This course is a foundation course in carpentry techniques. You will learn important aspects of carpentry to develop practical skills as a:
The purpose of this course is to provide a balanced and broad understanding of wood work through the exploration of a range of applications.
This course is not a substitute for the practical instruction that is gained through apprenticeships, internships, or other such experience.
For this project we are going to look at making a simple two door free-standing cupboard using plywood or MDF for the panels, shelves, and doors, and softwood or hardwood timber for the edging, face frame, and beading. We shall include two inside shelves though you could adjust this to suit your needs. The shelves will be set on pins which can be moved up or down using drilled holes to adjust the height of the shelves. The doors will be of plywood and you can add beading to the front for decoration (though you could make framed doors with an inside panel if you prefer so that the timber matches the front frame and edges).
What you need for the carcass and dimensions:
- Side panels x 2 (35¼ x 16 x ¾) (895mm x 406mm x 19mm)
- Back panel x 1 (33 x 31¼ x ¼) (838mm x 794 x 6.35mm)
- Top panel x 1 (32 x 17½ x ¾) (813mm x 445mm x 19mm)
- Bottom panel x 1 (30½ x 15¾ x ¾) (775mm x 400mm x 19mm)
- Shelves x 2 (30⅜ x 15½ x ¾) (771.5mm x 394mm x 19mm)
- Side edging x 2 (18¼ x 1½ x ¾) (464mm x 38mm x 19mm)
- Front edging x 1 (33½ x 1½ x ¾) (851mm x 38mm x 19mm)
- Cleats x 2 (30½ x 4 x ¾) (775mm x 100mm x 19mm)
- Face frame top rail x 1 (29 x 2 x ¾) (736.6mm x 50mm x 19mm)
- Face frame bottom rail x 1 (29 x 1½ x ¾) (736.6mm x 38mm x 19mm)
- Face frame side rails x 2 (35¼ x 1½ x ¾) (895mmx 38mm x 19mm)
For the doors:
- Doors x 2 (32¾ x 14⅞ x ¾) (832mm x 378mm x 19mm)
- Beading x 8 (your
Step 1 - Cut the Boards
The first thing to do is to cut the plywood to size for the various parts (top, bottom, sides, shelves, doors and cleats; which will support the top). You then need to cut a rebate groove into the inside edges of the two side panels using a router with a ⅜ (.3750mm) inch rabbet bit. This way, the back panel will slot into the side panels. You could, alternatively, attach the back panel directly to the end panels in which case you'll need to make it slightly wider.
Step 2 - Drill Holes for Shelf Pins
Drill holes on the inside of the two end pieces so that they match up. You'll need two columns on each end piece so that the inside shelves are supported on four corners by moveable shelf pins. You could use a drill guide attached to a drill to do this, or line both ends next to each other on the bench top and mark out the rows using a square and straight edge.
Step 3 - Secure the Bottom
Drill and screw the bottom panel to the sides so that it is around three inches from ground level. Pre-drill countersunk holes on an angle through the ends of the base into the sides from underneath to do this.
Step 4 - Complete the Carcass
Position the two cleats towards front and rear of the top of the two sides and screw flush to the tops of the sides using a couple of screws at each end (each cleat being 100mm (four inches) wide). Position and secure the back panel using nails.
Glue and nail the face frame rails onto the carcass. The top of the bottom rail will be flush with the bottom panel and the bottom of it will be above ground level (the bottom of the face frame side rails forming short legs). The top and bottom face rails sit inside the side rails. The side frame rails will be rebated on the inside upright edge to fit into the side panels. Once again, you could sit the rails onto the end panels if you are unable to cut out the rebates.
Attach the wooden edging to the front and sides of the top panel and secure it on top of the carcass screwing into the cleats from underneath.
Step 5 - Hang the Doors
Cut beading for the front of the doors. To do this, you can cut the ends using a mitre block so that you have four pieces of beading on each door face forming a rectangular shape equidistant from the edge of each door.
Attach two self-closing type hinges to the doors spaced one near the top and one near the bottom so that they line up. Screw the doors to the face frame using the hinges so that there is a slight gap between the doors (approximately 0.125mm (⅛ inch)).
You could glue on veneer to the front of the two shelves in keeping with your frame.
Carpentry Skills for Landscaping
Wood is a significant building material for landscaping. It is often used to construct fences, garden furniture, buildings (eg. sheds, gazebos); pergolas, and playground equipment. It is sometimes used for other construction as well: from retaining walls to paving.
Landscapers who can work with wood will not only be able to build things; but through a better understanding of timber construction, they will be better garden designers.