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3 Part Series: How-To Build a Cabinet Box

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

Instagram Story Question Feature stating: Would you like to see how we build our cabinets?

It was a quiet day on Instagram when out of nowhere we got an idea. We asked a simple question to our followers, "Would you like to see how we build our cabinets?" Then, a plethora of answers flooded our inbox with the consensus being an overwhelming yes.

So, here you have it, a 3 Part Series: How-To Build a Cabinet Box.

Part 1

Here, and in Part 2, our Founder and Lead Carpenter Matthew Whiteis shows you the basics of a cabinet box that he pre-built.

Know this process will work for the size you build, and we'll share a few of the tools he uses and talk about why he uses them.

Featured Tools

  • The Kreg Foreman Pocket Hole Machine is what we use to make all our pocket holes before we assemble - as you will see in Part 3 of this series.

  • We use the Rockler Pro Shelf Drilling Jig for adjustable shelf pin holes. When using this jig, you'll simply find the center on each leg and divider (between the top and bottom of the face frame) and pre-drill every other hole. We do this before we assemble the box. For lower cabinets, we typically only drill 3 holes for three different height options.

Part 2

Here Matt's continuing the enthralling basics of a pre-built box.

As you learned in Part 1, we use TruPan Ultralight MDF for the core of the boxes in this tutorial. These are paint-grade cabinets but we also use this process for plywood applications.

Pockets work just fine on MDF as long as the depth is set properly and you’re not drilling them too close to the edges of the pieces. Tip: The closer you get to the edge, the more they’ll want to split. Don’t over-torque and use plenty of glue.

Featured Tools

  • We like using the Stanley Fat Max tape measure. And, if it’s not attached to Matt's side it’s usually lost in another dimension. That’s why we own at least five of them. True story.

Part 3

And for the finale, here's Matt assembling a cabinet box. Simply watch and see how all the previously mentioned parts and tools are used to piece it together.

Featured Tools:

  • We use Ryobi drills and absolutely love them.

As you can tell, our tool arsenal consists of many brands of reliable and effective tools. We recommend finding the best-fit tools for you, and for each application and build. It all comes down to what gets the job done in an efficient, yet high-quality manner.

Check out our favorites* and snag them for yourselves via our Amazon Storefront!


We hope you enjoyed this series! At MT Trim Co, we strongly believe in fostering relationships and supporting everyone in the trade, so that the craft of woodworking continues for generations to come.

If you have an idea or request for a future tutorial or post, feel free to contact us!

*As an Amazon Influencer, MT Trim Co earns commissions on qualifying purchases.



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