly. Use the doweling jig or horizontal boring tool to drill the necessary holes for the dowels you are using. Place wood glue on the stiles, dowels and in the dowel holes and then place the dowels into their selected holes using the mallet to seat them properly. Use the clamps to keep the assembly together until the glue dries and everything is dried in position.

Drill holes along the top, middle, bottom and sides of the face frame to hold it to the carcass. Apply glue to the edges of the plywood (the carcass) and the face frame and use clamps to keep the face frame in place. Ensure that the face frame is correctly aligned before tightening the clamps. Then nail 6d finishing nails into the pre-drilled holes to keep the face frame in position.

You can choose to buy pre-made doors or you can make them too. As with the face frame use dowels, clamps and glue to put the doors together, however, for the doors you have to use the router to make a slot for the door insert. Glue, clamp and nail the drawers together as well and install the slides for the drawers and doors.

Put in the door inserts and sand down all the segments of the cabinet and then put in the doors and drawers. Fill in all nail holes with wood dough and put on whatever finishing touch you wish like stain, varnish and polyurethane.

Put in the drawers, doors, knobs, handles, hinges and put the cabinet in place. Use a drill and the self drilling screws to hold the cabinets to the wall and lastly, install the top of the cabinet and you are finished.

Tips and Warnings

Use a clamp to secure a ruler or other straight item onto the plywood when cutting to function as a guide.

Any height or width the counters are to be, build the frame about ¾ of an inch lower and narrower so that the cabinets are the designated size when the doors and counter tops are attached.