DIY Living Room Built In Wall Units [Digital Project Plans]

DIY Living Room Built In Wall Units [Digital Project Plans]


Before I get started explaining the build,
I’ll spend a few seconds explaining the design process. Some friends of ours asked me to build 2 identical
Cypress built ins on both sides of the fireplace. The built ins would extend from the floor
to the ceiling and have a farmhouse style to match the rest of the house. It would have inset cabinet doors with glass
panes, shiplap on the sides, and all black hardware. The first step to this project was to build
the bottom section. It was important that I build this as sturdy
as possible because the middle and top sections will sit on top of it. I started by ripping 3/4″ plywood to size. I attached the 2 sides to the bottom piece
with glue and pocket holes. Next, I put the back piece in position and
secured it to each side and the bottom with a bar clamp. I layed down glue, drilled pilot holes, and
used pocket screws to secure the back. Then, I attached the front and back floor
supports using pocket screws and fastened 3 evenly spaced between them. I also screwed into them from each of the
outer sides. The middle insert consisted of 2 sides and
2 pieces glued together to form the middle. This insert would lay into the previous section. This was my own design and I’m sure it’s overkill,
but I made sure the bottom piece was as sturdy as it possibly could be. It fit like a glove. The top laid perfectly on all 4 corners, but
I still used a clamp to prevent shifting. I secured it with glue and pocket screws. I constructed the middle section the same
way – with pocket holes, glue, and screws. This section is twice as tall as the bottom
section and will have 2 large cabinet doors. I used 3 1×4’s cut from plywood to attach
to the back of each section. This will help provide spacing from the wall
in case wires need to be ran down the back. Of the 3 sections, the top was by far the
easiest to build. My friends were going for the farmhouse look
and wanted the built ins to be constructed with Cypress wood with a shiplap pattern. Since cypress plywood is very hard to find,
I decided to use plywood for the cabinet carcass and trim it out with cypress. I bought the rough cut cypress from a local
cypress sawmill and spent many hours milling the lumber. More than I had originally anticipated. Since the interior of the bottom cabinet would
be visible through the glass panes, I had to cover the interior with Cypress. I was able to incorporate a live edge shelf
in the middle as well. I repeated this process for the middle and
top sections. I used a vertical pattern for the middle section
because of the length and to conserve as much cypress as possible. The cabinets would be installed on each side
of a fireplace, so only one side would be visible. This is where I installed the shiplap with
a 1/8 inch space in between. I used tile spacers and a level to keep things
consistent and level as I went up the side of the cabinet. I didn’t attach the transition piece which
would go between each section. I simply put it in place, I attached the one
above it and removed it to install at a later time. The doors were fairly easy to build and were
solid cypress. I built the middle cross of the cabinet doors
by using my dado blade to cut a cross halving joint. I cleaned up the joint with a chisel, spread
glue, and clamped them together. Next, I built the outer frame and marked where
to put the biscuits. I used glue and #10 biscuits to join everything
together. I made 4 doors for the 2 bottom sections and
4 more identical doors of smaller height for the top sections. My friends wanted corner brackets on each
door. The brackets had no functional purpose, they
are only for show. These brackets are expensive if they are purchased
in black, so I bought the cheapest brackets I could find from my local big box store. I scuffed-up the brackets with a metal wire
brush and coated them with 3 coats of black spray paint. To stay consistent, I made a 90 degree jig
to install the brackets in all 4 corners of the cabinet. Next, I made the middle doors by first building
the outer frame. I used my router with a straight bit to cut
a notch on the inside of the frame. Since these doors needed to be very light
in weight, I resawed some shiplap to 1/4 of an inch thick and laid them in the door. I ordered 32 glass panes for the bottom and
top doors from my local big box store. I picked them up already cut to size the following
day. I used my router to cut a notch for the glass
to sit in slightly deeper than the thickness of the glass. I placed the glass in place and used silicone
around the edges. I let this dry for 24 hours. I installed the doors using soft close inset
hinges while in my shop to ensure everything fit. Before hauling the cabinets to the house,
I removed the doors to prevent damage and to make everything much lighter. I recruited my buddy Lester to help me install
the cabinets. These cabinets are extremely, extremely heavy. We put the bottom section in place and secured
it to the wall studs from inside the cabinet. Then, we installed the middle section, secured
it, and then the top section. After about 6 weeks, I reinstalled the doors
and the door handles. My friends seem very happy with the custom
built ins. Be sure to checkout my blog for downloadable
DIY plans for this project – the link is in the description.

6 thoughts on “DIY Living Room Built In Wall Units [Digital Project Plans]

  1. Want to learn more about how to make custom built ins? Visit my blog to download free digital plans: https://pahjo.com/diy-custom-built-in-cabinets/

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