Here’s the how-to video and additional project photos of the Outdoor Cabinet I build for my friends Ed and Mary. The cabinet will have two purposes: Its main purpose is to be a place for delivery packages to be dropped to stay out of the weather when no one is home. The second purpose is to be a shed for their generator so I’m building this cabinet with a removable shelf.
There are a lot of handy woodworking tips that apply to other projects you might have, even if you’re not building this exact version of the outdoor cabinet. Here are some pictures and captions from the cabinet built:
The first step when building cabinets or furniture with construction grade 2x4s is to mill them down to 3 x 1.25″ to remove the round over and square the edges.
Set up stock blocks to cut the boards to length without having to remeasure each time. Make sure you place the side of the board that is already squared-up against the stop block.
I use the Kreg Jig to make the face frames…mine is over 20 years old but still works.
I clamp the face frames and use blue Kreg Screws which are specifically designed for exterior use and have a coarse thread made for working with soft woods.
I use Common Cedar for the legs of the cabinet vs. Clear Cedar which is about twice the price. Mill down the Common Cedar 4x4s to about 3 inches square to remove almost all of the tear out and imperfections..this is a great way to save $’s on the project and to get the right leg proportions.
Taper the legs on the bandsaw making sure to mark the front of the legs with an “F” before you cut.
Cut the cedar siding to width and length and use a piece of scrap wood of a finishing nail to evenly space each piece of siding.
Use a Chamfer bit to smooth and round over the edges of the cedar siding before attaching it to the sides and back of the cabinet.
Measure and mark where you want your screws to fall and use a straight edge to line up across the siding boards.
Add a Chamfer to the bottom of the leg to prevent tear out and also attach a nylon dome to each leg to help keep out moisture and to make moving easier.
I use 1/2″ Marine Plywood for the cabinet top and the shelf and beef up the outer edge of the top and lip of the shelf with 7/8″ strips of plywood.
I make Sapele molding measuring 1/2″ X 1 1/2″ to band the top and hide the end grain of the plywood.
Sand and stain the top with Walnut stain from Minwax….use 3 coats, sanding lightly in between.
Finish the stained top with McCloskey Man O War Spar Varnish Marine finish. This works great on outdoor furniture.
Assembling the outdoor cabinet onsite.
The finished cabinet