Introduction: Building the Bedroom Wardrobe / Cabinet
So in this Instructables, I am going to show you how I built this bedroom wardrobe. So this is my first big project and to build this I took 26 days to make. The whole build is made out of a half inch and three-quarter inch thick ply with laminate onto it. it is always a time-consuming build whenever I am going to use laminates in my builds. In our country, people usually use laminates over other finishes as it is more durable and have a long life. Change the surface of the laminate is impermeable so the effect of moisture in the environment didn't create any trouble in the build. Initially, I wanted to create a doll dresses with the mirror in front of it so that person can see himself completely while dressing up but since I already build the concrete shelf in that area that's why that design is not going to be made. The one major problem came in this build is that none of the shelves is perfectly straight. To bring all of the shelves in the same line I have to trim of one of the shelf tiny bit so that all of them came in alignment. Other than that the whole project is very enjoyable and I learnt a lot from this build which definitely going to help me with my upcoming builds. If you like this build then make sure to leave your feedback and also don't forget to vote for the contest.
One thing I want to tell you that all of my work has been shoot onto my one plus 3 phone and it's extremely difficult to record closeup shots with that because every time I tried to do so the image start to pixelate. If I place it too close then it goes out of focus so I always avoid that thing. So kindly forgive for that.
Step 1: Material and Tools Used
Following are the tools and materials used in this build:-
Some of the products purchased from local vendor and that's why they didn't have any link also they are from unknown brand. Mostly those products completely depend upon your choice.
- Plywood sheets 3/4" thick 7 sheets
- 1/2" thick sheets 8 sheets
- Laminates for the front portion 4 Sheets
- Off white laminate sheet 17 sheets.
- wood glue20 kg
- Two part epoxy
- White edgebanding 50 metres
- Edge banding similar to the front 30 meters of each colour.
- L brackets
- Soft close Hinges 15 degree 15 sets.
- Drawer slides 15 sets.
- 2" long drywall screw1000 pcs.
- 3/4" long zinc coated screw.
- Door handles 30 pcs.
- Handle screws 60pcs.
- led lights
- Wire for the led connections.
- Shrink tube
- Regular door hinges
- Magnet catcher
- Painters Tape
Step 2: Cleaning the Mess & Taking Measurements.
Since we recently completed the paint job on the upper floor and to make the area workable the workers place the material on to these shelves which I need to be clean up before starting this build. Once the cleanup process has been finished I started taking the dimensions from all the sides. If there are no shelves then there should be no need to do this step. Since my case is slightly different that's why I need to do that to figure out what amount of dimensions I need for my build. Here I took multiple dimensions from six sides in one shelf and then find out the mean of all of them and the mean height I get I took ¼” less and then proceed with that height in the entire shelf. Same procedure has been followed by the depth of the cabinet. But in that case, I measure the depth of each shelf individually and then take the mean depth of that and the resulting value is used for the overall build. Once the dimensions has been calculated I move onto the next process.
