- Ideas & How-Tos
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This nearly 8'-tall hutch features an elegant look and ample room for storing and displaying china. Make it yourself in two weekends by following our simple woodworking instructions.
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Weighing in at nearly 100 pounds, a sheet of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is a challenge to transport and handle. So when buying your project materials, have a Lowe’s associate cut the sheet into slightly oversize project-size pieces (Cutting List and Cutting Diagram).You’ll save your back, make transporting the project materials easier, and save a lot of time. Also, the 1/4" acrylic for the display shelves (BB) can be difficult to cut without chipping the edges. Have a Lowe’s associate cut them to size for you.
From a 3/4" × 49" × 97" sheet of MDF, cut the back (A), sides (B), upper panel (D), and lower panel (E) to size (Cutting List and Cutting Diagram). Then from 3/4" × 1" × 48" pine edge-glued panels, cut the fixed shelves (C) to size. Set the extra piece of edge-glued panel aside for the cabinet shelf (T).
Lay out the shelf-support hole locations on the sides (B) and drill the holes 1" apart. (Drawing 2).
To save time when drilling the shelf-support holes, make a simple jig from a 6" × 12" piece of 3/16" perforated hardboard and a 12" long piece of 1" x 2" (Drilling Guide). To avoid mistakes, cover all but the row of seven holes needed for this project with masking tape. Mark the location of the bottom hole of each seven-hole cluster on the sides (B). With the drilling-guide cleat against the edge of the side, center the bottom hole of the guide on the marked hole location of the first cluster and clamp the guide in place. Wrap a piece of masking tape around a 1/4" brad-point drill bit to mark a 9/16" drilling depth (hardboard thickness + 3/8" hole depth). Now place the bit in each successive guide hole and drill the shelf-support holes. Repeat for each additional seven-hole cluster.
Lay out pocket-hole centerlines on the backs of the back (A), upper panel (D), and lower panel (E) and the top of the upper fixed shelf (C) and bottom of the middle and lower fixed shelves (C) (Drawing 1). Note that the middle fixed shelf does not have pocket holes along the front edge. Now use your Kreg jig to drill the pocket holes.
Lay the back (A), front face up, on a pair of sawhorses. Mark lines across the back at the locations of the bottom of the top fixed shelf and the tops of the middle and lower fixed shelves. Align a scrap board with the top shelf line and clamp it to the back (Drawing 1). Place the top shelf against the board with the ends flush with the edges of the back and clamp it in place. Drive 1-1/4" pocket screws through the shelf and into the back. Repeat to fasten the middle and lower fixed shelves.
Position one side (B) against the back/fixed shelves assembly (A/C), aligning the ends of the side and back (Drawing 2). Clamp the side to the fixed shelves. Align the front edges of the upper shelf and the side. Use a square to make sure the shelf is perpendicular to the back. To keep the shelf from creeping out of square when driving the pocket screws, place a wood block against the shelf and clamp it to the side. Then drive 1-1/4" pocket screws through the shelf and into the side. Repeat with the middle and lower fixed shelves. Clamp the second side to the assembly and repeat the above procedure to fasten it to the fixed shelves.
Turn the assembly onto one side. Working from top to bottom, clamp the sides and back together. Making sure the back is flush with the side rear edges, drive 1-1/4" pocket screws through the back and into the sides (Drawing 3).
Apply glue to the front edges of the sides and the upper and lower fixed shelves. Clamp the upper panel (D) and lower panel (E) to the sides (Drawing 4). The panel ends are flush with the outside faces of the sides (B). The bottom edge of the upper panel extends 1" below the upper fixed shelf and the top edge of the lower panel is flush with the top surface of the lower fixed shelf. Drill 3/16" countersunk holes in the panels. Then, to prevent the sides from splitting when driving the screws, drill 1/8" pilot holes into the sides. Now drive 1-1/4" screws.
Cut all the parts (F) through (O) to create blanks for making front and side trim parts. Then cut each front and its two mating sides 2" oversize (Cutting List).
Each of the trim parts can be cut and fitted using much the same technique, starting with the fascia blanks (F). Miter-cut one end of the fascia front; then cut a mating miter on one end of a fascia side (Drawing 5). Fit together the mitered ends of the fascia front and one fascia side at one case front corner and clamp them in place. Mark the inside face where you want the second miter on the fascia front, flush with the case side. Mark the length of the fascia side, flush with the back edge of the case. Miter-cut the fascia front and trim the fascia side to length. To position the fascia front, clamp one of the front caps (N) to the upper panel (D), aligning the bottom edge of the cap and the bottom edge of the panel. Now apply glue to the back of the fascia front, position it against the cap, use the mitered end of the fascia side to align the front side to side, and nail the fascia front in place. (The top edge of the fascia front protrudes slightly above the top edge of the upper panel.) Fit together the mitered ends of the second fascia side and the fascia front, mark the back end, and trim it to length. Apply glue to the back and mitered end of one fascia side. Position the side on the case, use a square to make sure the bottom edge is square to the case front edge, and nail the side in place. Repeat with the other fascia side. Finish-sand the fascia.
To cut, glue, and attach the sub-base front and sides (G), base front, and sides (H) to the case, follow the procedure above for mitering, cutting to length, and attaching the fascia parts. The bottom edges of all these parts align with the bottom edge of the case. Finish-sand each set of parts after you install them (Drawing 5).
