- Ideas & How-Tos
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Stop clutter from getting past your door. Build this easy do-it-yourself storage organizer that doubles as a bench and coat rack.
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Verify the width of the door (A) before cutting parts for the upper and lower cabinets. Adjust part sizes to fit the width of the door.
From plywood, cut the upper cabinet top and bottom (B) and sides (C) to size. From the poplar boards, cut the horizontal frame parts (D) to size. Then cut the vertical frame parts (E) slightly longer so you can trim them to fit later.
Drill 1/16" pilot holes in the sides. Then glue and nail the case sides to the top and bottom. You can use pieces of 3/4"-thick scrap to raise the bottom above the ends of the case sides (That brings the inside face of the bottom flush with the frame edge). Check that the joints are square and allow the glue to dry.
Glue and nail the horizontal frame parts to the case. Measure between these frame parts and trim the vertical frame parts to length. Then glue and nail those in place.
Cut the case top, bottom, and middle shelf (F) and the case sides (G) to size. Cut the horizontal frame parts (H) to size and cut the vertical frame parts (I) and horizontal middle frame part (J) slightly longer.
Drill, glue and nail the case sides to the top, bottom, and middle shelf as you did for the upper cabinet. Check that the joints are square and allow the glue to dry.
An easy way to position the shelf is to cut two scrap-wood spacers 8-1/2" wide and position them between the middle shelf and the top.
Glue and nail the horizontal frame parts to the case. Measure between the horizontal frame parts, and trim the frame sides to length. Glue and nail the frame sides in place. Measure between the sides and cut the center frame part to length. Glue and nail the center frame part in place.
Use locking-grip pliers to remove the hanger bolts from the two feet. Then glue and clamp the feet to the underside of the lower cabinet as close as possible to the front corners.
Now is a good time to prime and paint the insides of both cabinets because you can see into them from two sides. Avoid painting any edges along the back that will be glued to the door.
Putty the nail holes on the upper and lower cabinets and let dry. Then sand both cabinets and the outside face of the door with 120-grit sandpaper.
Rest the lower cabinet on the door and use a carpenter's square to check that the legs are even with the bottom of the door. Mark the cabinet location on the door.
Drill pilot holes through the solid portion of the door along the edges into the cabinet. Glue and screw the door to the cabinet from the back. Repeat to attach the upper cabinet.
Avoid driving screws into the hollow portion of the door away from the edges. The screws could pull through from the back.
Sand any spots you missed and prime the cabinets and door. Then apply two coats of paint plus a third coat for the top of the bench.
Cut the coat rack mounting board to the width of the door and sand it to smooth the face and soften the sharp outside edges (not the face and edges that will touch the door). Prime and paint the mounting board.
Fasten the coat rack centered on the mounting board. From the back of the door, drill and screw the mounting board to the door.