How-to guide on making a really simple DIY display cabinet with sliding doors! I have also made a video showing you the process if you are interested in watching that.
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Step 1: Measure the Depth
Measure the depth of the opening your cabinet is going to fit into at multiple points. (Mine ranged from 275 to 266) Then take the smallest measurement, and minus from it the thickness of your back material (266-6 = 260).
Step 2: Cut Your Sheet Material Into Strips
Cut your sheet of material (I’m using a 8x4' sheet of 19mm oak veneered MDF) into strips that are this measurement (260) in width.
Step 3: Measure the Height & Width
Then measure the height you want the cabinet to be (keeping in mind it is going to be at least 100mm taller once the feet and plinth have been added) - for me this was 2250mm, and also the width of the opening (following the same steps as before, measuring at multiple points, and choosing the smallest measurement)
Step 4: Cut the Strips to Length
Now you have your measurements, you can cut the strips down to their required length. You want the cut the pieces that will make up the sides at your decided height (2250) minus the thickness of the top and bottom (so 2250 - 19 - 19 = 2212), and you want the pieces that will make up the bottom and top, cut at the smallest width measurement - 60 (this is for the columns which will be added later on)
Step 5: Cut the Shelf & Grooves for the Sliding Doors
Since I’m adding sliding doors to the cabinet, I needed to make a centre divider, and cut grooves into this piece as well as the top and bottom. These grooves were 3mm deep, on the pieces where the doors would rest, and 8mm deep on the opposing side (this allows the doors to be easily removed from the carcass.)
[*If you don't want doors on the cabinet, skip this step*]
Step 6: Screw All the Components Together
Attach all of the components together using 4 x 50 screws, through the bottom/top into the sides.
Step 7: Measure & Cut the Back
Measure the now assembled carcass, and cut the sheet of material you’re using for the back to fit - I used 6mm Oak Veneered MDF and a jig-saw for this step.
Step 8: Attach the Back to the Carcass
Ensure the cabinet is square by measuring both diagonals and then attach the back to the carcass with 3 x 20 screws. (Making sure to screw through the centre shelf, as well as all of the sides.)
Step 9: Install the Feet
Attach feet to the carcass, by screwing the mounting plates 30mm away from the front edge, and flush to the back edge and then pushing the ‘leg’ into it. These feet are available in various heights from 100-150mm, depending on what height you want the plinth to be.
Step 10: Position the Cabinet
Move the Carcass into the opening/alcove, making sure to position it so there is an even space to the wall on both the left and right side.
Step 11: Level the Cabinet
Using a spirit level (the longer the better) make the cabinet level on all 3 different planes by twisting the 4 feet up and down.
Step 12: Fix the Cabinet to the Wall
Once you are happy the cabinet is level, secure it to the wall using a single L bracket. This is a really important safety measure to stop the cabinet falling down onto people so make sure it is a solid fixing (either screwed into a stud or solid brick wall with a plug).
Step 13: Make the Plinth or Kicker-board
The next steps are to fit the cabinet to the space, and walls around it.
The first part of this is making the plinth or kicker-board. To do this you need to measure from the bottom of the carcass to the floor at 3 different points (the left, middle and right). You then need to transfer these measurements to a piece of material (I'm using an off-cut of the 19mm oak carcass material) and cut to size.
Step 14: Install the Plinth or Kicker-board
To install the plinth or kicker-board, you need to screw on the attachment clips that come with the legs. Attach these 30mm up from the bottom of the plinth, and far enough in so that the are in line with the legs on the cabinet. Once this has been done, you can simply click the plinth to the legs, by pushing firmly forwards.
Step 15: Make the Columns
The second part is making the columns. To do this follow the same steps you used to make the plinth, measuring the distance the cabinet is from the wall at multiple points (I measured at 6 for a 2250 carcass height). Then transfer these measurements to another off-cut of 19mm oak veneered MDF, and cut to size.
Step 16: Install the Columns
To install the columns, I positioned them so their height and front edge were flush to the carcass. I then screwed through the carcass into the sides of the columns using 3.5 x 40 screws. Pre-drilling and countersinking before drilling is particularly important here to stop the MDF column from spitting and the screw from spinning.
Step 17: Install the Shelves
Now the cabinet is fitted to the wall, we just need to add the finishing pieces, like the shelves. To attach them, I drilled 3mm holes at different points in the carcass and the back so that the shelves all had an equal distance between them (using a template to quicken the process). With these holes drilled I could then hammer in 3mm shelf pins, and place the 6mm laminated glass shelves on top.
Step 18: Install the Doors
To install the doors I simply pushed the top edge into the top groove, and then dropped it into the groove below - making sure that each door sat into its own channel.
My doors were 6mm laminated glass taken from another cabinet, but if you want to have some made, simply measure the width of the opening, divide by 2 and then add 30mm, and for the height measure the height of the opening and add 6mm.
Step 19: Fill the Cabinet & Apply Finish!
My display cabinet was made for a client to store decorative pots, but once everything has been made you can use yours to display whatever you like!
The glass doors provide protection for the pots, but they are not 100% necessary.
I decided not to finish the cabinet because I wanted the wood to look lighter and more washed out, but you could finish the cabinet with whatever you wanted - oil, varnish or lacquer - at this point :)
If you have any questions or feedback on the project feel free to leave a comment or message and I'll do my best to get back to you!