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An organized garage will make anyone feel proud. The longer you live in your space by nature, the more things you accumulate. Things can get out of hand quickly, but consolidating and organizing is one way to freshen up that space. While you can buy cabinets, you can build your own to keep the cost down. Of course, making your own requires an investment of your time. If you go down that road, one significant benefit you get is customization.
This design delivers a lot of storage and flexibility. The top is designed for overhead storage and space for a future light fixture underneath.
To the left, there is a double door cabinet with fixed shelves inside. Below that is a big drawer with two fixed trays and deep side storage.
The Middle section is left open for future creativity. The right side has an identical double door cabinet with a top-to-bottom pin shelf system for all the adjusting you may need. Below that, there are four drawers, three shallow and one deep. Now you can keep your business out of sight.
- (8) 3/4in x 4ft x 8ft Plywood
- (2) 1/5in x 4ft x 8ft underlayment plywood
- (4) 2in by 4in by 8ft lumber
- (9) Pull handle
- (8) European hinge
- (12) 6 pairs or 20in. Drawer slides
- (80) 1-1/4in pocket holes screws
- (64) 1-1/4in wood screws
- (52) 2-1/4in wood screws
- (1) Set of Adjustable feet
- (4) Thread inserts or T-nuts
- (4) Washer
- Wood Glue
- 120 and 150 grit Sandpaper
- Edge banding
There are a lot of parts involved in these cabinets; I mean a lot! To make these cabinets, a table saw is recommended. A circular saw can get it done as well, but it will be very tedious. I have plans here if you would like to build these same cabinets.
After cutting all the parts, this is a good time to sand everything. If you do this before assembly, it will make your life easier; not have to fight to get into corners when things are assembled. Two passes were made with an orbital sander using 120 grit and 150 grit sandpaper.
1. Build the Upper Cabinets
Before building the cabinets, some preparation is required. For this, you will need a pocket hole jig, pocket hole screw, wood glue, square, and clamps.
Now, drill pocket holes in the top and bottom panels. Then, apply wood glue to the end grain and line it up to the adjacent part, “the side.” Use clamps to hold the plywood firmly to each other, then install the pocket hole screws. I did this on both ends until the cabinet frame is formed. To keep the cabinet frame squared, add the back panels at the top and bottom.
The back panel not only keeps the cabinet squared but also provides a mounting surface. Once mounted to the wall, you will install the 1/4in plywood sheet to cover the open space.
Based on the layout here, two identical cabinets were for the top.
2. Build the Lower Cabinets
The lower cabinet will assemble just as the upper cabinets. The only difference is it’s a square rather than a rectangle.
You will need the sides, top, and back panel. Place the top and bottom on the inside of the sides. The way the frame is constructed, the pocket holes will face the outside of the cabinet to keep them hidden. Like the upper cabinets, two of these were built.
Since these are the lower cabinets, they will take on the bulk of the load. The back will be attached to the wall leaving the front suspended.
After this cabinet is assembled, it’s best to add the adjustable feet. These are crucial because it adds support to the suspended front end of the cabinet.
Just like the top cabinet, two of these are made to fit this space.
3. Build the Large Drawer
This structure is the core of the big drawer, the side shelves, and the middle divider. The parts that resemble the shelf are assembled with two pieces the side and a bottom. They are drawn together with pocket hole screws and secured to the middle section.
4. Build the Multipurpose Drawer
This drawer is unique; I like the idea of this having three functionalities. The fixed storage at the top, bottom storage, and enough space between the storage to add a drill holder. That will be a future addition.
You will need four shelves, which will be screwed to the middle divider with pocket hole screws. I did not glue these parts, but you can apply glue. You should place two of the shelves at the bottom and two at the top.
Next, secure the front and back panel to the drawer.
This will enclose the drawer, now is a good time to line up the drawer in the lower cabinet and install the drawer slides. I like to do this as early as possible if things do not align well. It’s best to fix it in the early stage, not after it is stained or painted.
5. Build the Drawers
These drawers are made up of six parts (2) sides, front, back, bottom, and cover face.
While you can assemble the drawers in several ways, rabbet joinery is used to create this one. Using rabbet joints allows you to make a stable wood joint with two surfaces to apply wood glue.
