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  • tools needed for cabinet making

    Part of the agreement with my wife when I got my new saw (3650) was that I would make new kitchen cabinets. I have been woodworking for many years, mostly small projects, but the largest was a platform bed with 6 drawers underneath and a headboard with 2 doors. These cabinets will be a large undertaking, but I think I am up for it. Before I start I was just wondering if there is any tools that are a "must have" that I should get. These will be "mission" style cabinets. Plywood inserts, no raised panels.
    I have the following: TS with stacked dado, jointer, Kreg jig, band saw, cabinet clamps, router, orbital sanders, a dovetail jig which I have never used, and an assortment of hand tools.
    Remeber, this is not a Dream List, just what I would really need.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: tools needed for cabinet making

    Mission style cabinets don't have lots of detail edges, but to round over the straight edges, a router with a small round-over bit would be nice. It's just easier and a lot more consistent that sanding.

    A way to consistently gauge the height of your blades and bits is really handy. I don't have one, but I'm seriously considering this kit from Woodcraft.

    I also find a good set of machinists squares to be very useful. I find I use them a lot more than I thought I would.

    More clamps. You'll need more clamps. I don't know how many you have but you'll need more.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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    • #3
      Re: tools needed for cabinet making

      Originally posted by vasandy View Post
      ............................................
      More clamps. You'll need more clamps. I don't know how many you have but you'll need more.
      +1

      A brad nailer is also very useful when building cabinets.
      ================================================== ====
      ~~Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.

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      • #4
        Re: tools needed for cabinet making

        I agree with the reply about needing plenty of clamps. But, if you have a brad nailer you can put the clamps on just long enough to check for square, shoot some nails, put the back in, and you're good to go. If you cut the back square, and it fits well, the cabinet will stay square.

        That said, you can really get by with just enough clamps for one cabinet at a time. The faceframe, as long as you cut the ends square, almost squares itself up if you use the pocket hole jig.

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        • #5
          Re: tools needed for cabinet making

          Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
          +1

          A brad nailer is also very useful when building cabinets.
          + 1 more on the clamps.

          I'd recommend a biscuit joiner. You mention you have a pocket hole jig, but frankly I find it hard to properly secure large panels to drive the screws, without some tiny movement. Movement that will mis-align things, especially if you're gluing which provides sliding lubrication...

          Pop a few biscuits in place, give them 10 minutes to swell and then drive the pocket hole screws. Much less likely to move and you still get the pocket hole clamping benefits. Alternatively, the brad nailer BadgerDave suggested would do the trick, easier and faster, but wouldn't be entirely invisible.

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          • #6
            Re: tools needed for cabinet making

            Once you get past the construction phase you'll need to finish the cabinets.

            Got a plan?

            The method will determine the tools.

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            • #7
              Re: tools needed for cabinet making

              Thanks for the replies.

              I do have a biscuit joiner, I didn't mention that because I thought I would use pocket holes on the face frames and on the door frames i would use what WOOD magazine calls "Stub tenon and groove joints".

              Clamps: I have about a doxen assorted pipe clamps and quick clamps, but just bought 4 Jorgenson cabinet clamps.

              Finish: We just got done finishing our interior doors. We bought Mastercraft 2 panel oak doors from Menards. We sanded, then wiped down with mineral spirits, then applied stain and then 3 coats of wipe on poly (sanded between) and then paste wax. A very time consuming project, but my wife does like to help with the finishing.

              I am a little intimidated by the scope of this project, but once I get started I think it will be fine. One of the things that helped motivate me, (besides my wife letting me buy tools) is we priced cabinets at our local Menards and they would be over $10,000.00.

              Thanks again for everybodies imput.

              artho

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: tools needed for cabinet making

                Originally posted by artho View Post
                Part of the agreement with my wife when I got my new saw (3650) was that I would make new kitchen cabinets. I have been woodworking for many years, mostly small projects, but the largest was a platform bed with 6 drawers underneath and a headboard with 2 doors. These cabinets will be a large undertaking, but I think I am up for it. Before I start I was just wondering if there is any tools that are a "must have" that I should get. These will be "mission" style cabinets. Plywood inserts, no raised panels.
                I have the following: TS with stacked dado, jointer, Kreg jig, band saw, cabinet clamps, router, orbital sanders, a dovetail jig which I have never used, and an assortment of hand tools.
                Remeber, this is not a Dream List, just what I would really need.

