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How to Design Cabinet Projects Online Tutorial

OK Google, - how to design cabinet projects? Let's get real and we checking the result. I got in responds over 50 million pages include 1 from our website in the first 10. But nothing even near answering to our search. Honestly, our page "cabinet design" at list gives you some general basics overview, still no tutorial or instruction.

All available online free designing software's are nice if you already know how to use. But that kind of drawings will not provide a cabinetry parts list for building the project. Here is your easy a step at a time designing cabinets guide.

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Designing cabinets project drawings

KCD software line-drawings in black and white and hand pencil drawings with more decorative cabinetry design details.

How to Start Cabinetry Project' Working Design

Let's use one of the popular lately story, "My insurance company I'm working for will pay around $4500 - $5000 to organize home office and work from home most of the days. I made a few small woodworking projects before but nothing in this scale. Need guidance." Mark. D. CA. US.
And for us it can be a nice illustration project to work around.

Step1. Design Preparation and Organizing the Process

It's clear, if you designing cabinetry project, must be not for the art picture to frame it and hang on the wall.
Somehow you want to build it.

thumbnail cabinets of work-room, white
Home Work-Room in White Finish

Looking Online Cabinetry Image, Matching to Your Dream Project

A. Find what you like as digital image or magazine's photos
(Mark pick – image in white, painted, one working spot)
for the cabinetry style (like traditional, shaker, modern... you know) and color you are after.
Don't have to be the home office. You need to keep it nearby for now; let's say kind of favorite or reference, and later in time of making working drawings you can refresh your visual dream.
Create a paper file or digital folder for all info you collected and for upcoming ones.

B. Make few images of the active room space (walls) that related to your future cabinetry project;
note window, door, plugs and switches, or anything you must to work around.
Place into your folder. These will help not forget "what is there".
I photograph all the active spaces from very first meeting with customers,
and making simple prints that later help me in designing process.

C. Get Quadrille Grid Pad or Notebook 8-1/2 x 11 Inches with 8 or 10 Squares per inch.
I prefer "Gum-Top" with 8 Squares per inch (but 4 is also fine),
easy to work with and Glue top allows clean sheet removal.
Quadrille Grid Pad helps also for scaling the cuts of the sheet materials like plywood.

Thumbnail pencil drawing over prin
Pencil Drawing Home-Office Working Wall

Step2. Measuring Active Working Space (Walls)

You know how important precise dimensions from the beginning of the process;
Now it's all about prebuilding on paper (designing), and construction game will dance strictly around the numbers.

We have wall 189" total, open working space 147.5", heights 9'. In Metric; wall-480cm, working 375cm (L) x 274cm (H).

This first simple sketch Mark made and email to me to start the designing route.

Thumbnail pencil drawing over prin
Sample of Pencil Drawing Over the Print

Printing images of your active spaces (Step1, B) will help placing the measurement numbers or even draw over the prints.
I'm using this simple trick very often.

Image on left is a good illustration how to use simple prints to overlay your hand pencil drawings or sketches. Wall elevation image show the option for rebuilding entrance arch to the living room.

Definite Priority of Walls View (Wall Elevations)

For 1 or 2 walls you really don't need a floor-plan drawing.
But if involve 3-plus walls, or entire room, the game plan is changed.
Still, the wall elevations are more valuable as more informative.

Design image, wall elevation home office
Home-Office Design Wall Elevation Sketch

A. Forget about floor-plan for start. Taking the tape reads mostly from left to right
and marking over the wall views or we call it wall elevations.
If you have only one active wall (the wall you attach your cabinets to) you will need only one wall elevation.

From our conversation with Mark:

"From the beginning I was thinking to build the project only for one seat, and only base cabinets.
But after my wife calls me "selfish" ;) all our plans are changed, and now we targeting our cabinetry unit for two chairs;
2 cabinets for PC Towers, 2-plus file cabinets if we can fit."

B. Time to choose drawings scale for the first sketches; I offer to start 1/2" – 1', the most easy layouts will fit on letter size format. The first sketches are in simple lines to represent some functional overview of the project. At this stage we only want to know what we can fit into our working space.

office cabinets wall elevation sketch
Home-Office Designing Cabinets Plans

Few important Standard Dimensions for office designing:

The Width of File Cabinet
with frameless construction is around 15" (38.3cm) overall
(must be defined after choosing the hardware slides, and cabinet box material thickness).

