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Project 11366EZ:

Wall Cabinet with

Recessed Finger Pulls

A wall cabinet can be both a useful article of furniture and an attractive way to
display a choice section of board. This cabinet’s moderate size makes it easy to
work with, and its simplified construction makes it a piece any woodworker can
build. There are usually two key elements that determine what makes a project
special: design and stock selection. In this cabinet, the rounded edges of the door
frames provide just the right accent, while the combination of light and dark wood
in the panels is a pleasing visual effect. Features such as the recessed finger pulls,
the knife hinges, and the full frame-and-panel back are all details that contribute
to the overall distinctiveness of the piece.
Our cabinet is crafted entirely of cherry, except for the two door panels, which are
maple. Natural staining in the wood causes the dark areas in the panels.
Wall Cabinet with Recessed Finger Pulls
Complete Schematic
Wall Cabinet with Recessed Finger Pulls
Materials List
Part Description Size No. Req’d
A Top/Bottom 3/4" x 6" x 19" 2
B Side 3/4" x 5-1/4" x 22-1/2" 2
C Back Stile 3/4" x 4" x 22-1/2" 2
D Back Rail 3/4" x 3-1/2" x 10" 2
E Back Panel 1/2" x 10-1/2" x 16" 1
F Spline 1/4" x 1" x 3" 4
G Back Panel Retainer 1/4" x 3/4" stock 4 pieces
H Door Stile 3/4" x 1-3/4" x 22-1/2" 4
I Door Rail 3/4" x 1-3/4" x 7-1/8"* 4
J Door Panel 1/2" x 6-1/8" x 19-1/2" 2
K Door Panel Retainer 1/4" x 3/4" stock 4 pieces
L Finger Pull Backing 1/8" x 1" x 5-1/2" 2
M Shelf Cleats 5/16" x 5/16" x 4-1/2" 6
N Door Stop 5/16" x 3/4" x 2-1/2" 1
O Glass Shelves 4-1/4" x 17-1/4" 3
P Knife Hinge 5/16" x 1-9/16" 2 pair
Q Bullet Catch 5/16" diameter 2

*Includes tenons

Wall Cabinet with Recessed Finger Pulls

Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Cut the top and bottom (A) and the two sides (B) to form the carcass.
2. Cut the frame-and-panel parts for the back (C, D, and E).
3. Cut the door components (H, I, and J) and the various smaller parts (F, G, K,
L, M, and N). NOTE: It may be necessary to edge-glue narrower stock
to form the back panel (E).
4. Fit both back panel and the door panels into their respective frames by
means of a 1/4" x 3/8" rabbet around their perimeters. NOTE: Both the
door and back panels are designed so they will be flush with their re-
spective frames on the inside.
5. Size these panels to allow for movement across the width of the stock, as
shown in each of the panel details (Figures 1 and 2).
6. Use splines to assemble the back frame-and-panel, as illustrated in Figure 3.
7. Use a 1/4" straight bit on the router table to cut the spline grooves.
8. NOTE that, because the 3/8" wide rabbet into which the panel fits is cut
with the router after the frame is assembled, you must use a chisel to square
the corners of the rabbet.
9. Use a brad in either end to center the panel within the rabbet.
10. Use a simple molding (G), mitered at the corners, to serve as a retainer for
the panel. NOTE: Brads also hold the retainer in place.
11. Cut a 3/8" wide x 3/4" deep rabbet into the sides of the cabinet.
12. Assemble the back frame-and-panel.
13. Cut the doorframe components to size.
14. Apply the 1/4" radius around the front perimeter of each piece.
15. Make the mortises and tenons in these pieces to the dimensions shown in
Figure 4.
16. Cut the recessed finger pulls.
17. Use the router cut the 1/4" deep x 3/8" wide rabbet into which the door
panels will fit.
18. Assemble the doors, centering the panels both side-to-side and top-to-bot-
19. Anchor the doors with brads in both ends.
20. Glue the 1/4" thick x 3/4" wide retainer molding (K) around the inside
perimeter to lock the panels in place.
21. Add the 1/8" thick backing plates (L) behind the recessed finger pulls.
22. Dry assemble the cabinet carcass including the frame-and-panel back.
23. Screw top and bottom into the sides with the screws counter-bored and later
24. Position the doors to check for fit.
25. Mark for the hinges.
26. Disassemble the carcass.
27. Use the router to cut the knife hinge mortises in the top and bottom.
28. Square the inside of each mortise by hand with the chisel.
29. Mount the doors.
30. Drill for and insert the bullet catches (Q).
31. Add the door stop (N).
32. Drill out the holes for several brads to hold the cleats (M) securely.
33. Add a spot of glue in the center of each cleat and fasten to the assembly.
34. Have the glass shelves cut a bit under the specified dimensions when you
purchase them to insure fit. Also ask that all the edges be softened.
35. Add the glass shelves (O).
36. Sand the cabinet thoroughly.
37. Finish with two coats of tung oil, buffed between coats with 0000 steel

These plans were originally published in Volume 9, Issue 3 of The Woodworker’s

Journal (May/June 1985, pages 30-31).