Step 3: Gluing the Laminate
This process is quite crucial for this build. Although you can use paint for the appearance or you can use laminate like what I use in my build. It's very durable than any other finish and very cost effective as compared to paint because of the surface hardness. The sheet cost me around 5$ and around 750 gm of wood glue used per sheet. The quantity of glue remains the same for any other kind of 8x4 sheet. So usually when you are going to purchase the laminates they provide you in rolls and if you are going to keep them for at least a day that curls remain in the sheet and if you are going to glue that onto the ply it creates a lot of problems and guarantee that you struggle in that and ended up with the air bubbles underneath the sheet. So the trick is that whenever your purchases sheet try no to use them immediately. Try to give them rest by opening them and placed them on a flat surface and also try to place another sheet of heavy ply over that. By doing this you are able to remove the stress from the sheets which are developing due to that folding. Bring them straight is very difficult as they are brittle and during transportation, there are always chance to damage them. So avoid that. To apply the sheet is tricky but not difficult. There are two kinds of adhesive you can use to paste the laminate on to the plywood. The first thing is the contact cement which is specially made for the laminates. If you don't want to use that because it smells very bad you can use regular wood glue. In all of my laminate bills are usually use the wood glue over contact cement. Although it did not give instant bonding but if you keep yourself careful then you can do it without any trouble and able to avoid air trapping underneath the laminate and that will always lead to the breaking of the laminate. So once you apply glue over the entire surface you are ready for phase 2 which is pasting the sheet over the ply. So there are two ways you can paste that. It's always good to have someone with you as its ease the process if you don't have anyone to help then roll the sheet over your head. It's quite difficult to explain you in the written text I suggest you follow the images and the video to know what I mean to roll the sheet over your head. Then align it with the two corners of the ply or the surface onto which you are going to paste the laminate sheet. Then slowly rolls it over the ply and try to press down in a unidirectional way so that if there are chances of air trapped underneath the laminate it can escape out. Then just slowly lowered it down and repeat the same procedure as done earlier. Once the pasting completed try to press the sheet for at least 10-15 minutes to remove any air underneath the laminate sheet. I do for at least 20-30 minutes in my case but I think I have overdone it and it's really not necessary. Just tried to look it at an angle to see any bubble formation. The advantage of wood glue is that if any bubble formation occurs then you have time to lift the sheet and then remove the year and then follow the pressing procedure to paste the laminate. On the other hand, if you are using contact cement and repeat the same procedure and if the bubble trapped underneath the laminate it's impossible to undo that mistake. Although there are some videos in which people are showing the method of glueing the laminate by using wooden dowels method and you can find them easily onto the YouTube. A famous inventor named Izzy sawn have a video onto his channel showing the procedure of how to glue laminate using contact cement. You must check him as well. The half inch laminates are the only one on to which I paste the laminate onto one side only because the side facing to the slabs are not going to be visible so that's why I try to avoid them.
Step 4: Making 90° Jig
To make right angle jig its every necessary to make some sorts of jigs. For that, I use 1*3. I cut them onto my mitre saw and then attach them together to make perfect 90 degrees because of this the only thing which going to guide my all joints. To provide extra strength to the right angle I provide a supportive brace in between that angle. Because the way I am going to use these jigs that middle brave going to place an important role in the joining process. I took my time to make these jigs. There is a bunch of ways you can make these jigs. I also saw some people using plywood cut-out right angle piece to make perfect joints and those are made up with CNC. So whatever you are getting proceed with that. But I must say that they are extremely necessary for this build.
Step 5: Material Cutting and Making Boxes
So once the laminate work has been finished I started the process of cutting down the material. Since the project was too big so that's why instead of going for all of the pieces at once I go one by one. First I cut down the material for the bottom shelf and then move onto the upper shelves. The bottom are is going to be the drawer section of the whole build and the upper ones are going to be the cabinet area. To cut down the longer pieces are used my straight cutting jig and cut it with the help of circular saw. The three quarter inch thick plywood has been cut by same method and then trim down to final finish onto the table saw. So in those drawer sections, the ply I am using didn't have laminate on to it because in the end, they are not going to be visible. To cut the material I use my circular saw with the straight cutting jig. According to the dimensions I get from my previous calculations I use them to cut down the material for my bottom drawer section. The three quarter inch thick plywood has been cut by same method and then trim down to final finish onto the table saw. The overall length of the ply I am using in this build is 8 feet long and the width of the room are the area where I am going to made the wardrobe having width near about 10 feet. So to complete the overall length the rest of the box is going to be partially made and in that box one side is not present because I am going to attach that section to the main section with the help of l brackets. I use l brackets earlier in a lot of my previous build and the computer desk I made few years back completely made by using these brackets and they are strong enough to provide the enormous strength to the joints. The depth of the cross section is kept around 23 inches. To join those vertical section to the main horizontal section I made jig which is going to kept my vertical member in square position so that I can fasten them together. The second shelf is almost similar to the first one and only difference is that it has laminate pasted on all the visible sides. Since these are the cabinet the back portion going to be visible, I attached the back piece onto it. In the lower portion I am quite worried about the strength of the boxes but once all of the vertical pieces interconnected they formed a strong rigid structure which can easily withstand itself. In second shelf to join the remaining portion of the I use same l brackets for that. The third shelf is quite different then its remaining two siblings as it have showcase area in it where I am going to place some sort of handicrafts. The total width of this display area is around 4 ft. And I am not going to make it too deep as it's quite difficult to show those handicrafts when they are going to place at too much distance. So I reserved these area nearby 11”. To me this much distance is sufficient for the display cabinet. The fourth one is way much different then rest of them as it was made in different sizes. The two longer units are 4 ft wide placed on either sides of the wall and the smaller one having dimensions 2ft is placed in the center. The main reason behind making these shelf in smaller size is because of the weight and the difficulty to lift heavy weight and place it at that much height. This might definitely causes major injury. So I tried to avoid that and go with smaller design of the cabinets. Initially I don't wanted to install the vertical section in the middle of the 4 ft wide cabinet, but since I am using ½” ply and it have a too much bend because of the laminate pasted to its one side. And that's the drawback of the laminate, although I don't know as it's happens to the contact cement because when wood glue dries it tried to shrink a bit and that shrinkage cause this warpage. So I remove it by inserting a vertical member in between them.
