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How to Build Deck Cabinets

Deck Cabinet Image

Learn how to add storage and workspace to your deck. If you enjoy entertaining and relaxing outside, deck cabinets are perfect for storing utensils and other deck accessories. Use these step-by-step instructions to build deck storage for your home.

Tools & Materials

Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.

  • Acrylic Sheets, 1/4-inch x 2 foot x 2 foot (4 pieces)
  • Cedar Boards, 1 x 4 x 8 (4 pieces)
  • Cedar Boards, 1 x 6 x 8 (5 pieces)
  • Cedar Boards, 1 x 8 x 8 (4 pieces)
  • Tongue & Groove Boards, 1 x 6 x 8 (7 pieces)
  • Treated Plywood, 1/2-inch x 4 foot x 8 foot (1 sheet)
  • Clamps
  • Drawer Glides, 18-inch (4 pairs)
  • Drill/Driver with Bits
  • Finish Nails (1 box 4d galvanized)
  • Hinges, overlay, 1/2-inch frame mount (1 pair)
  • Jigsaw
  • Kreg Jig K4
  • Locking Casters, 3-inch (4 packs)
  • Miter Saw
  • Paint Brush and Rags
  • Pencil
  • Pneumatic Nailer (or hammer with nail set)
  • Pocket Hole Screws, 1 1/4-inch coarse threads (1 pack)
  • Power Sander
  • Router (1/2-inch cove bit and 3/8-inch rabbeting bit)
  • Stain (1 gallon)
  • Table Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Utility Knife
  • Wood Filler, paintable (PL)
  • Wood Glue

Project Cut List and Diagram

Cut and label the parts as needed, using the cut list and project diagram as guides and adjusting for fit.



1. Assemble the Bottom Frame


Step 1

Using glue and pocket hole joinery, assemble the bottom frame using the (01) bottom frame rails and the (02) bottom frame stiles as shown in the bottom frame layout in Figure 1.


Step 2

Using glue and nails, attach the (03) caster blocks to the bottom side of the frame assembly at each corner.


Step 3

Using 1 1/4-inch screws and washers, attach the casters at each corner.


Step 4

Turn the assembly over, and attach the (04) floor boards to the assembly.



2. Build the Frames


Step 1

Using glue and pocket hole joinery, assemble the (05) face frame rail, (06) face frame stiles, and the (07) drawer rails as shown in the front frame layout in Figure 2 to build the front frame.


Step 2

Using glue and pocket hole joinery, assemble the (08) mid frame rails and the (09) mid frame stiles as shown in the mid frame layout in Figure 2 to build three mid frames.


Step 3

Using glue and pocket hole joinery, assemble the (10) back frame upper rail, the (11) back frame lower rail, the (12) back frame stiles, and the (13) back frame mid stile as shown in the back frame layout to build the back frame.


Step 4

Using glue and nails, attach the front frame to the bottom frame assembly, aligning the top of the bottom (05) face frame rail with the top of the (04) floor boards and overhanging on each end by 3/4 inch.


Step 5

Using glue and pocket hole joinery, attach a mid frame assembly to each end of the bottom frame assembly, aligning the outside faces of the mid frame assemblies with the ends of the bottom frame assembly.


Step 6

Using glue and pocket hole joinery, attach the remaining mid frame assembly along the front-to-back centerline of the bottom frame assembly.


Step 7

Using glue and nails, attach the front frame to the mid frames.


Step 8

Apply glue to the face of the back frame where it will contact the mid frames. Use glue and pocket hole joinery to attach the back frame to the bottom frame assembly, and use nails to attach the back frame to the mid frames.


Step 9

Use glue and nails to attach the (14) glide supports to the mid frames. The (14) glide supports for the pullout shelf should be 14 1/4 inches above the bottom frame assembly, and the balance will align with the bottoms of the drawer openings. Note: It’s best to attach the outer half of the drawer glides to the (14) glide supports before assembly to make installation of the drawer glides easier.



3. Attach the Slats

Figure 3 Image

 Using glue and nails, attach the (15) slats to the outside of the assembly on the ends and back as shown in Figure 3. Note: Scribe and cut to fit the (15) slats for the outer edges of the assembly.



4. Add the Drawers, Door and Handle

Figure 4 Image

Step 1

Cut a 1/4-inch-wide x 1/4-inch-deep groove 1/2 inch from one long edge of each (16) shelf side and (17) shelf end. Assemble using glue and nails, and slide a cut-to-fit acrylic sheet into the grooves as shown in Figure 4. Drill several 1/4-inch “weep holes” around the perimeter of the acrylic sheet.


Step 2

Cut a 1/4-inch-wide x 1/4-inch-deep groove 1/2 inch from one long edge of each (18) lower drawer side, (19) lower drawer front, and (20) lower drawer back. Assemble using glue and nails, and slide a cut-to-fit acrylic sheet into the grooves as shown in Figure 4. Drill several 1/4-inch “weep holes” around the perimeter of the acrylic sheet. Repeat for the upper drawers using the (21) drawer sides, (22) drawer fronts, and (23) drawer backs.


Step 3

Cut the (24) drawer faces 1 inch larger than the drawer openings. The lower (24) drawer face should be laminated from two boards.


Step 4

Cut the 3/4- x 3/4-inch stock for the (25) handles. Mark the length for each handle. Using a router with a 1/2-inch cove bit, cut a cove stopping 1 inch from each end as shown in the (25) handle detail in Figure 4. Cut the routed parts to length, and attach to the drawer faces using glue and nails.


Step 5

Cut a 1/4-inch-wide x 3/8-inch-deep groove on each end of the (27) door field. Note: Scribe and cut to fit the outer (27) door field parts as needed.


Step 6

Using glue and clamps, assemble the door as shown in the door construction layout in Figure 4.


Step 7

Attach the door to the cabinet assembly using two frame-mount 1/2-inch overlay hinges.


Step 8

Complete the installation for the drawers. Cut the (28) drip cap following the detail in Figure 4. Using glue and nails, attach the (28) drip cap 1/4 inch above the door and drawers.



5. Add the Concrete Top

A (29) sub top of 1/2-inch treated plywood was inserted into the concrete top for fastening the top to the cabinet



6. Finish As Desired

Fill the nail holes, sand and apply stain.