Sliding Cabinet Door: How To

Full Disclosure:

This cabinet is designed to be mounted on a workbench and not a wall per the client’s needs.  So this isn’t the typical way I would make a cabinet that I would mount on a wall.  So keep this in mind when you make this cabinet for yourself.  

You will need:

2 sheets of 3/4” plywood, 1 sheet of 1/2” plywood and 1 sheet of 1/4” plywood.  Also you will need 6 wood knobs and 32 adjustable shelf pins.  You must have a good table saw or track saw.  A good dado blade / plywood blade, shelf pin jig, drill, glue, CA glue and spray activator.  Now lets get going!!!

This client build I did a specific cabinet he had that was damaged from water that he wanted me to duplicate.  After looking over the existing cabinet I decided to alter some dimensions and per his approval, he agreed.  After the contracts were signed, I began work on the project build.  This is made from 3/4 oak ply for the carcass, alder and 1/2 ply for the back.  The doors are made from 1/4” plywood with wood knobs.

I began by cutting up the 3/4 and 1/2” ply to dimension using my table saw and crosscut sled.


Using an 80 tooth count blade it makes a splinter free cut.  This blade is the Ultimate Plywood and Melamine Blade from Freud.


After cutting the 1/2” plywood, I accidentally dropped it and damaged the corner, but fortunately, at this time I had not cut it to final dimension yet so I was able to fix it.


Once all the pieces were cut to dimension, I put the dado stack into the table saw and raised it to 1/4” high x 1/4” wide and began cutting all the grooves that the doors will glide in.


I did oversize them a bit since 1/4” ply can be warped and cause binding if the dados are too narrow.


I then widened the dado for the back to be accepted in the sides and also the dados in the top and bottom to accept the left and right dividers.


I also cut up 1” wide alder for the face frames and surfaced them to thickness in the planer


Next came the doors made from 1/4” plywood and because they warped after cutting, I had to make 3/4” backer boards to help keep them straight so they can be accepted in the dados and not bind.


I then rounded over the edges of the backers using a palm router


Using an adjustable self centering adjustable shelf pin jig, I made adjustable shelf pin holes on all the sides and dividers.


I waxed all the grooves that the doors ride in with Johnson’s Paste Wax


Using Titebond CA Glue and spray activator, I attached the knobs to the 1/4” doors


Next, came assembly of the cabinet and using 90 degree brackets to keep everything square gave me plenty of time to assemble it while the glue cured. The dividers came first, then the back and the sides.  


Once all that was together the top came last was a bit tricky to line up but making accurate cuts, it lined up perfectly.  One HUGE thing to remember, you must install the inner doors before you close in the cabinet.  Otherwise, you will not be able to get them in once the cabinet is closed up.  Make your face frames using the planed alder to close in the outer doors.


I cut the shelves last.  I rounded one edge over on both sides to prevent accidental ouchies when reaching in this cabinet.


Once it was all completed I sprayed it with sealer and lacquer


Thank you for reading along in this blog and I hope this helps you build one for your self.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  

Plans for this project can be found here:!/Sliding-Door-Cabinet/p/133162410/category=23790305