trying to get together tools for home cabinet construction

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1strookie

New User
Buddy
new to woodworking.Always wanted to build a set of litchen cabinets.Its that time either have to buy some or purchase some tools and put patience to the test.Can afford to purchase a cheap set or buy some used tools and wood and try to build a good set plus have the tools left for other projects.I purchased a triton router tra001 and still waiting for it to arrive(off ebay).I found a deal on cl for a rockler router table and went to check it out.It came with a dewalt dw 626 router.I can only find it in the UK and even on ebay it costs around 750 us.Why so hi is it different than the dw625?Which router would be better for kitchen cabinets?So far the tools I have gathered are,a festool ts55, a festool work table the bigger one, 6 in industrial jointer, triton tra001 router and a dewalt dw626 router, rocker router table mounted to a rolling cabinet, buscuit jointer and some hand sanders.What else would be needed?I know a planer and some clamps maybe a band saw.This is more expensive then I thought.By the time I am through there wont be any money left for the wood.Oh yea I also got a kreg 4 system.Thanks for your time.Any how to info recommendations?Found the site from a recomendation of a current member that I pruchased the festool table from.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
You can build a set of cabinets with nothing more than a table saw and planer.

Why all the routers? Looks to me that you wasted a lot of money that could have bought wood and training.

Some time in the shop with an experienced cabinet builder would be my next step if I were in your position.

STOP buying tools until you learn what you need and how to use them.

Maybe you can sell some of that stuff...

Oh yeah, Hi and welcome to NCWW.
 

1strookie

New User
Buddy
I purchased the first router tra001 but still needed a router table.When I went to get the table it came with the dw626 router.The deal was too cheap to pass up.That is one of the reasons I was asking which router would be best to possibly sale one of them.I was hoping to get a little guidance on what else I would need to keep from buying something I didnt need.I am going to offer to volunteer some freebie help at a cabinet shop for some learning.We dont have any wood supply type stores here that offer any classes such as woodcraft does.Thanks for the imput/advice as a newbie I cant get too much!!
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Sorry, just checked the map for your location. That would be a long haul for lessons.

Hopefully someone near the coast will offer to show you the ropes or would trade a few days helping you learn for some beach time.
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Treasurer
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
The Festool Track Saw (You did get a track with it I hope) is going to be one of the more useful things you've bought for making cabinets. It will be very useful for cutting up the plywood for the main carcases. A table saw seems to be the big thing missing from your list. A good table saw with modern safety features will be a welcome if not necessary addition to the tools that you will need.

- Ken.
 

Joe Scharle

Joe
Corporate Member
A couple of things come to mind.
1) There should be a Woodcraft in Norfolk, VAB or possibly Elizabeth City. The Lowe's in Nags Head may be of some help.
2) Are you aware that the DW626 is:
[h=3]Manufacturer's Description[/h] Dewalt Dw626 230v Plunge Router 3hp 1/2in.

3) Kreg has a simple to follow cabinetmaking booklet which is downloadable.
 

1strookie

New User
Buddy
Mike I will check out his book but some info on his lessons would be good too.Its a long ride but could be worth the trip.Ken I did get the tracks a 42 and a 55.I was hoping that it would along with the table possibly eliminate the need for a table saw?Plus make it much easier/safer for one person with a full sheet of plywood not to mention space. Joe there is a Woodcraft in Norfolk and the do offer a class on building the box but nothing on the raised panel doors at least not according to the schedule I picked up.The Lowes hasnt been finished yet.My dw626 is the 120 model they offer it in both voltages.I was considering purchasing Kregs dvd/book combo off of ebay if yall think its a good reference Ill go ahead and get it now.Thanks for everybodies help.Yall rock
 

Woodman2k

Greg Bender
Corporate Member
You need to check out some of your local high schools and community colleges for adult classes.There just might be some industrial classes still being taught. I don't mean to be Mister Negative but rail and stile ,raised panel doors might not be a good first project ,especially if your on a budget. You will need a good table saw ,mitre gauge ,and clamps,clamps and some more clamps. A good rail and stile router bit set will also be a $100 investment and needs at least a 2 1/2 hp router although I'm sure somebody will tell us that they have done them with a 1.5 hp router. I just know my 3 1/2 in my router table seemed to be very effective,along with the variable speed option to slow the raised panel bit down to below 10K rpm. Good Luck and build something else to get used to your tools ability along with your own limitations. And above all ,stay safe.If it doesn't look like a good idea ,then it probably isn't from a safety point of view.
Greg
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
I'm a big fan of Danny Proulx's book "Making Your Own Kitchen Cabinets." He changed my thinking about cabinet construction methods. Cabinets have the look of face frame, but allow the use of "Euro" hardware. Doors can be bought premade in almost any style or material, usually for about the same as the cost of the lumber. Norfork Plywood would be a good place to get to know. They are a member of the Wurth Group.
 

red f

New User
Blaine
You need to check out some of your local high schools and community colleges for adult classes.There just might be some industrial classes still being taught.
Greg
I'm not sure about that end of the state, but we are planning to offer a cabinet making class next spring in Morganton at Western Piedmont Community College.