Step 6: Building Display Unit.
The display unit is the main heart of this whole build as it lies in the centre of this whole build. The construction of this build is slightly different than the rest of its siblings as it's a display unit I have to install the LEDs inside them. The shelves are going to be made with half-inch thick pieces of ply as I have these in my shop. Second I wanted to make it look thicker so that's why I placed a spacer in between those ply pieces and because of that, the overall thickness increases up to 1.5” which is sufficient for what I need for this build. Another advantage of this is that in that case, I am able to feed the wire through them without any trouble. In the display unit for the vertical section I am using ¾” ply for the distribution and onto these sections, I didn't paste the laminate because to mount the shelf I need to drive the screw from the opposite side and that if I do so those screws going to be visible onto the laminate. To provide the mounting surface to the shelves I screwed guides to the sides and those guides are used to hold the shelf units. The image clears more. Before installing the shelf into that area I paste the laminate and drill the hole to feed the wires and then fixed the led lights to it. Then with the help of wood glue insert those shelves onto those guides. Once the glue dries I remove the LEDs and then make the connections and then fit them again. Behind the shelving units.
Step 7: Levelling All the Cabinet Units.
Once they all placed inside those previously build shelves they are out of alignment because the previously build shelves are out of square and my cabinets are taking reference of these cabinets that's why they are also going out of square. Luckily all of them have one common mistake that I need to correct and that is going to be done with the help of wedges. I made them on my own. There is no rocket science in them. I just cut them at 15° so that they gave me enough height to correct that alignment. I placed all of those wedges under all of the vertical member and them measure it with the help of spirit level. The point at which I get it levelled and aligned with the upper cabinets, at that point I stop and then repeat the procedure with the upper cabinet as well. Although you need wooden wedges since I don't have that at the moment I prefer ply. Although wedges are slightly larger then what I actually made for my build. Since I don't have a band saw. To make them you need that. Once all of the pieces came I start the alignment. I measure the distance between the top and the bottom and they needed to be parallel because, in the end, I am going to join them to cover the front. Then I lock them to its place by placing the wedges onto the top portion with wood glue. By doing this the cabinet locks to its place and their weight is also too much that's why I decided not to drill holes for the permanent fixing. After installing the wedges I tried to pull it out but I am not able to move it even in millimetres 1 or 2. So I stop there and decided not to drill holes for the screw. The excess of the wedges has been cut flush to the cabinet end with the help of multi-tool. So that I can install the ply strips between that piece completely flush.
