DIY Coffee Cabinet–The “Whatchamacallit” Project

 I built a thing.  I’m not really sure what to call it.  It’s kind of a cabinet, kind of a shelf, kind of a cupboard, kind of a tall, skinny console.

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So after careful thought and consideration a few minutes of thinking and nothing good coming to mind, I decided to call it a coffee cabinet.  Whatev.

coffee cabinet pin

I’ve actually built two of these prior to writing this.  You know how it’s always the times that you slack that people notice?  I swear that’s me every day.  Not that I slack all the time…HA

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Okay, so I built one of these for a lady at church and took NO pictures of the process.  I didn’t write down any measurements or anything.  I just posted a picture of the finished product on Facebook and thought “oh well, I just wont write a post about this one since I didn’t have any pictures.”  Well the ONE TIME I didn’t take pictures and plan to write a post on a project was the ONE TIME someone actually asked for them.  Go figure.

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So, lucky for me (and you 🙂 ), another lady at church saw that one and wanted one for herself, so I had another opportunity.  That being said, I now present to you, the “coffee cabinet build.”  As always, these projects are so easily customizable, but I will do my best to provide you with measurements to build this one exactly.  By the way, I downloaded SketchUp so in the future maybe I can provide downloadable PDFs with exact plans.  But for now, I am still figuring it out, so a tutorial will have to suffice.

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NOTE:  This post contains affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more details.  Although I may receive a small commission if you purchase from these links, I never link to anything I don’t highly recommend or personally use.

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This cabinet was 40″ tall, 16″ deep, and 27″ wide.

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So here we go 🙂  I hope I’m not missing anything.  If you notice I am, let me know!

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Tools you need: (I have linked to the exact tools I am currently using in case you are interested.  I highly recommend all of them.)

Materials:

  • (2) 2x2x8 (need 13′ total)
  • (2) 1x4x8 (need 11′ total)
  • 3/4″ cabinet grade plywood (I used birch.  You could use 1x planks instead if desired.  You will have to determine how many planks you need.)
  • (3) 1x6x8
  • (3) 1x2x8
  • 1/4″ or 1/2″ plywood for cabinet door and drawer bottom (1/4 sheet is enough)
  • (1) 1x12x8 (for shelves–you can use plywood if preferred)
  • (1) 2x10x8 (for the top)
  • 2 hinges, 2 knobs
  •  1 1/4″ Kreg Screws (several–I use these ALL THE TIME, so I keep them on hand)
  • 2 1/2″ screws (just a couple)

First, I built the sides.  I cut 4 2x2s each 38 1/2″ long.  I tapered the front two legs (optional).

For the side panels, I cut two (2) 1x4s and one (1) 1×6 board FOR EACH SIDE all at 31″ long.

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See picture below.  I drilled pocket holes to attach 2 1x4s to the 1×6 in the middle.  I purposely drilled the pocket holes in their locations based on where the shelves will go, so they will cover the holes.  Measure and determine where you want your shelves, and drill the pocket holes there.  I evenly spaced mine APPROX 10″ apart.  Using the pocket hole screws, attach the 1x4s and 1×6 first, then attach to the 2x2s.  I attached mine where the insides will be flush.

Coffee cabinet side panels

Once the two sides are assembled, attach the bottom.  For the bottom, I used 3/4″ birch plywood (I LOVE BIRCH).  I mentioned earlier that you could use planks if you wanted, but I like using plywood.  I cut it at 22″ wide x 14″ deep.  I drilled pocket holes in the bottom and attached it to each sides.  I also drilled pocket holes in the bottom piece to screws the face frame on later.  Attach the bottom so that it is 29 1/2″ from the top of each side.  There should be about 3/4″ of the side panel BELOW the bottom.

coffee cabinet bottom piece

See where I attached the face frame AFTER I attached the bottom to both sides? Don’t do this yet, I was just showing you what I was talking about.

coffee cabinet bottom view

Next, I added the middle divider.  I used 3/4″ birch plywood.  It should be 14″ wide x 29 1/2″ tall.  It should be the exact height from the bottom piece to the top of each side.  Double check this before cutting.  Drill pocket holes to attach this piece to the bottom AND to attach the fame frame in a later step.  See picture below.  I have three pocket holes to attach the face frame (the top was cut out of the picture).  Screw the divider into the bottom piece at the center.

Coffee cabinet middle section added

Next, I added 2 1×2 pieces to the top of the back side.  Measure the distances between the divider and each side at the bottom and cut 1x2s this length.  Attach using pocket holes and screws like the picture below.  I ended up being a little off center with my divider and one side was about 10 1/2″ long and the other was about 10 3/4″ long.  Just make sure your divider is square when you do this.

coffee cabinet back frame

Now, cut 4 1x6s at 31″ long and nail them onto the back.  Nail into the bottom piece and into these 1x2s you just attached.

coffee cabinet back slats added

You add a screw at the top into two of the boards (you will see why later).

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Next, attach the face frames on the front.  Attach the bottom frame so that the top is flush with the bottom piece.  This makes it easier to slide the drawer if the surface is flush.

coffee cabinet bottom view

Attach the top face frame flush with the front using pocket holes from the inside and attach the middle piece using the pocket holes you drilled earlier in the divider.

coffee cabinet face frame top

coffee cabinet face frame full

Now it’s time to add the shelves.  I used 1×12 pieces, EXCEPT for the shelf above the drawer.  I cut a piece of plywood 14″ deep and cut to the exact width and added a face front on that one.