                Thanks

                Spend some money on a HVLP sprayer. I just finished a huge kitchen cabinet job and sprayed them with a Fuji Q4 HVLP system. I ordered the MM4 but they sent me the Q4 by mistake. Christmas in March but that is another story.

                Take a look at the Mini-Mite 3 or 4 system. They are worth the money. If you decide to buy a Fuji system, go to www.prowoodfinisher.com to order it. You can call Stephen there at 877-291-9508. He will give you a deal that you won't find anywhere else. Tell him Caleb told you to call.
                Last edited by caleb; 04-02-2009, 10:13 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: tools needed for cabinet making

                  Let me give a word of warning about stub tenon and groove doors. Make sure that you plane all of your door frame stock at the same time. Just a llittle difference in thickness from piece to piece will drive you up the wall. I know this from personal experience.

                  What will happen is one groove will be either wider or narrower than the next. The same is true of the tenon thickness. It all has to do with initial stock thickness. Control that and stub tenon doors are a piece of cake.

                  Just make sure to use test pieces to check your setup.

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                  • #10
                    Re: tools needed for cabinet making

                    I had that trouble when I used my busuit cutter, but thought it was just operator error. I was not planning on running everything through a planer. All the oak was purchased over a year ago at a cabinet shop aucton. I have a couple hundred pieces that vary from 2'' to 3.5" wide and up to 4 feet long. If I cut the groove with the dado blade and always keep the front side next to the fence, any variance in thickness would only show on the back. Or am I looking at this wrong?

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                    • #11
                      Re: tools needed for cabinet making

                      Originally posted by artho View Post
                      I had that trouble when I used my busuit cutter, but thought it was just operator error. I was not planning on running everything through a planer. All the oak was purchased over a year ago at a cabinet shop aucton. I have a couple hundred pieces that vary from 2'' to 3.5" wide and up to 4 feet long. If I cut the groove with the dado blade and always keep the front side next to the fence, any variance in thickness would only show on the back. Or am I looking at this wrong?
                      That is exactly what I would do. Plane all the material at the same time and then still ensure that the fronts are always marked and oriented to the face of the fence.

                      Big G

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                      • #12
                        Re: tools needed for cabinet making

                        If you want to enjoy the results of your work without much coughing from the top of your lungs then a decent dust collector will be in order. Also, eye and breathing protection.

                        As for other tools, a set of at least basic wood chisels and a hand plane will save the day once in a while.
                        In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

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                        • #13
                          Re: tools needed for cabinet making

                          Here's the problem. Usually you want your slot that the tenon fits into, as well as the tenon itself, to be perfectly centered in the stock. You assure that you're centered by running the stile stock with one face against the fence and then turning the piece end-for-end and running it with the opposite face against the fence. You'll create your tenons by running the stock through your dado blade...that's already set at a predetermined height, probably gaged from the stile stock...and then you'll turn it over and run it through with the opposite face on the table.

                          If the stock isn't the same thickness the slots will end up being either wider than you wanted or too tight. The tenons will be either too thick or too thin. Remember, you're not changing the height of your dado stack between boards. You want to set up one time to run stiles and one time to cut tenons. If you try something else you'll probably have moved to another house long before you get these cabinets built.

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                          • #14
                            Re: tools needed for cabinet making

                            Artho, you'll come a lot closer to satisfactory results using your same-face-against-the-fence procedure if you're using biscuit joinery. It's true that as long as you keep the face side against the biscuit joiner fence you'll come out with a face side that is pretty even. Most, if not all, of your problems will be on the side that gets attached to the cabinet. But even then, you're likely to have some pretty noticable gaps and possible hinge mounting problems.

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                            • #15
                              Re: tools needed for cabinet making

                              I would also get a good measuring tape and use the same measuring tape for the whole project. Also, a story stick could be indispensable when doing your measurements and layout of your kitchen.

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