In the second part of the cabinet build, the task ahead is doors: six doors of varying size and shape, to be exact. Priceless architecture that will be treasured for ages isn’t how this is going down. Much like the rest of this project, I’m looking for peppy and cheap so I opted for knotted whitewood and 1/4” ply.
Though some may shudder at the thought, and there are undoubtedly better options for cabinet door material, such as any hardwood on the planet, I got the three-inch whitewood trim for a $1 per 8’ stick, so whitewood it is.
I began the process by routing a 1 /4” x 1 /4” slot down one side of each piece of stock.
Next came cutting each piece on the miter saw to the correct length. If you ever do this, make sure the groove is on the right side of the cut or it’s now a wasted piece.
Once each side is cut you have the basics of the frame that will form our low-rent door. We could have done it the correct way, which would involve many more routing operations; however, this is going to get a paint job and live in the closet, so expending a ton of effort on these doors isn’t necessary.
The plywood insert was cut to fit the frame groove exactly, and after I applied glue to the mitered corners a few nails held the rig in place until the glue dried. The end result was no clamping and a quick turnaround time.
A run around the outside edge with a 3/8” round over bit made a bigger difference in the look and feel of these doors than I thought possible.
The final sacrilegious step in the name of low-buck cabinetry arrived just before painting in the form of spackle. I opted for spackle because it was already sitting on the shelf in the shop; it spreads like icing and sands in no time flat, a fateful decision and zero-dollar solution that will land me squarely in the bowels of woodworking hell.
Chipped-out ply, knots, and knotholes were covered and sanded smooth and ready to go in almost no time at all.
After the first coat of primer went on, the craptastic, knotty wood was completely hidden away behind a fresh, white shell of pigment. It matches the rest of the closet, and once it’s installed it won’t look out of place in the slightest.
I did some figuring, and with the whitewood trim and the ply — half of which I salvaged from elsewhere — the doors ran me less than $3 each. Of course three of them were small 17” x 10” in size, but two of them were 34” x 17” which makes up for it a bit. All in all, I most likely broke every fine woodworking rule in the book but still managed to get the doors built for less than it would cost to buy one prefab door at a cabinetry shop.
The third and final post will be hardware, mounting the doors, and finish-out.