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    Build a Wall Cabinet: Part 2, Case Assembly

    more on woodworking safety

    Tools and Materials

    Now that all of the cabinet parts have been cut and the rabbets for the back routed, we can put the cabinet together. This won't be hard. The top and bottom are screwed to the sides, and the dividers are screwed in place, too. All of the screws are countersunk and the holes are plugged with round walnut pegs. Well, enough of that, let's get to work.

    How to Make

    Pre-drill for the screwsclick to enlargeAfter clamping the cabinet together, drill holes for the screws

    Pre-drill for the screws: Take your time and make sure that the sides are square and flush to the back edge of the top and bottom. Then clamp everything together. If you just try to hold the sides in place, they won't stay in place and the side can be pushed out of square as you drill.

    Pre-drill for the screwsclick to enlargeUse a fancy tool to spread the glue.

    Disassemble and apply glue: After spreading glue on the ends of the sides, drive in the screws. Because you have already drilled holes for them, you don't have to worry about alignment or holding the parts together as you screw the parts together.

    Pre-drill for the screwsclick to enlargeThe back gets glued in, which makes the whole case much stronger

    Add the back: Put glue in the rabbets and drop it in place. Because the rabbet is shallower than the back is thick, the back sticks out a bit, which gives you a great place to put a few clamps and apply pressure to the joint as the glue dries. A big advantage of gluing the back in place is that it makes the entire cabinet much stronger than if it were just screwed in. But you can do this only with sheet goods like plywood.

    Pre-drill for the screwsclick to enlargeSpacers locate the divider accurately and keep it level.

    Use spacers to locate the divders: Cut both of the spacers from a single long piece, so that they are both the same height. This ensures that the divider will be perfectly level and that the pocket for the drawer will be square, making it much easier to get the drawer to work properly. Re-cut the spacers for the second divider.

    Pre-drill for the screwsclick to enlargeThe divider rests on spacers.

    Set the divider in place: Make sure that the spacers are sitting flat on the case bottom and that the divider is sitting flat on them. Also, leave the divider wider than it needs to be at first. Put it in the cabinet and then mark directly from the cabinet to determine its final width. Cut it down to size at the tablesaw.

    Pre-drill for the screwsclick to enlargePre-drilling for the screws that hold the dividers in place.

    Attach the dividers: Do it just like you did for the top, bottom and sides. Pre-drill for the screws and then drive them into place. Because the dividers are so thin, take care that you don't accidentally drill crooked, coming out the top or bottom of the divider.

    Pre-drill for the screwsclick to enlargeHammering a dowel plug into a screw hole.

    Plug the holes: Drop some glue in over the screw head and then pound in a bit of dowel. I used short pegs cut from a longer walnut dowel that I bought at a woodworking supply store, but you can also find dowels at home centers.

    Pre-drill for the screwsclick to enlargePlaning a plug flush with the cabinet side.

    Plane the plugs flush: After the glue has dried, trim the plugs level with the case with a hand plane. If you don't have one, use a handsaw to cut them nearly flush and then sand them down the rest of the way.