How to Build a DIY Sideboard / Buffet Cabinet




Introduction: How to Build a DIY Sideboard / Buffet Cabinet

About: Weekly how-to project videos about #woodworking, metalworking, and more. #Maker. Created by Johnny Brooke.

In this post, I’ll show you how to build this farmhouse-style DIY sideboard / buffet cabinet. This is a great woodworking project for a relative beginner, since you won’t need a ton of tools.

A table saw, miter saw, pocket hole jig, and drill are the only tools you’ll need to complete this piece. You could even break down these pieces with a circular saw if you don’t have a table saw or miter saw. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather Materials and Break Down Pieces

All in, you're looking at roughly $200 in materials for the project. Compared to what you'd spend at the store, this is at least a 50% savings, generally speaking.

Below is a list of the hardware you'll need for this project:

Here's a list of the wood needed:

  • 1 x ¾” 4x8 sheet of plywood
  • 1 x ¼” 4x8 sheet of plywood
  • 1 x 2x4x8
  • 4 x 2x2x8 (or use 2x4s and rip)
  • 2 x 1x8x6
  • 1 x 1x4x6
  • 3 x 1x6x8
  • 2 x 1x2x6

Here's a list of the tools I used to build my DIY Sideboard / Buffet Cabinet:

Step 2: Assemble Top Panel

Glue the top together using two pieces of 1x8 and one piece of 1x4 at 49 ½". I assembled the top using biscuit slots to help with alignment, but these are NOT required. Glue is plenty strong here.

Step 3: Assemble Side Panels

Attach the legs to the side rails using pocket screws, then attach the ¾" plywood panel behind the side rails. These two structures make up the side panels of the cabinet.

Step 4: Assemble Frame

The back is made up of 2x4s, the front is made up of 2x2s and 1x2s. For exact measurements, check here.

Step 5: Install Bottom Panel

The bottom is made from ¾" plywood and is attached using pocket screws. The size is 45" by 13 ½".

Step 6: Install Center Panel

The center panel is made up of two pieces of ¾" plywood, glued together. This 1 ½" piece fills in the space in the center of the cabinet and allows the use of standard drawer slides. The center panel is 30 ¾" by 15".

Step 7: Assemble Doors

The doors are assembled using 1x3s for the rails and style and ¼" plywood for the back panel. I cut grooves in the ¼" plywood to give the door a paneled look. Assemble the rails and styles using pocket screws and attach the ¼" panel from behind using ¾" brad nails and glue.

You should cut your pieces to size based on the opening you have in your cabinet, as small errors can add up to your dimensions being slightly off.

Step 8: Stain, Distress, and Finish to Your Liking

I used the following products for my finishing:

I used an HVLP system to apply the finish, but you could definitely apply these products using a foam brush without issue.

Step 9: (Optional) Drill Shelf Pin Holes

I wanted the shelves to be adjustable, so I made a simple shelf pin jig and drilled holes for shelf pins. Watch the video at the beginning of this Instructable for some more details on the jig.

Step 10: Install Drawers

I used bottom mount drawer slides, which are relatively simple to install and cheap. I used a scrap piece of plywood to hold the drawer slide onto the wall of the cabinet while I screwed it into place.

Step 11: Install Knobs/drawer Pulls

Mark the center of your drawer front, drill your hole, and mount the knob. Simple! Same process for the doors.

Step 12: Hang Your Doors

I used this H-style hinges and I think they went nicely with the rest of the design.

Step 13: Attach Top Panel

I drilled holes through the top frame pieces, making sure to make them bigger than the screws I was using to allow for wood movement, and attached the top using screws from underneath.

Step 14: Attach Back Panel

The back panel is made of ¼" plywood and sized at 46" by 28 ¼". Attach using 1 ¼" screws.

Step 15: Admire Your Work!

The sideboard/buffet cabinet is done at this point, and you should be proud! This was a fairly involved build and the final piece should last you many years to come.

If you'd like some more detailed dimensions on this project, check my original article here. If you enjoyed this project, go ahead and get subscribed to my YouTube channel so you don't miss future builds! Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.

Glue Challenge 2016

Participated in the
Glue Challenge 2016

Dorm Hacks Contest 2016

Participated in the
Dorm Hacks Contest 2016

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    6 Discussions


    Question 3 months ago

    This piece is beautiful. Did you happen to include a cut list?


    3 years ago

    Its remarkable :)


    3 years ago

    I loved this project and have a suggestion. You made a "mistake" with the center divide piece cutting a notch on the top front. Turn that into an advantage by placing a strip of LED's on the bottom of the top piece passing through that notch. Then figure out a mechanism that when either front drawer is opened will turn on the strip. And thank you for the excellent presentation. I will make use of this.


    Reply 3 years ago

    That's a cool idea! Thanks, glad you enjoyed the project.


    3 years ago

    Beautiful work!