Step 8: Covering the Front of the Shelf
Once the cabinet has been placed to its place and all the levelling work has been finished it's time to cover the front portion of the shelves to make it looks better. I cut down the strips equal to the gap between those shelves and then cut it into the table saw. For the material, I choose a half inch thick piece of plywood and use that to fill out the empty space. Due to the difference in the shelves, the front thickness of the shelves tiny bit varies. But that thing definitely not bothered this build. Before proceeding to this build levelling of the cabinets is the most important task you have to do in this build otherwise they are not going to be finished in a proper way. After cutting down the material to filling the gaps I apply the Glue onto the sites of the plywood and then placed it in between the cabinet and clamped it securely so that they make a tight connection. Since I don't have enough clamps for this build so that's why instead of waiting I used to inch wide masking tape to apply the adequate pressure on to the joints so that it remains in the position until the glue dries. Meanwhile, I also fill the gaps in the display unit also with half-inch thick plywood and make the front completely cover up.
Step 9: Making the Drawers:-
Building the drawers is the most crucial part of this build. There is a total of 15 drawers in this build and in my all of the previous build, I never build that much amount of drawers. This is the only thing about which I am worried about but I think all of it ended up quite well. The drawers are going to be made with two different materials one of them is half-inch thick and other is the three-quarter inch thick. The portion on to which drawer slides have to be installed those are going to be made with three-quarter inch thick plywood and front and back has been made with half-inch thick ply. I cut down all of the pieces roughly with the help of my circular saw and straight cutting jig. After that, I move on to my table saw for the final ripping off the pieces. Once the pieces have been cut down to the final dimensions I start doing the preparation for the joinery. For that, I decided to do the rabbit joints since this is the joint which I made in my past and to me, this one seems quite rigid and overall it's easy for me to build on to my homemade table saw. There is a total of 60 pieces on to which I need to make a rabbit. The three-quarter inch thick pieces have rabbits on three sides while the half-inch portion has rabbit on one side only and that was for the drawer bottom. Once the pieces have been cut down I move on to the process of joining them together to make a box-shaped which are going to be used as a drawer for this build. To join them together I approach with two different methods in which one of them I am using my right angle jig with the help of which I am going to hold two pieces of the draw together with a couple of clamps and then driven the screw with some glue onto the joint and then do the same with rest of the pieces. The second method is by using belt clamp for my drawer pieces. I join all of them together with the glue and that belt strap and then hold it with a couple of brad nails and then driven the screw to all of the four sides. The main disadvantage of this process is that it's quiet time consuming than my first method so that's why I go with the first one.
Step 10: Cutting Down the Draw Bottom and Fixing Them
Initially, for all of the drawer bottoms I decided to go with half inch bottom but then I find out that that much thickness was not necessary for some of the shallow drawers so that's why I decided to use the quarter inch thick sheet of ply for them. I trim down the sheets roughly with the help of straight cutting jig and then move on to my table saw for the final ripping of the bottoms. Once all of the pieces have been cut for the required drawers I started the process of fitting them to the drawers. For that, I spread the glue on all four sides and then place the bottom into that rabbit area in the drawer and hold them to its place with the bunch of brad nails, later than I driven couple of screw in each of them to increase the strength of the base. Here one thing has to note down that your bottoms need to be cut precisely otherwise when you are going to put them on the need the gross they are going to change the squareness of your drawers which is definitely going to ruin your build. So tried to pay some attention to this part. By doing all of this the drawer work has been finished.
Step 11: Glueing the Edge Banding:-
Glueing the edge banding is the tedious job of the build and to glue the edge banding I use a special adhesive to do that work that glue dries within a couple of minutes and there is no need to apply the tape, but it was completely optional and depend upon the type of glue you used. I cut down the strips step by step for each side and then spread the Glue on to the edge and then paste the edge banding on to that. The Glue dries within a few minutes and ready for the trimming process. For trimming down the edge banding I use my sharp block plane to do that work.
Step 12: Installing the Drawers Slides:-
This is always a headache for me because I always struggle with the installation of the slides. The difficult thing for me in the installation is to bring all of them in the same line. So that's why I came with this idea. I never tried this ever. So I decided to make a perfect jig which will be going to take the reference of the cabinet bottom portion and then I clamped that jig to the side and place the slides over it to fasten it with the side arms. By this method, I am able to fix the slide to the exact position every time. I made separate jigs for different areas. Then by doing some measuring, with the help of combination square I marked the location of the holes onto the drawers and fasten the half portion of the slide onto that as well. That is way easy to do.
