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Building Kitchen Cabinets – A Tool Checklist For DIY’ers

So you want to build your own kitchen cabinets? You certainly can do it, but make sure you have all the right equipment. This is a quick overview of the tools you will need.

Tools You Will Need

Circular Saw – Kitchen cabinet casework starts with cutting plywood and panel parts, and you’ll need a good circular saw with a plywood cutting blade to accomplish this task. An edge guide will help you make your cuts straight and square. Cutting plywood and panel parts on a table saw is not a good idea, unless you have a table saw set-up with a large outfeed table.

Table Saw – For ripping board stock to make cabinet face frames and cabinet door frames, you’ll need an accurate table saw. Many good bench top table saws will be suitable for this process.

Miter Saw – For cutting board stock to length, a good miter saw is required. Cutting board stock to length includes cutting cabinet face frames, cabinet door frames, and all moldings.

Random Orbital Sander – For finishing all casework and board stock, you’ll need a random orbital sander with a variety of sandpaper grits.

Cordless Drill – Kitchen cabinets can be assembled using screws. A good 18 volt cordless drill with a backup battery will make your cabinet assembly go smoothly. Please get an extra battery so that you won’t lose time waiting for batteries to recharge.

Kreg Jig – The kreg jig offers a system to assemble cabinet face frames with pocket screws. All major cabinet companies build their cabinet face frames with pocket screws – so should you. There is no need to build mortise and tenon joints on your face frames.

Nail Gun – Cabinet installation requires a nail gun for attaching all moldings on your kitchen cabinets.

Some Tools You May Need

Planer – If you decide to mill your own board stock, you’ll want to have a planer. This makes sense if you decide to use board stock not commonly available at the home centers – like cherry and alder.

Sprayer – For finishing cabinet doors and face frames, an hvlp sprayer can make staining and finishing a faster process.

Miscellaneous Jigs – If you’re using European hinges on your cabinets (cup hole hinges), you’ll want a good hinge hole jig. Also, attaching drawer slides inside cabinet casework goes a bit more smoothly with the help of a drawer guide jig.

Building your own kitchen cabinets is a big project. It’s a project that most DIY’ers can tackle, but you’ll want to have all the right tools to make the project easy to manage and complete. Please consider these tools before you get started.

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