To set up your miter saw to miter the crown front and sides (I), adhere a 1" x 2" auxiliary fence to the bed of the saw with double-face tape, 2-3/4" from and parallel to the vertical fence. (The 2-3/4" dimension is the distance the top of the crown projects away from the fascia when it is installed.) Adjust the miter saw 45° to the right and left of center and cut the auxiliary fence at these two points. Remove the cut section in the middle. Then position the crown upside down with the top edge against the auxiliary fence and the bottom edge resting against the miter saw vertical fence. As with the fascia parts, miter one end of the crown front and one end of each crown side. When mitering the crown sides, make sure you have one right-hand side and one left-hand side. Mark a line on the fascia 4-11/16" from the bottom edge of the fascia front (F) and fascia sides (G). Now, aligning the bottom edges of the crown parts with the lines, proceed as you did with the fascia parts to miter, cut to length, and install the crown (Drawing 6). To reinforce the mitered corners, apply glue to the miter faces and secure the joint with masking tape until the glue dries.
Retrieve the crown brace (J) and hold it against the back ends of the crown sides (I) with the top edges of the brace and crown sides aligned. Trace the inside angle of the crown sides on the brace and mark notches for the case and fascia sides at each end. Cut the angles on the miter saw and the notches with a jigsaw. Apply glue to the angled brace ends, position the brace against the inside face of the case back (A), and clamp it in place. Nail through the crown sides and into the brace ends and through the brace and into the case back.
Repeat the procedure for sizing and installing the fascia parts to cut, glue, and nail the front and side caps (K), cove front and sides (L), and shoe front and sides (M) in place (Drawing 7). When mitering the side pieces, make sure you cut right- and left-hand parts.
Measure the distance between the bottom edge of the upper panel (D) and the top of the middle fixed shelf (C) (Drawings 4 and 8). Subtract 1/16" from this dimension for door clearance, and cut panel molding to this length for the case caps (N). Glue and nail the caps to the front edges of the sides (B) with the short "legs" of the caps on the inside faces of the sides and the tops of the caps tightly against the bottom edge of the upper panel.
Measure the distance between the bottom of the upper fixed shelf (C) and the top of the middle fixed shelf (C). From a 1" × 2", cut the case stiles (O) to this length and finish-sand them. Positioning the stiles against the short legs of the case caps (N), glue and clamp the stiles to the sides (B). Then nail through the sides and into the stiles.
Cut the door stiles (P) and door rails (Q) to length. Drill pocket-screw holes in the inside faces of the rails (Drawing 9). Arrange the stiles and rails into a rectangular frame, apply glue to the ends of the rails, and drive pocket screws through the rails and into the stiles. Finish-sand the doorframe.
From panel moulding, miter-cut the long and short door trim (R) to fit the inside of the doorframe. Glue and nail the trim to the frame with the short legs of the panel moulding on the inside of the frame opening.
Measure the inside dimensions of the doorframe and add 3/4" to each dimension. Then, orienting a 24" × 24" piece of 1/4"-mesh hardware cloth so the grid runs 45° to the door frame (Drawing 9), cut the door panel (S) to this size. Clamp each edge of the panel between two boards and bend a 3/8" flange. Test the fit of the panel in the doorframe with the face of the panel against the short legs of the door trim and the flanges toward the inside of the cabinet. For best results, the panel should fit slightly loose. Set the panel aside.
Retrieve the edge-glued panel cutoff and cut the cabinet shelf (T) to size. Finish-sand the shelf.
Cut the display shelves (U) to size from 1/4" acrylic (if you didn't have these cut by the Lowe's associate). Peel the protective film back about 1" from the front edge. To ensure a good adhesive bond with the acrylic, use 80-grit sandpaper to sand a 1/4"-wide strip on the top surface of each shelf along the front edge.
To control the width of the sanded area, use double-faced tape to adhere a 1/4"-wide strip of 80-grit sandpaper to the inside surface of the short leg of a 3"-long scrap of panel moulding. With the long leg of the panel moulding scrap against the edge of the shelf, run the sandpapered face back and forth on the shelf surface.
From panel moulding, cut the shelf edges (V) to length. Squeeze a small bead of construction adhesive onto the inside surface of the short leg of each shelf edge. Press an edge onto the sanded surface of each shelf. Use masking tape to hold the shelf edges in place until the adhesive cures.
Examine all the nailed-on mouldings and make sure the nail heads are set below the surrounding surface. Set nails as needed with a hammer and nail set. Fill the nail holes with wood filler and sand smooth when dry.
Examine all the parts and finish-sand where needed. Apply interior latex primer and two coats of satin interior latex paint. (We used Valspar paint in the Liberty Bell color.) Paint the doorknob separately.
Cut aluminum backsplash panels to fit the inside width of the case, centering the panel pattern. Adhere the panels to the back with construction adhesive (Drawing 10). Use masking tape to hold the panels in place until the adhesive cures.
Position the mesh door panel (S) in the doorframe. Use a staple gun with 3/8" staples to fasten the panel flanges to the inside edges of the stiles and rails. Use a hammer and nail set to fully seat the staples, drawing the mesh tight.
Drill pilot holes and fasten the hinges to the door stile and case side. Drill a hole in the stile for the knob screw and mount the knob. Install the door catch. Press shelf supports into the holes and install the shelves.
Install batteries in the self-adhesive LED tap light, and adhere it to the top fixed shelf.