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How to Build Your Own Cabinets: Techniques and Projects

Elevate your woodworking skills with the 11 lessons on How to Build Your Own Cabinets: Techniques and Projects, in which master woodworker George Vondriska gives you step-by-step methods for building cabinets, bookshelves, dressers, and more.
How to Build Your Own Cabinets: Techniques and Projects is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 13.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Build own cabinets - perfect for beginners I’m a complete novice when it comes to cabinetry, joinery, etc (although I have put a fair number of flat packs together over the years), and I have to say I am enjoying George’s courses immensely - both this one and the course on techniques and tools. He is a wonderful teacher, and I have learned so much from watching his practical lectures that I have felt confident enough to kit myself out with a modest workshop toolkit and am looking forward to putting all his tips and techniques into practice. If I only use half of the information included in these two courses, I know I will be able to build a whole range of furniture. I don’t know how useful this course is for more experienced woodworkers, but for a novice like me it is fantastic. Not a criticism at all, but an observation: I live in the UK, and some of the tools George uses aren’t available in my country. However, I have already learned enough that I can envisage a workaround using the tools that I do have.
Date published: 2023-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very easy to follow and learned more in first hour than over the years. instructor was professional and explained well
Date published: 2022-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent instruction! I bought this course a few weeks ago and have just started watching it in early january 2022. The instruction really is top flight and so easy to follow. . I like the periodic 'Recap' feature as the session proceeds. I haven't got very far into the first disc, due to lack of time, but even now, part way through the first disc I am impressed with the standard of tuition and the emphasis on safety. A very good product!!
Date published: 2022-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lots of tips; lots of equipment Course provided lots of tips and clear instructions that produced beautiful furniture for the presenter, but these required so much expensive mechanical equipment that would not be available to me that I cannot really make use of the information. It would have been helpful to at least explain how procedures were done by hand in previous eras.
Date published: 2020-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great knowledge I've gone through the entire course and I've found it interesting and well taut. I applied most of this knowledge in my workshop almost immediately.
Date published: 2019-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great course. Great course. Lots of practical tips for the novice and experienced woodworker. Excellent step by step guide.
Date published: 2019-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I like this guy! I am enjoying this series of videos. The teacher is down to earth, easy to listen to, and the camera angles help me to understand what he's doing. (Video is a must for this course.) He knows that sometimes it takes time and repeated attempts to get things just right. I was particularly interested in learning to make dovetail joints, and that lesson was very helpful; I watched it several times and caught something new each time. I was also encouraged to buy and use my first dado set, which worked first time like a charm. I'm obviously a beginner, and this was a great set of videos to start with, though there's plenty to challenge me to grow my skills and knowledge. At this point, I don't know whether I'll ever use all the techniques he teaches, but I'm enjoying the journey. I'd recommend this both for novices and for folks who've done a lot of woodworking on their own - there's plenty to learn here.
Date published: 2018-10-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Poor Quality Video The quality of the video is bad. High Def would have been nice but what can you expect for $70? The first instructor is ok, the other guy is really good and has some great ideas. Very monotone however and watching a two hour video is hard. Overall the information is good and even after being a woodworker for years I have picked up on several things.
Date published: 2018-08-21
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Woodworking instructor George Vondriska of the Woodworkers Guild of America has crafted a series of lessons designed to give you those very techniques. In the 11 lessons of How to Build Your Own Cabinets: Techniques and Projects, George takes you into his workshop for an in-depth look at how woodworkers build cabinets—and how you can, too. You’ll learn step-by-step methods for building your own projects, from kitchen cabinets to bookshelves to dressers. And you’ll come away with a host of tips and tricks you can use you the next time you set foot in your workshop.


George Vondriska

My goal is to help you become a better woodworker.


Woodworkers Guild of America

George Vondriska has been teaching woodworking since 1986. In addition to teaching classes at his own Vondriska Woodworks School, George has taught at woodworking shows and retail stores across the country, in Africa as part of the Peace Corps, and for organizations from Andersen Window to Northwest Airlines. He has even taught woodworking at the Pentagon.

After getting his B.S. in Science Education at the University of St. Thomas and a teaching degree in Technical Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Mr. Vondriska began his career as a woodworking educator at ShopSmith Academy. Since then, he has taught at or helped develop curriculum for woodworking education programs around the world.

Beyond his work in education, Mr. Vondriska volunteers as an Assistant Scoutmaster and Woodworking Merit Badge Counselor for the Boy Scouts of America. He also runs guitar building sessions for Guitars 4 Vets, a program that provides acoustic guitars and music lessons to injured military veterans.

Mr. Vondriska is the Managing Editor of the WoodWorkers Guild of America. He has also written for American Woodworker Magazine, Fine Woodworking, WOOD, and Woodworkers Journal. He holds a U.S. Patent, issued in February 2008, for inventing the tenon cutting router bit.

How to Build Your Own Cabinets: Techniques and Projects


Essential Woodworking Techniques for Cabinetmaking

01: Essential Woodworking Techniques for Cabinetmaking

Great cabinetmaking starts with mastering essential techniques that will simplify the cabinetmaking process. Once you master these simple concepts—how to use the Golden proportion for classic furniture design, the right way to rough-cut sheet goods, why it’s better to sand components before you assemble them, strategies for measuring and cutting door frames, and tips for using the most common tools involved in cabinetmaking—you’ll be able to tackle the large variety of projects in the lessons ahead.