Chair openings are 24" minimum (61cm), 27" is good.

Desk countertop height – 30" Standard, or 32" max (76-81cm)

C. Making simple line “flat” drawings of wall view (wall elevation).

My personal opinion, - first time designing cabinets for building plans yourself,
Mark is doing very good job! Nothing is wrong.

Still, Mark is asking for help, if I see anything to correct as I'm offering "designing cabinets guide"? So, I have the project drawings for my reviews.

Designing Cabinets Online Tutorial Tips

From our very first conversation with Mark was clear, only frameless construction "I have no room for stupid frames", told me Mark.
I'm more about functionality as my first priority, my wife want to keep the "transitional home style" of cabinetry design.
I think after some of your corrections we can finalize our building plans yourself efficient to build with beautiful outcome.

Final sketch wall elevation home office

The final sketch, wall elevation home office design

3d cabinets design crown view
3D Drawings Design Crowns View

Tip#1 Braking Long Lines in Cabinetry Design

After my review of Mark and Lisa design cabinet project I received very loud WOW!
Mark calls me with thanks, and also to say he cached all my corrections and why I made them as is!

The tip of braking long lines with crown molding is very useful especially if we have crown line longer than 8' (250 cm).
Our working wall is 145" (368cm), and we can prebuild 2 crown caps and finish/paint before installation.

The light valance shelf between upper cabinets is less depth than wall cabinets, to make easy crown fit. Cabinets are 11" deep, valance is about 9" or less if crown vertical projection around 2 inches.

On left 3D presentation drawing and marked in red circles those areas we are pointing.

Designing cabinetry counter
Tip Designing and Building Countertop

Tip#2 Separate Counter Tops and Light Valance

Here are more tips designing cabinets with plans building your own.

If building one continues countertop for the project we need material over 146" (370cm) long and super straight wall to work with for installation. It will be very inconvenient to work around such a massive countertop. Instead, we create 3 pc. construction.

Also we raised of the floor our base' decorative columns
(##1,3,4,8,9,11 of the drawing), for easy cleaning or vacuuming purposes.

The light valances (#14 and 19) will end between pare of wall cabinet columns, easy to build, nice and clean.

Designing drawing one level crown
3D Image One Level Crown Molding

One Level Crown Sample 3D Drawing

3D Drawing with one level crown molding broke for the length.

It's also nice solution to avoid long continues crown line,
but will require higher skills doing trim work.
And, most likely you have to work over cabinets fully installed.

Also this image show base cabinet panels going to the floor,
creating deep pocket corners not easy to vacuum.

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Frameless Construction Dimensional Drawings

Images related to the cabinet design projects

Designing cabinets image openings dimensions in inches

KCD software drawings more cabinetry project openings dimensions in inches.

Designing cabinets image openings dimensions in metric

KCD software drawings more cabinetry project openings dimensions in metric.

We are hope this online tutorial will help you to design cabinetry projects without learning any software,
only with quadrille grid paper, pencil and simple calculator.

You don't have to create that nice project drawings
if you can calculate your cabinet boxes dimensions, you are ready to build yourself.

Some other tip. When we are looking at wall elevation,
middle base cabinets (#5, 6, 7) can be built as one unit,
you need only recalculate your cabinet openings and adjust the Doors and Dr.Fronts dimensions. Or get in contact, we can help.

Zoomed in cabinet drawings shows openings before and after jointing.

Here are zoomed in drawings shows highlighted units 5, 6 and 7, and we will join them into one unit.
By doing this we saving 2 cabinet sides material (about $20 if it’s 3/4" prefinished plywood)
and adding extra space to the PC Tower cabinets.

Cabinet drawing with separate base cabinets, inches

Building plans cabinet drawing with separate base cabinets in inches.

Cabinet drawing with joined base cabinets, inches

Dimensional cabinet drawing with joined base cabinets in inches.

Cabinet drawing with separate base cabinets, metric

Building plans cabinet drawing with separate base cabinets in millimeters.

Cabinet drawing with joined base cabinets, metric

Dimensional cabinet drawing with joined base cabinets in metric.

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