Asked on Oct 20, 2019

How do I frame an old window to make it into a cabinet?

Lifestyles HomesMaura WhiteJewellmartin


I know the concept of a cabinet. Im having trouble though on the size of the boards to use for sides n top n bottom. Also what size do I use for shelves? Which is better screws or nails? Thanks

4 answers
  • Jewellmartin
    on Oct 20, 2019

    4-8” wide boards can be cut to the sizes you need. A 12” shelf on the top and bottom will give you more options. Screws are better, unless you have a nail and staple gun. Start the holes for the screws with a small nail, so the wood won’t split while inserting the screws. I like to use a drop of wood glue in any hole for extra strength. Please post your cabinet project on Hometalk. Jewell

  • Lifestyles Homes
    Lifestyles Homes
    on Oct 20, 2019

    You are wanting to take a loose old window and make that window into a door of the new cabinet?

    • Katie
      on Oct 24, 2019

      Yes the window would be the door. I want to make a cabinet. I have so many of them.....old windows. I want to try n make a cabinet for stuff. Im not sure what size boards to use. Thanks for taking time for my question. Oh BTW. if you live in St. Louis Vintage Market days is at Chesterfield Mall in the old Sears store. Friday thru Sunday. I think its like 10 buckeroos which goes to a charity. Some of it. Anyhoo have a great Weekend.

  • Lifestyles Homes
    Lifestyles Homes
    on Oct 24, 2019

    Cabinet “boxes” or casework, as it’s called in woodworking shops, is typically made with 5/8”-3/4” plywood depending on the structural span and if it is an upper (screwed to the wall studs) or if it’s a base (sits on the floor).

    The plywood can be either edgebanded at the joints (if it is an A/B grade) and stained or if B/C/D Grades, it can be filled in with wood putty and opaque stained or painted.

    Cheaper cabinets use panels of Medium Density Fiberboard and some solid 1x3 internal framing. Like a skin on a skeleton. I don’t like having to use specialty fasteners with MDF, personally.

    The backs will need cross pieces for hanging. The fronts will need a face frame for traditional surface mount hinges or no face frame for Euro-style hinges.

    I would think the window is going “prefer” surface mount hinges.

    With graph paper, I’d work backwards from the window size and draw sections as to how big my cuts will need to be.

    Glue, screw/nail and clamp all joints, to stay together.

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