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You can use plywood if you prefer, but I just measured and cut all the shelves to fit.  I attached them from the underside with pocket holes and screws lining them up with the pocket holes on the side panels in order to cover up those holes.   It’s a tight fit to screw them in with the pocket holes, but it is doable.  The shelf above the drawer needed to be flush with the sides, so I used plywood and added a face frame instead of a 1×12.

coffee cabinet shelves added

Then I made a drawer to fit in the bottom right corner.  You can see my post on making drawers here.  For this drawer, I used the super simple drawer 🙂

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Then make the door.  You can see how I make doors here.  Although, you will have to modify the measurements slightly to make the door inset.  You want your door dimensions to be about 1/4″-3/8″ SMALLER than your opening in this case.  I used 1/4″ birch for the panel.

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Finally, I added 1x2s on the top and bottom of the side panels (I meant to do this at the beginning, but oh well).  I screwed them from the inside.  These should be 12 1/2″ long.

coffee cabinet side panel trim pieces

I interrupt this build to show you the most adorable shop buddy you’ve ever seen.

Orange Baby in cabinet

His name is Baby…or Bubbers…or Bubby.  His TECHNICAL name at the vet is Orange Baby…we never intended for these cats to become “pets,” but here we are…calling the cats Baby.  I’m slightly embarrassed.

Orange baby in cabinet 3

But, he’s like the sweetest thing and I can’t help it.  One day I will show you some more pictures of all of them.  But for now, we are almost done with this build, so let’s knock this out 🙂

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For the top, I cut two pieces of the 2×10 board at a little over 27″.  I always like to leave a little to trim off to make a clean edge.  I squared them off on the table saw to make them 8″ wide each (you can use a circular saw for this too), then glued them together with clamps.

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Once the glue is dry (after several hours or overnight), I sanded down the top, and trimmed it to 27″.  I stained the cabinet and top and door and drawer separately.  Once the stain was dry, I attached the door, slid the drawer in, and attached the top.

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For attaching the top, I drilled two pocket holes in the back side (remember me telling you to screw two of the back boards?) on the boards with the screw.  I used pocket hole screws to attach the top on the back side.  Then I predrilled (DON’T SKIP PREDRILLING) two holes through the top face frame and used 2 1/2″ screws to attach the top on the front side.

coffee cabinet screws on back

 

coffee cabinet screw top in place

By the way, I used Minwax Provincial (my customer favorite–it’s my go to stain color) to stain the cabinet, and finished it with Polycrylic (my go to poly because it’s water based, so no smell and super easy clean up).

Stained cabinet in shop

When I was done I brought it in my kitchen to take a few pictures 🙂

coffee cabinet closer angled view

Okay, so I have this blank space in my kitchen after the remodel, and when I put this here, I immediately loved it.  When I get time, I may be making a third one for my own personal use 🙂

coffee cabinet angled view

coffee cabinet door opened

coffee cabinet finished angled view

coffee cabinet front view

Whew, long post, sorry!  So what do you think?  Isn’t it ADORABLE?  But not as adorable as my kitty, right? BWAHA.

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I can’t even write any more words, this is my longest post ever.  So I’m just going to cut out…I can’t wait to show you some other things I’ve been working on lately, but until then, happy building!!!

PS don’t forget to pin for later 🙂

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coffee cabinet pin

 

 

 

 

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12 Comment

  1. Reply
    Susie
    July 1, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Very nice “coffee cabinet”, I can see it as a linen cabinet in a bath or a catch all in an entry. I’d love to see it painted and distressed as it has that old world look about it. Your cat is adorable…sometimes our pets pick us!

  2. Reply
    Corinn
    July 12, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Very nice cabinet!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 12, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Thank you so much!

    2. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 12, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  3. Reply
    Amy E.
    August 18, 2016 at 9:16 am

    love this! i want one. how long did it take you to make? (trying to get an estimate for my own build, which will likely take at least 4 times as long as yours cuz KIDS). thanks!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      August 18, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Hi Amy! Thank you! I work on my things in the afternoon when I get home from work. Altogether it probably took me 6-8 hours. That’s a rough estimate–I usually take breaks to do chores around the house or whatever, so it’s hard to say exactly. You can do it!! It doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as it gets done 🙂 Good Luck!

  4. Reply
    Elaine
    September 27, 2016 at 9:06 am

    You did a lovely job on this cabinet but it was difficult concentrating on your instructions with that very sweet-faced cat looking back at me! lol!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      September 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      Thank you! Yes, he is so distracting isn’t he? Haha. He is one spoiled kitty…but he keeps me good company in the shop, so I guess it’s okay 🙂

  5. Reply
    Stephanie K Cole
    October 5, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Love this! Would a Keurig fit inside if you adjusted the cabinets?

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      October 5, 2016 at 8:03 am

      Thank you! I didn’t try to put my keurig in the cabinet, but I’m sure you could make it fit it you adjusted the shelves. It would depend on what size Keurig you had probably. One would definitely set on the top, though!

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