DIY Garage Cabinet Plans: Build From Scratch

Do you have a passion for woodworking? Or maybe you are just getting started.

A good challenge to flex your woodworking muscles would be to build a garage cabinet. It’s not a complicated process. You can do it yourself at home. And I will show you how. I will take you through the things you should do to build a garage cabinet from scratch successfully.

But first, let’s have a quick word on what garage cabinets are and why you should even consider making one.

Why Build A Garage Cabinet?

Other than providing space for parking our vehicles, the garage is a splendid place to store your items.

And the garage cabinet is ideal for this function. It will help you store your items in an organized manner, making it easier for you to access the items you have stored.

This provides a stark contrast to garages with boxes and cartons and items strewn everywhere. The garage cabinet ensures you don’t lose or misplace your items since you will know exactly where you put each item.

Let's begin: how to build a garage cabinet from scratch.

1. Prepare A Checklist

Lincoln said if he had six hours to chop down a tree he would spend the first four sharpening the ax. In the same way, successfully executing a DIY project requires some planning.

Don’t start working on the project before you know what you need, what you will do, and how you will do it.

Prepare a checklist of the various tools and materials your garage cabinet plan will require. You should also have a solid grasp of the basic components of a cabinet. These include drawers, doors, face frame, kick plate, strong-back, carcass, and false front.

This is when you decide which type of wood you will work with. Plywood or hardwood?

Remember that the sheets you use for the shelves and sides must be between 2/4 and ¾ inches thick. The sheets you use to make the sliding doors must be ¼ inches thick.

And don’t make the bars of the carcass too wide. 2 by 2 inches bars of oak or ply will do just fine.

Tools you will need include: nails, screws, anchors, hammer, circular saw or jig saw, pliers, drill or perforator, and a screwdriver.

2. Measure The Dimensions Of The Available Space

Also, figure out where exactly in your garage you will keep the cabinet before you start building, and measure the dimensions of that space. It wouldn’t do to build a magnificent cabinet only to discover after you have finished that it won’t fit in the available space.

You should also figure out the size of your cabinet at this stage. It depends on what you want to store in the cabinet, and how much stuff you will be storing in it. How much wood you have available will also play a big role in determining how big the cabinet will be.

A good way to pre-test your garage cabinet plan is to mark up the floor and walls of the garage to show exactly where the cabinet will fit. After that, try to park your car or walk in your garage as normal without crossing the lines you have drawn.

If you can’t help but cross the lines or bow as your walk, or if it’s difficult to open the car door, you should consider adjusting the dimensions of your cabinet. Make it a bit smaller, either in length, width, or height.

But if you can still walk and drive comfortably in the remaining space, go ahead with your plans.

3. Begin Building Your Garage Cabinet

Crosscut a sheet of wood (it’s usually plywood) using a crosscut saw to the size you decided upon. If you don’t have a crosscut saw, use a circular saw.

Rip this sheet of wood using a table saw to get your cabinet’s bottom, top, sides, and center divider.

Use a router and a rabetting bit to cut rabbets on your side and back panels (the rabbets should be on the inside edges of the panels).

Drill the holes you need for the shelf pins on the sides of the cabinet. You can use a portable drill guide to do this.

Make four pocket-screw holes in the bottom using a pocket-hole jig. After that, insert pocket screws through the holes you have drilled and into the sides of the cabinet.

After cutting the cleats so that they fit between the sides of the cabinet, insert countersunk screws through the side into the cleats' ends.

Next, cut the back panel to size, and firmly nail it in place. That completes the case box.

Next, rip and crosscut the four pieces of wood that will comprise your cabinet’s face frame. Glue and nail these four pieces of wood to the case.

Do the same thing with the hardwood edging which you will put on the plywood top panel. After that, place the cabinet top in position, driving screws through cleats into its bottom.

Next, make your doorframes. As you did with the face frame, rip and cross cut the pieces you need to make the doorframe. And once more, cut the panel rabbet on the frame’s inner edges using the router and rabbeting bit.

Make two pocket-screw holes at the end of each door rails. Dip two maple pocket-screw plugs into carpenter’s glue and put one in each hole.

Fasten two hinges to each door. Set the doors on the cabinet’s face frame. Let the doors have 1/8 inch space between them. Make pilot holes through the door hinges and into the face frame, and insert screws in the holes to attach the hinges to the frame.

After you have finished, you can start putting the finishing touches as you wish. Like sanding the cabinet with sandpaper and afterward applying satin polyurethane varnish to the sanded surfaces. You can also add shelves and other improvements as you see fit.

You can use garage shelving instead of  cabinet. Get interesting idea on diy garage shelving from


A garage cabinet is a perfect place to store tools and other things you normally put in cartons and boxes in your garage.

As you have seen, making a garage cabinet is not a super complicated process. You may have to learn the woodworking lingo to understand the mechanics, but I’ve tried to portray as simply as possible the steps you should take when building a garage cabinet from scratch.

Why don’t you try it at home?

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