How to Build Cabinets with Cushions or Shelves

You can build this versatile wall-to-wall design as a built-in cushioned bench with storage cabinets underneath. Or, instead of the cushion, you can build open shelves above the cabinets.

If you are new to woodworking, don't worry. The cabinets are simple to build and the doors don't require complicated joinery. You can build as many cabinets as you want easily adapting their sizes, along with the shelf lengths, to fit.

If you choose to make this into a bench, you can have an upholstery shop make the cushion to fit. Just pick a fabric, specify 2-inch-thick foam, and give the shop the cushion dimensions.

Materials and finishing
Birch plywood and solid poplar are used on the exposed parts of this project because both woods take paint well. Hidden parts are made of inexpensive particleboard.

Checklist

Time
About 8 hours to construct the cabinets and 4 hours to make the shelves, plus finishing time

Tools
Tape measure, combination square, framing square, angle square, tablesaw or circular saw with ripping guide, router with 1/2-inch piloted rabbeting bit, pocket-screw jig and bit, hammer, nail set, hand plane, flat-bladed screwdriver or putty knife, 1/2-inch chisel, spring clamps or C-clamps, 4-foot level

Skills
Accurate measuring, sawing, routing

Prep
Assemble tools and materials, prepare work area and installation area

Exploded View and Materials Needed
 
Cutting Diagram
 
Continued on page 2:  Cutting Carcase Parts

 

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