For a first project, frame and panel construction will be a tough project to tackle. All of what has been posted up is good info. As far as the track saw goes, I used one to process all of the sheet stock for a coffee shop in Cherokee, NC. It was awesome, but they didn't require face frames or doors. If you are building face frames, or frame and panel doors you will probably need a table saw of at least moderate quality. One of the better portable jobsite saws will get you by, but a cabinet saw will do a better job.
 

ehpoole

Ethan
Corporate Member
For a first project, frame and panel construction will be a tough project to tackle. All of what has been posted up is good info. As far as the track saw goes, I used one to process all of the sheet stock for a coffee shop in Cherokee, NC. It was awesome, but they didn't require face frames or doors. If you are building face frames, or frame and panel doors you will probably need a table saw of at least moderate quality. One of the better portable jobsite saws will get you by, but a cabinet saw will do a better job.
I'm going to differ on the above. Frame and panel construction is not a terribly difficult first project IF you keep them simple. Forget cope and stick router-bit sets and purchase a 1/4" *Plywood* (really around 7/32" or thereabouts) router bit and use 1/4" plywood for your panels and 3/4" thick boards for the rails and stiles and you have some very simple frame and panel contruction that requires a minimal investment in router bits, a modest router, and (ideally) a router table with a set of featherboards to hold everything tight to the router table's fence. You would then join the corners using 1/4" plywood floating tenons.

A tablesaw will make the construction a whole lot easier and more accurate, but if one had to they could get by with little more than a circular saw, straightedge and a good square. If using a tablesaw you'll want one with at least enough fence capacity (generally to the right of the blade) to accommodate your widest/tallest plywood panels. Otherwise you may find yourself making do with a mix of tablesaw and circular saw cuts.

The greatest challenge for a beginner is getting hold of S4S (surfaced 4 sides) lumber that has been accurately milled to even dimensions. Although the big-box stores all carry S4S lumber (typically in Poplar, White Oak and/or Red Oak) it is seldom accurately dimensioned (it is nominally 3/4" thick, but can easily vary in width and thickness by as much as +/- 1/16" from one board to the next) which can really foul up accurate construction. Ideally the builder of such cabinets would own at least a thickness planer so that they can accurately mill all their lumber to equal thickness. A tablesaw would then be used to mill each board to equal width. Add in a jointer (to flatten lumber) and bandsaw setup for resawing and you can convert (considerably less expensive) rough-cut lumber into accurately milled lumber at a fraction of the per-board foot cost. Whether you take this path will depend upon just how seriously you wish to get into the hobby and how exacting your personality is.

To get started at a minimal investment without all of the above equipment to mill your own lumber, the next best alternative is to find a lumber supplier that will mill rough-cut lumber onsite to your specifications. If you have all your lumber milled at the same time then there will be no concerns with respect to uneven dimensions. Even if the dimensions are not perfect they will at least all be absolutely identical -- and identically milled you can work with. You will pay a bit of a premium for this service -- above and beyond the rough-cut lumber price -- but it will allow you to get started in this hobby without the large up-front investment. Be sure to purchase some extra lumber of each dimension so that you are covered should you make any mistakes or come across two boards that just don't look right next to one another. You will always find other uses for the left-over wood. In fact, if building cabinets you may well need some of the leftover wood for filler pieces any how.
 

ehpoole

Ethan
Corporate Member
new to woodworking.Always wanted to build a set of litchen cabinets.Its that time either have to buy some or purchase some tools and put patience to the test.Can afford to purchase a cheap set or buy some used tools and wood and try to build a good set plus have the tools left for other projects.
I would never discourage anyone from taking up woodworking as a hobby. However, I do have one concern with the above with regard to expectations. In this day in age, even the most frugal of hobbyists would be hard pressed to build a set of homemade cabinets for less money then they would have payed for a cheap set of imported particle-board construction ready-to-assemble cabinetry. The reality is that when we build cabinets ourselves we inevitably invest in far better quality materials (at considerably greater expense) and are more likely to use plywood or solid wood construction rather than particle board (also at considerably greater expense). We then have to figure in the investment in both tools and labor.

By the time one finishes their cabinets they will likely have far better quality cabinets (hopefully) but inexpensive they will not have been -- unless another party is willing to contribute all the materials and tools -- and even then you have to ask what your labor was worth. So don't build your own cabinets on the premise that you will ever save any money -- you're more likely to win a trip to the moon -- but do so because you WISH to do so and because you ENJOY doing so. Then it is worth the investment of time, money and materials and, done right, something you will continue to enjoy for years to come.
 

red f

New User
Blaine
I'm going to differ on the above. Frame and panel construction is not a terribly difficult first project IF you keep them simple.
VERY good point. I was thinking traditional cope and stick, I hate that I forgot about this method, when that is how most of the cabinet doors for my shop are made.

GOOD ADVICE.
 

Bryan S

Bryan
Corporate Member
I would never discourage anyone from taking up woodworking as a hobby. However, I do have one concern with the above with regard to expectations. In this day in age, even the most frugal of hobbyists would be hard pressed to build a set of homemade cabinets for less money then they would have payed for a cheap set of imported particle-board construction ready-to-assemble cabinetry. The reality is that when we build cabinets ourselves we inevitably invest in far better quality materials (at considerably greater expense) and are more likely to use plywood or solid wood construction rather than particle board (also at considerably greater expense). We then have to figure in the investment in both tools and labor.

By the time one finishes their cabinets they will likely have far better quality cabinets (hopefully) but inexpensive they will not have been -- unless another party is willing to contribute all the materials and tools -- and even then you have to ask what your labor was worth. So don't build your own cabinets on the premise that you will ever save any money -- you're more likely to win a trip to the moon -- but do so because you WISH to do so and because you ENJOY doing so. Then it is worth the investment of time, money and materials and, done right, something you will continue to enjoy for years to come.
Well said Ethan, especially the part about because you want to.
 
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