175 min
Cabinetmaking: The Next Level

02: Cabinetmaking: The Next Level

Take your cabinetmaking to the next level with this informative and insightful lesson filled with great tips and tricks for your workshop. Among the many helpful pointers you'll learn are: how to cut melamine to size while avoiding chipping the surface; how to build a toe kick into your cabinet; how to easily remove saw marks from your stock using a surface planer; how to install shelf standards the right way (using a hand-held screwdriver); and how to ensure you have square corners when assembling your cabinets.

137 min
Kitchen Cabinet Construction, Part 1

03: Kitchen Cabinet Construction, Part 1

A lot of woodworkers are keen on making their own kitchen cabinets. It increases the beauty of a kitchen—and the value of a home. In the first of two lessons on kitchen cabinet construction, focus on the process of creating cabinets, from dimensioning to cutting to laying out your pieces. Mr. Vondriska explains the jargon of building cabinets, shows you how to use optimization software to organize all your parts and dimensions, demonstrates how to effectively and accurately cut sheet stock to size, and teaches you how to assemble a cabinet carcase using staples, screws, and butt joints.

99 min
Kitchen Cabinet Construction, Part 2

04: Kitchen Cabinet Construction, Part 2

In this second lesson on kitchen cabinet construction, Mr. Vondriska helps you wrap up your kitchen cabinets with face frames, drawers, and doors, as well as expert tips on pre-finishing your entire project. How do you build doors with European-style hinges? What's the best way for cutting face frame parts? How do you build a countertop that's longer than a single sheet of material? What's a quick workaround for gluing on a face frame accurately? What's a great way for building rock-solid kitchen cabinet drawers?

99 min
Methods for Making Cabinet Doors

05: Methods for Making Cabinet Doors

Cabinet doors can be intimidating for some woodworkers. But they don't have to be when you use Mr. Vondriska's accessible and flexible methods. As you explore techniques to find what works best for you and your shop, you'll explore ways to make raised panels, discover a cool technique for cove cutting doors on the table saw, determine the right material for your cabinet door, practice making an arched rail using patterns, and create rabbets for glass panel doors.

119 min
Build a Quality Drawer: Dovetails & Drawer Locks

06: Build a Quality Drawer: Dovetails & Drawer Locks

Drawers are absolutely integral to any fully functioning cabinet. Which is why if you want to make cabinets the right way, you need to learn how to master building a quality drawer. Mr. Vondriska takes you through some of his favorite shop-tested techniques for making sure that when you build a drawer, it's going to stand the test of time. Some of the many topics you'll explore in this lesson include half-blind dovetails, through dovetails, and several ways to make drawer lock joints using a table saw or router table. The ultimate goal: to give you an arsenal of tools so that when you're working on your next set of drawers, you have the confidence you need to make sure everything comes together the way it should.

139 min
Dresser Essentials

07: Dresser Essentials

Dressers are a great example of carcase and face frame construction, allowing you to use what you’ve learned about cabinetmaking to craft a beautiful piece of custom furniture. With the case built, you’ll start on drawer construction, learning to size the drawer boxes to create graduated drawer sizes—large drawers on the bottom and small on the top. You’ll also learn to assemble the drawers using a rock-solid drawer lock joint.

82 min
Safety Gear Cabinet & Cordless Drill Organizer

08: Safety Gear Cabinet & Cordless Drill Organizer

Stay organized in your shop with these two fun projects designed to make some of your most commonly used gear and tools easy to find. First, you'll build a simple cabinet for storing items such as protective goggles and ear plugs. It's a project that's a great way to hone your ability to make half-lap joints and prep a door for glass. Then, you'll craft a wall-mounted drill organizer for storing everything from batteries to chargers to drill bits. Some woodworking projects are about form; these are about function.

93 min
Swiveling Bookcase

09: Swiveling Bookcase

Take a turn practicing your woodworking skills on a neat project that's perfect to put in a child's room or anywhere where space is at a premium. Your project: a six-foot bookcase with adjustable shelves that's made more accessible by swiveling and offering additional room for things like coat racks and whiteboards. Mr. Vondriska shows you how to work with lazy Susan mechanisms, apply banding to plywood, cut biscuit slots, create adjustable shelf holes, and use other woodworking tools and techniques.

94 min
Cherry Bookcase

10: Cherry Bookcase

Who doesn't need more bookcases in their home? Here, Mr. Vondriska shows you how to build a beautiful, elegant bookcase from cherry. A simple dentil molding and arched base adds amazing detail to a piece of woodworking you'll be proud to show off anywhere. Then, Mr. Vondriska continues on to several other woodworking projects, some of which offer creative ways to use up some of the scrap wood you've been hoarding: a removable pizza cutter handle, a wine bottle stopper, and sawhorses with stools for extra workspace in your shop.

39 min
Shop-Made First Aid Cabinet

11: Shop-Made First Aid Cabinet

If you have a shop, then you need a first aid kit readily accessible. But don’t settle for an ugly metal first aid cabinet when you can make something on your own, right in your own shop. In this lesson, Mr. Vondriska walks you through the process of building a small-scale case for your first aid essentials that features dovetailed joints, small raised door panels, touch-latches, a lower panel that acts as a work surface, and more. This project is a great way to stay safe in your shop—while showing off your woodworking skills.

83 min