Bedside Cabinet Woodworking Plan
This small cabinet is made of American white oak veneered panels with a liming wax finish to produce a smart, contemporary look. Solid wood trim and edging are easily applied to match the oak-veneered door and panels. The grain pattern of the oak is enhanced by the pale color, while the wax finish suits the soft, comfortable feel of a bedroom.
• 1.5 x 1m (60 x 39 in) of 12mm (1/2 in) veneered MDF (medium density fiberboard)
• 305 x 305mm (12 x 12 in) of 6mm (1/4 in) MDF for the template
• 1.5m (60 in) of 19 x 19mm (1/4 in) hardwood molding for the top
• 4m (13 ft) of 12 x 6mm (1/2 x 1/4 in) hardwood edge trim
• Pre-glued veneer edging strip.
• 2 brass hinges
• Ball catch
• Door handle
• 4 brass shelf supports
• Wood glue
• 19mm (3/4 in) panel pins (brads)
• 12mm (1/2 in) countersunk brass wood screws
The distinctive profile of the cabinet sides incorporates a simple curve that forms the legs at the bottom and a matching handle detail at the top. Pre-glued strips of veneer simplify the process of applying edging to the shape. The top of the cabinet is finished with an angled molding, which forms a shallow recess on the top to prevent stray items from rolling off. With a router and a few basic hand tools, this project can be constructed with ease.
1. Cut the two side panels to their overall size, using a router with a 12mm (1/2 in) cutter to the rebate (rabbet) them for the shelves and back panel. Set out the rebates according to the dimensions given in the figure. Cut out the back pane! and rebate at the top and bottom for the horizontal panels.
2. Make a template using 6mm (1/4 in) thick MDF to the radius shown . Line up the centerline of the template with the center of the panel and transfer the shape to each end. Remove the waste with a jigsaw, set to a slow speed to avoid forcing the blade through the work.
3. Smooth down the curves with a pad of sandpaper, taking care not to round over the edges of the cutout. The edging strip requires a perfectly flat surface when it is applied. Use a rotary sandinq drum if you have one.
4. Using’ the tip of warm iron, press the pre-glued strip into place so that it follows the curve. Keep the iron moving at all times to avoid overheating the delicate material. Leave for at least 15 minutes for the glue to set.
5. Trim off the excess veneer with a long, flat blade, pressed flat on the surface of the panel. This helps to prevent splinters from being picked up by the blade. Use a slow knifing action in long strokes to remove the small slivers of the veneer.
6. Drill four small holes, 6mm (1/4 in) deep. for the support pegs of the removable shelf before assembling the cabinet. Note the masking tape on the drill bit, which acts as a depth. gauge. Then sand down all the internal surfaces.
7. Assemble the cabinet face down on a flat surface. Apply glue to the rebates and slot in the horizontal panels. Push the back panel firmly into position to square the assembly.
8. Use 19mm (3/4 in) panel pins to attach the joints. Check the cabinet is square and that all front edges are flush. Wipe off excess glue with a damp cloth and allow to dry.
9. Cut short lengths of 6mm (1/4 in) hardwood edge trim to fit the front edges of the horizontal panels. Glue and pin them in place, taking care not to position the pins too close to the ends to prevent the material from splitting. A small pilot hole may be required for each pin.
10. Mitre four pieces of molding to edge the top panel. Fit the front and back sections of molding to the panel, gluing and pinning them as for the front trim. Center the top on the cabinet and attach, using four narrow gauge screws; they will be hidden by the remaining lengths of molding.
11. Glue and pin the two side moldings in position. Punch down all the heads, apply stopping to the pin holes and sand down ready for finishing. Take care when sanding veneered edges. Use a hand sanding block rather than a power sander.
12. Measure up and cut the door to size from a matching panel of the veneered board, making it just over 6mm (1/4 in) smaller all round to allow for the edge trim. Miter the ends of the trim pieces and glue them in place, then sand to a fine finish.
13. Flush hinges of the type shown require no recesses for the leaves. The barrel of the hinge pin lodges against the front edge of the side panel and automatically aligns the door. Fit with 12mm (1/2 in) countersunk brass screws.
14. Screw the wooden handle of your choice to the door before fitting the catch. This allows you to control the closing action more easily and avoid straining the hinges. Now fit the brass ball catch just behind the handle.
15. A quick and easy way to align the tip of the ball catch is to apply a dab of ink to the base, and close the door on to it to make a small mark.
16. Make the removable shelf. Finish the front edge with a length of edging strip. Insert the shelf supports and offer the shelf into position. Coat the cabinet inside with clear lacquer.