Step 13: Giving Power to the Drawer.
This is the most difficult part of this build and I think most of you can't able to do that because you have to learn the black magic to bring the drawers alive and I think most of you are not able to do that.
Just joking guys I do timelapse pictures for this part and it is a lot harder than the project making as it includes a lot of work. I move the drawers a little bit and then move away from the camera sight and then click the picture. To do that you have to kept the camera at a steady place others wise it would not looks good. Then I fit the drawer into the area and everything works good and there would be no need to worry about. I think if you go step by step and tried to use jigs for some of the crucial projects then nothing goes wrong.
Step 14: Making the Cabinet Doors.
This not that difficult than the rest of the work because in this you need to just cut the plywood panel to the required dimensions and then just glue the laminate on to both side and they are ready to be installed. In my case, I make a small mistake by pasting the laminate to one side only. By doing this a huge bend produced in the plywood sheets which going to create trouble during the door installation. To avoid that thing always try to paste the laminate on both sides simultaneously so that bending of plywood not occur. As the wood glue dries it shrinks a bit and that shrinkage causes the bending. I roughly cut down the sheets to the required dimensions with the circular saw and finalize them on to the table saw. Then I place those doors onto the laminates which I am going to use in this build. With the help of carbide scriber, I scribe the area required for the door and then break it off to the Scribe line so that I can paste it onto the door panel. Laminate I am using is 1 millimetre in thickness.
Step 15: Glueing Up the Laminate
Once all of the laminate has been cut to the required dimensions I start the process of pasting them onto the doors I cut earlier for the cabinets. For pasting process, I use regular wood glue and then use painters tape to provide adequate pressure so that they will remain flat to the surface. If you have clamps then definitely recommend to use them but make sure to apply some tape to fix the laminate to its position otherwise there might be chances of laminate shifting during the clamping process because the wood glue is a little bit slippery then the contact cement and took a tiny bit longer time to cure. Along with the laminate, I also paste the edge banding to the sides as well. Then I remove the edge banding and trim down the excess portion with a block plane and they are ready for the installation.
Step 16: Installation of Drawer Fronts
Installation of drawer fronts is not a difficult task. For that, I took some small pieces of laminate and place them under the drawer fronts so that it provides a small amount of gap so that during push and pull the drawer will not rub to each other. I place the spacer under the drawer front and glue it temporarily with hot glue and hold it for a few seconds until it sticks to the drawer front face. Then I open the drawer and then clamped it so that I can fix it securely. For the upper front I repeat the same process by providing some spacers and then follow up the previous process to make a strong and permanent joint.
Step 17: Covering the Wardrobe Front and Door Installation.
Once draw front has been installed I cut down edge bending from the same material which I am using for the build, so that it matches the rest of the material. I cut them quite precisely so that there would less work to do for the trimming because the area is quite awkward to work on. I quite succeed in doing that. Then I move on to the process of mounting the doors onto the cabinets. I mark the hole location for the Hinges and this is quite precise. I took great care of that so that it will not wrongly be done because if anything goes wrong It's impossible to fix that because laminates are difficult to fix on. With the help of forstner bit I still the hole and fix the hinge to it. To mount the doors onto the cabinet I take a piece of laminate and use it as a spacer. The required distance is written onto the packing of hinges I purchased and that distance is transferred onto the cabinet side and then fix it. There are adjustment screws provided onto the hinges which are used to fine tune the final position. I lost the footage of the installation process of the mirror. But I just glue the mirror with two-part epoxy onto the door and hang them onto the cabinet.
Step 18: Final Finishing.
The only thing left is the installation of the handles. For that, I made a jig by measuring the distance between the holes and then transfer them onto the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. After I get the hole location to drill it and then attaches the handles to the doors and the cabinets.
Step 19: Finally
The end result is in front of you and I placed a lot of miscellaneous items in them which definitely not look organised. But within a few months, my brother and his wife going to move into this room, in that time I may change the pictures. If you like this build then make sure to comment down below and also don't forget to vote.
Participated in the
Furniture Contest 2018