How do I create a custom cabinet with plywood ?

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I want to make a base cabinet for my countertop dishwasher to set it lower than counter height. I would like to have a tray/ cutting board storage next to the DW and room below [9" height] for crockpot/roaster pan storage. And a simple slide in[ not with glides, just an empty space about 24-30" wide and 3+ height] cutlery storage box. Probably no toe kick. I have drawn up my idea, but own no tools, not great with fractional measurements.


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  • Measurements are crucial in a construction project. First things first. What is in this space now? Next, can you post your drawing? Dishwashers typically have a standard height, so "setting it lower than counter height" doesn't make sense. The storage for your pans and appliances sounds like an empty box.


    However I do understand what you want. If at all possible, can you post a photo(s) of what is existing and a copy of your drawing as previously requested so we can help you get from A to B?


    You can rent tools from a local tool supply. But do you know how to use them?


    Is there a contingency fund to hire a licensed contractor if the project is bigger than you anticipated?

    • See 2 previous
    • Mary Beth Mabe Mary Beth Mabe on Feb 26, 2021

      The sink plumbing won't be moved. The apartment living area is 11'x18' with an alcove on 1of the 18 sides. That's a wet wall with a bath behind the kitchen. Hardwood floors throughout. Island is freely movable and was brought in when we moved in. Pebble Piazza from Home Depot countertop 8' straight. He works with tools and is a handyman, has done many need-to-fix things to this little 4unit building. I mentioned the "bits from HD" because they come in 4' length as bundle separators in the lumber dept. Thus they are fairly durable, roughly the same as a 2x4 but more square. If he wants to buy regular lumber, I won't stop him.

      My concept is 6 of the dunnage bars, then some 1x3's to make the frame top and bottom. A cleat of 2x2 along the alcove walls where the countertop will rest. A thinner sheet material [like hardboard] for the sides of the two end units, and the sink is to be a "cave" / open so my partner can roll his wheelchair under about 10-12" for knee clearance below the sink. Then He can actually use the dishwasher since it will be lower and reach the H & C taps.

  • FrugalFamilyTimes.com FrugalFamilyTimes.com on Feb 25, 2021

    Could you hire a local handy person to help you? Having to get all the tools seems like a big expanse. Maybe a handy person could coach you too - for future projects. :)

  • Dee Dee on Feb 25, 2021

    It's all in the prep and having the right tools. See if you can find a carpenter in the area who could make this for you. If you have a local vocational school, approach the teacher and see if they can make it a class project for extra credit.


    • Mary Beth Mabe Mary Beth Mabe on Feb 26, 2021

      I like the class project idea. Thanks! Especially if I find a used 24 -30" cabinet[or 2] for my design.

      They could learn how to redo and make new.

  • Seth Seth on Feb 25, 2021

    Try your local Habitat for Humanity restore or Facebook market place for someone getting rid of cabinets that you might be able to alter to fit your needs.

  • Annie Annie on Feb 26, 2021

    Hi, there are a tone of great youtube vids to get you going. Check out this one

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNQi2UOFmSo

  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Feb 28, 2021

    Do you have an example picture of your desired cabinet?

    • See 1 previous
    • Mary Beth Mabe Mary Beth Mabe on Feb 28, 2021

      Here is the current setup. The dishwasher is the white object to left of sink. The fridge will be moved to where that huge island is.( To left of stove.)

  • Drawing it out is great, just make sure you check and triple check all your measurements. Getting those right are thoroughly key. See if you can rent the tools or borrow from a friend. You might try building test parts first to make sure you can manage the tools and the process.

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