How to Make Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

  • 12-20 hours
  • Advanced
  • 500-1,000
What You'll Need
Tape Measure
3/4 Inch Plywood
3/4 Inch Lumber
Table Saw
Wood Glue
1/4-Inch Plywood
Pipe Clamps
Shaker Style Router Bits
Shaker Style Pulls
Door Hinge

Shaker kitchen cabinets add a great minimalistic look to your kitchen decor. Because of the great looks, the strong joinery, and functionality, the shaker design continues to be a favorite among home remodelers. When you are thinking about introducing the shaker style into your kitchen, the cost can be considerable. However, with some basic steps, tools, and woodworking knowledge, you can easily build your own set of custom shaker kitchen cabinets.

Step 1: Measure for Carcass of Kitchen Cabinets

Use your tape measure and get the measurements for the cabinet opening. Write these measurements down, but subtract 3/4 inch from the depth for the cabinet doors, and subtract 1 1/2 inches from the width for allowance of the side panels.

Step 2: Cut Pieces for Carcass of Kitchen Cabinets

Cut the sides of your kitchen cabinet by placing the measurements for the height and depth of the opening on two pieces of plywood. Cut them out using a table saw and proper safety equipment and techniques. Mark the measurements for the other three sides and cut them with a table saw.

Step 3: Build Carcass of Kitchen Cabinets

Assemble the frame by using wood glue and pipe clamps. Line up each of the sides with the other parts and apply liberal amounts of glue. Use finish nails to secure them and clamp with pipe clamps until they dry. Make sure to raise the bottom of the cabinet up two inches from the bottom.

Step 4: Build Face Frame

Cut the 1/4-inch lumber to widths of 2 inches. Then measure for the top and bottom of your cabinet and cut two pieces to these lengths. Measure for the height of the cabinet face and cut two more of the 1/4 lumber to fit this measurement. Glue the top and bottom rails onto your cabinet face and clamp them. Add the two stiles, or sides of the face frame, with glue and clamps.

Step 5: Build Door

Measure the front of your cabinet face and add another inch to the overall height and width. Measure two pieces of plywood at 2-inch widths and the vertical measurement of your cabinet front. Cut these pieces out on table saw and set aside. Subtract 4 inches from the width of the opening and cut two more pieces of plywood to this measurement.

Step 6: Cut Stile and Rail Design

Using a router with the appropriate Shaker-style rail and stile bit, cut the joint into the door pieces. Dry fit the pieces together to make sure they fit correctly.

Step 7: Cut Panel for Door

Measure the opening between the stiles and rails and cut a 1/4 piece of plywood to these dimensions.

Step 8: Assemble Door

Assemble the door around the 1/4 plywood and glue together with strong wood glue. Use the pipe clamps to hold them together until dry.

Step 9: Finish Cabinet

Sand off any of the excess glue that is present on the cabinet. Secure the door hinges onto the Shaker kitchen cabinets. Screw the doors to the face frame and install the door pulls. The cabinet is ready to be varnished and hung in your kitchen.