Today I’m going to be upgrading my wife’s closet. She’s been living out of stacks of cardboard boxes since we got here so it’s time to fix that.
My wife and I sat down and I modeled out what she was looking for in her new closet. As soon as she was satisfied, I made a more detailed model with all the exact dimensions.
Almost the entire project was made with 3/4 inch MDF.
My brother-in-law was here for the weekend so he helped me get the build started. It’s nice to have two people in the shop to move around full sheets of material to the table saw. Even so, we made a lot of rough cuts and then brought the boards down to final dimension on the table saw.
Once everything was cut, I could organize the boards with like pieces.
I cut some dados into a few of the boards to help align and strengthen the entire piece.
Now I could start assembling the whole cabinet and get a great look at what it would look like in the end.
Transferring the lines to the outside of the cabinet made it easy to locate where I needed to countersink the holes and then drill in the screws.
I attached what is actually the bottom while the cabinet was upside-down.
I didn’t want the bottom drawer sitting on the floor, so I made a kick a few inches tall to bring the cabinet up.
I attached some blocks in the corners and then secured the kick using screws from above.
I rough cut a piece of hard board with a jig saw and then tacked it in place with the brad nailer.
Once it was in place I chucked up a flush trim bit on the router.
I ran the router over the edge and trimmed it right off.
I placed 3 dividers on the front face to section off the drawers. I used an eighth inch spacer on the bottom and worked my way up, gluing and nailing as I went. The top drawer is for jewelry so it is shorter than the rest.
I had to cut a groove in the drawer sides and back to accept the drawer bottoms. I made 2 passes with a standard saw blade.
I grabbed all the drawer pieces and began assembly. I glued the front, back, and sides together, but left the hard board floating.
I used full extension drawer slides that come apart by pushing down on the hidden tab.
I marked out the locations, made sure the slides were level and then screwed them all into place.
To attach the slides to the drawers I used another spacer lengthwise to make sure they were level.
I attached the drawer fronts using some spring clamps to hold them in place while I screwed them in from the inside.
I used some old pine one by that I had and cut it into thin strips. This magnetic feather board holds the board in place quite nicely.
Marking the trim right on the cabinet is much easier than measuring.
I glued and brad nailed all the pieces in place. Marking and then cutting each piece one by one will insure you have the right fit every time.
The actual building process was complete. It was time to start prepping for finish. I sanded down rough spots and then filled all the screw holes with joint compound.
I started painting with the drawers. I rolled everything with a tiny roller and then cleaned up all the edges with a normal brush.
I used a full size roller for the cabinet in the places that it would fit. In a few spots I had to use the tiny roller and then again, cut in the edges with a paint brush.
Once the drawers were dry, I re-attached the slides using the same screw holes as before.
I did the same with the drawer slides on the inside of the cabinet.
It was now time to prep the closet. I sanded down some places I had patched and applied some wall texture spray.
After installing the drawer pulls, a couple shelves, and some hanging rods, the project was done.
I think my favorite part is the jewelry drawer. My wife found some inexpensive tray inserts online and can now actually see all her jewelry at once.
My Project Tools
CIRCULAR SAW (new)
JIG SAW (new)