How to Make a Built-in Oak China Cabinet
Free Woodworking Plans from Lee's Wood Projects
Posted by Lee Swindel
Complete your fabulous dining room with this elegant oak china cabinet. It is the perfect way to store or display your fine china and collectables. This stately cabinet has wonderful detailing and will add warmth to your home. Its beveled glass upper cabinet can be equipped with mirrors and lights to help attract attention and add aesthetic appeal.
Technical Information for Building a Oak China Cabinet
A. Materials List:
- Scale upper horizontal frame (N) to the drawing dimension sizes. This can be accomplished by measuring the print out and dividing that size into the dimension size. This will give a multi-factor that can be used to figure the enlargement size for the pattern. Most companies that do duplicating can make the enlargement required for the pattern.
- Transfer the pattern enlargement onto poster board, and use a pair of scissors to cut out the pattern.
C. Cutting Procedures:
- Use a panel saw to cut out the upper side panels (A), lower side panels (C), lower shelf (H), upper cabinet bottom (P), counter top (Q), and lower side panels (K) from a 1/2" x 4' x 8' oak plywood board.
- Drill six 3/16" holes into each lower side panel (C) to accommodate the adjustable self supports (Z). The holes should be spaced 2" vertically, starting 12" from the bottom. Also, the holes should be spaced 2" in from each side.
- Use a panel saw to cut out the back panel (B) from a 1/4" x 4' x 8' oak plywood board.
- Use a table saw and a radial arm saw to cut out lower vertical frames (D), lower horizontal frames (E) & (F), lower middle frame (G), upper vertical frame (L), upper horizontal frames (M) & (N), and upper middle frame (O). Trim the edges with a jointer to remove the saw marks.
- Use a table saw to cut the counter top side moldings (R), and the counter top front molding (S). The lengths should be cut at 45 degree angles using a power miter saw.
- Use a table saw and a radial arm saw to cut the shelf trim (I), and the glass shelve supports (Y) & (E-E) to proper size.
- Cut the front crown molding (T), and the side crown moldings (U) using a power miter saw.
D. Sanding Procedures:
- Rough sand all parts with an orbital sander and 80 grit sandpaper.
- Intermediate sand all parts with an orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper.
- Finish sand all parts with an orbital sander and 220 grit sandpaper after the assembly procedure.
- Hand sand all edges, details, with 220 grit sandpaper.
E. Oak China Cabinet Assembly Procedures:
- Build the upper and lower cabinet frames according to the dimensions shown on the drawing and the lumber sizes indicated in the materials list. The end of each frame piece should be attached using two 3/8" x 2" dowel pins. Use a 3/8" drill bit and a portable hand drill or a horizontal boring machine to drill the holes necessary for the dowels. The holes should be drilled 1 1/16" deep. Place a few drops of wood glue into the dowel holes and tap in the dowel pins with a wooden mallet. Place glue on the exposed dowel pins and assemble the frames. Use bar clamps and hand screw clamps to secure the frames. Use a framing square to assure that the frames are perfectly square. Allow the glue to dry over night.
- Use a router and a 3/4" Roman-Ogee Bit to route the bottom edge of the upper horizontal frame (N) and the inside edges of the upper vertical frames (L) below the upper horizontal frame.
- Use a nail gun with 1" nails to attach the back panel (B) to the wall studs. Use a stud finder to locate the studs.
- Use a nail gun, with 1 3/4" nails, to nail the lower side panels (C), to the wall studs.
- Place wood glue on the outer edges of the lower outside panel supports (C-C) and use a nail gun and with 1" nails to attach the lower outside panels (K) to the supports.
- Use a nail gun and 2" nails to secure the lower outside panel/support assemblies to the wall. Be sure that the outer surfaces of the lower outside panels are exactly 44 1/2" apart so the lower cabinet frame will fit flush.
- Nail the counter top (Q) onto the lower side panels (C).
- Nail the upper frame onto the wall with 2" nails. Nail the lower frame onto the lower outside panels (K) with 1 1/2" nails. Be sure to place wood glue on the exposed edges of the lower outside panels before nailing.
- Nail the upper cabinet bottom to the support and flush with the top edge of the upper horizontal frame (N). Be sure to place a bead of glue on the parts before nailing.
- Nail the upper cabinet bottom support (D-D) to the wall. Be sure that it is horizontal and 1/2" below the top edge of the upper horizontal frame (N).
- Nail the upper cabinet bottom (P) onto the support. Also nail the upper horizontal frame (N) to the upper cabinet bottom. Place a bead of glue on the edges before nailing.
- Glue and nail on the side & front counter top moldings (R) & (S) onto the counter top (Q). Be sure the molding is flush with the top surface of the counter top.
- Insert the adjustable shelf supports in the lower side panels (C) and position lower adjustable shelf on top of them.
- Glue and nail the front & side crown moldings (T) & (U) together, and then nail the assembly onto the upper horizontal frame (M).
- Nail glass shelve supports (Y) onto the back panel (B), 16" & 30" above the upper cabinet bottom (P). Use a level to as sure they are perfectly horizontal.
- Nail glass shelve supports (E-E) onto the backside of the upper vertical frames(L) and the back side of the upper middle frame (O). They should also be positioned 16" & 30" above the upper cabinet bottom.
- Hang the panel doors (J) and the glass door frames (V) onto the cabinet with the European Hinges and screws provided.
- Install the beveled tempered glass panels (W) onto the back side of the glass door frames (V) with a bead of clear silicone. Note: This step should be completed after the finish procedures.
- Position the tempered glass shelves (X) on the supports in the upper cabinet.
- Glue and nail the shelf trim (I) onto the adjustable lower shelf (H).
F. Finish Procedures:
- Use plastic wood dough to fill all nail holes, cracks and imperfections.
- Use an orbital hand sander and 220 grit sandpaper to finish sand the entire oak china cabinet.
- Hand sand all edges with 220 grit sandpaper.
- If stain is desired, apply with a brush and allow to penetrate for 5-10 minutes, and then remove with a clean rag.
- Allow stain to dry 6 hours and then repeat with a second coat.
- Apply a clear finish coat such as Varathane, Polyurethane, lacquer, etc. using a pure-bristle brush. Allow to dry 12 hours.
- Lightly had sand with 220 grit sandpaper.
- Apply second coat of clear finish.
- If additional finish coats are desired, repeat steps #6 & 7.
- Allow to dry 24 hours before using built-in cabinet.
Congratulations, your wooden china cabinet is finished and ready to use!