So your garage workspace is getting a little cluttered. You’ve got toolboxes open, their contents splayed everywhere, bags, cases, and holders laying about.
It’s time for a change, you decide. It’s time for some new garage cabinets.
But hold on, just a minute – before you go out and spend a fortune on a new set of cabinets, have you considered building your own? It’s easier than you might think!
Join us today, as we take a look at seven easy steps to building a great-looking cabinet for use in your own garage.
Get The Right Tools
Your garage deserves some truly practical storage space.
The basis of any DIY project is finding the best tools for the job.
While it may be tempting to substitute out for any available tools you may already have, the truth is this will often cost you money in the long run.
It’s with this in mind that we’re going to suggest you use a table saw for this project. While we understand this is an expensive piece of equipment, many hardware stores will let you rent one during a project.
Beyond that, the tools for building your garage cabinets are simple. A drill, a speed square, and a standard set of hand tools, including a hammer, a set of screwdrivers, and some sandpaper and masking tape. A spirit level will help in setting up the finished project, as well as a stud finder.
Also always remember to wear gloves and a dust mask while working.
Choose The Best Materials
Keeping our project on a tighter budget, we’ve opted for medium-density fiberboard (MDF). This is a strong, inexpensive product, and makes for a wonderful building material.
This material is extremely budget-friendly, but it’s not without its challenges. It’s heavy, firstly, and can be quite unforgiving when a screw is installed incorrectly. You’re going to want to use your spirit level and drill with a straight hand, to avoid having to go back and adjust your work, later on. Remember not to install screws too close to an edge, or the wood may split.
You’ll also need four sets of surface-mount hinges, and four sash pulls for the doors.
Measure. Then Measure Again
There’s a reason the phrase “measure twice, cut once” has entered into mass popularity. It comes from the idea that, in woodwork, the best way to save yourself money and extra work is to get your measurements perfect the first time around.
Rip your MDF material on a table saw into 15-and-1/2-inch wide strips. Using a jig, circular or table saw, crosscut the strip to give you sides, doors, and tops and
bottoms with the following measurements:
- eight sides, at 3/4 x 15-1/2 x 29-3/4
- eight tops/bottoms, at 3/4 x 14-1/4 x 15-1/2
- four nailers, at 3/4 x 3-1/2 x 14-1/4
- four shelves, at 3/4 x 14-3/16 x 15-1/4
- four doors, at 3/4 x 15-1/2 x 29-1/2
- four backs, at 1/4 x 15-3/4 x 29-3/4
- eight cleats, at 3/4 x 3/4 x 15-1/4
- eight cleats, at 3/4 x 15-3/4 x 14-1/4
Put It Together
This is the part of the process where all of your hard work and careful measurements come to fruition: the assembly! You have enough materials on hand, now, to build four cabinets.
Use drywall screws to join the top of the cabinet and the nailer, using a clamp to make sure you get your screws in line and a drill to plant countersinks.
Create a four-sided open box, in the same way, using clamps to line up all of the parts and screwing them together. On the inside of the box, attach your eight cleats which will your shelves, later on.
Attach the hinges to the door, first, then clamp the door to the cabinet box and screw the hinge to the inside of the cupboard, to hang and support your door.
The last thing to do, following this, is to put your shelf in on top of your two cleats. Then simply screw on the back of your cabinet, and you’ve got a storage unit to be proud of!
Square Up Against The Wall
Our next point is simple enough, but still crucial in the process of creating and setting up a garage cabinet on the cheap.
Never install garage cabinets directly on the floor. Water puddles, leaking oil, and a huge array of other floor-level elements can rush your wood and ruin its finish over time. Mount your cabinets at least six inches off of the floor.
Using a measuring tape, measure six inches up from the ground. Then, using the bubble level, measure out a level marking on the wall. This is important because, more than anything else, your cupboards need to be able to hold its contents at a plain level.
Measure out the dimensions of the back of your cabinet on the wall to make sure you’ve cleared enough room for it.
Attach Your Cabinet
Lastly, using a pilot drill, your stud finder, and a hammer drill, locate the wall studs in your wall and pre-drill holes. These should be measured at two inches in from each edge of your long cleats. Do this for the bottom-most and topmost edges of your cabinet.
Secure the cleats to the wall with 2-1/2 inch screws. There should be one cleat at the bottom of where your cabinet will attach, and one at the top.
Then attach the cabinet to these cleats using 2-1/2-inch screws through its back, as well as washers to keep it from slipping, with wear.
Enjoy Your Cabinet
The last step to any DIY project worth its salt is to give the final product a test run. Attach the sash pull to your door, swing it open and start loading your brand new cabinet up.
Make Your Own Garage Cabinets, And Save A Bundle
While it’s true building your own garage cabinets can take a little bit of time, the money you’ll save is worth every second spent. With the right materials, a little bit of planning, and some hard work, the only thing standing between you and that gorgeous new cabinet is you.
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