After routing the parts, apply wood glue to the rabbet joints and clamp the pieces together. With the bottom of the drawer facing up, apply to the rabbet joint and sit the plywood bottom in the drawer. As the parts are clamped, check to make sure the drawer box is squared.
There is a total of four drawers, three shallow drawers, and one deep drawer. They are all constructed the same way. Just repeat the same process.
6. Installing the Cabinets
Installing these cabinets were unique to this location. However, it will be the same concept no matter where they go.
In this garage, the concrete protrudes out on the back wall. Taking advantage of that will be helpful but not required. The concrete lip provides support to the back end of the cabinet. To keep the cabinets low and close to the wall, you must remove a section of the baseboard.
To support the front of the cabinet, a set of adjustable feet was added 8 inches from the front of the lower cabinet.
With the wall was not being straight, it was easier to join the bottom and top cabinet first. Then, secure the unit to the stud.
7. Install the Doors
Each door was drilled using a hinge jig. Then I installed the hinges; two hinges per door are fine. Due to the length of the door, you could add a third hinge.
Finally, install the doors on both cabinets and install the 1/4in the back panel.
Install the cabinet trim below the cabinet doors. Now is a good time to install the drawers slides and the drawers.
Once the drawers are installed and aligned, install the drawer face and secure them from the inside.
8. Install the Pull Handles
As a way to speed up this step, a template was created for the drawer pull handles. I used that same template to drill the upper cabinet doors and drawer face.
9. Build the Storage For Overhead Containers
To maximize the storage capacity, I created a large shelf from plywood to fill the gap between the two cabinets. If you do not know how much you plan to store in the future, build this part out of “2X4”. You can then wrap it with plywood to give the same look. Once you get this into position, mounting it to the studs and the side of the cabinets.
Keep in mind, additional cabinets could be built to fill the space if more storage is required.
10. How To Build the Shelves
When it comes to the shelves, there are two concepts. One cabinet has a fixed option the other uses pins to easily adjust the shelves.
The shelves are constructed of plywood. To give the shelve a thick look, it was created with two parts. A strip of plywood was attached to the edge of the plywood which gave the thick appearance.
While this space is not completely finished this is what it was like before.
Now there is an exact focal point of this space. Aside from the cabinets, there are a few things in here yet to be done. After taking a step back, the transformation is huge, not just the look, but also the available space. We got rid of things we didn’t need and packed up what we don’t use often.
While this space is not geared for a woodworking shop, it delivers just enough to be handy around the house.
While everything is empty at the moment, I’ll shed some light on the things that are in this garage. Looking at the cabinets from left to right, let’s recap on this design.
This cabinet has a large double door, fixed shelf locations. The shelves can be quickly adjusted by relocating the support heights. Each door has a set of European hinge and finished off with stylish pull handles.
The lower cabinet has one big drawer with two sets of soft closing drawer slides. This multipurpose drawer has two fixed trays at the top and massive side storage for larger tools with aside access.
Overhead storage was added to fill the gap between the two cabinets. This makes room for the Husky waterproof and heavy-duty airtight containers at the top. These containers are impact rated; if one falls while handling, I hope they survive.
Just below, there is a 72in Husky Workbench tool chest with 15 drawers ready to be filled. The tool chest complements the handles and the containers above. I am leaning towards painting these grey, but that will be for another day.
I do plan to add a light fixture at some point in the future. For now, I will soak in the look and make more plans.
Just like the left cabinet, large storage capacity. One difference, this offers more flexibility. From top to bottom, holes were drilled for shelf pins. Now, the shelves can be adjusted as needed.
If the big drawer on the left cabinet was too unique for your liking, then these drawers may be more appealing. It’s loaded with three identical drawers and one deep drawer for bigger items to be stored. The three drawers at the top are shallow; in the future, I plan to add some sliding trays.
For now, this sums up the back wall.
The cabinets will be left untouched until I design a few more areas in this space. After narrowing things down, the cabinets will be painted. I will be using this Husky air compressor paired up with this Spray gun kit. This is new territory for me, but I want to achieve a fine finish.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed the read, but most importantly, I hope this transformation was inspiring. This will be a process; it’s not complete, but I am excited to see it all comes together.
Be sure to stay tuned and follow me on social me for future updates.