This $99 Ryobi I got at HD on a whim seems to perform well. It's cheap plastic, almost disposable. But it seems to work well given it's low price and plastic design. I am not an avid wood worker- but I am considering upgrading it to something more robust and capable given I have a home additional and theater build starting very soon. Just wondering if I can get by without spending more since I am on a very tight budget.
I went to HD got some No.2 Pine and some MDF for the center raised panels. I am trying to do this cheap as it's only a basement storage area, but I wanted to learn to do it and learn the skill so I might do better on something more important next time. I have a few large walk in closets planned in the home addition and I am thinking I will go DIY router for those. This skill might come in handy
First thing I did was cut all the wood the exact same lengths. The area I am enclosing is under a countertop so I had a specific dimension I needed to make the doors. It was originally a work bench space that I slapped a counter top above and decided to turn it into storage. I wanted to make sure I cut all the Stiles exactly the same length. Measuring each with a tape measure would yield a small variation I wanted to avoid.
What I did was make a quick guide. I screwed two pieces of crappy pine together and then just clamped down a wood scrap block. That way every cut I made came out the exact same without needing to measure. Once I got it set up the cutting was very easy
Once the stock was cut for the stiles I ran each piece through the router. Once it was done they dry fit together pretty nice.
Then I ripped the MDF on the table saw to the correct size. I had to account for the buried 7/16" that fit into the stiles. First I ripped it one way. Then I made the cuts the opposite way.
Then I had a problem in that the cheapo Router table I bought for $99 did not have a hole big enough to accommodate my router bit for raising the panel. So I took some spare MDF and drilled a whole in the scrap with a hole saw that would allow for the bit- and I raised the top of my router up since I could not drop the bit any lower.
I also made a makeshift fence and top guide by just screwing down additional scraps of MDF I had left over.
The result was a fence and top plate that accepted the panel perfectly.
Once the panels were raised I dry fit one just to test it out, but dinner was ready and I was tired so I quit for the day. One day this week I am going to sand them up, glue them up, and then paint them.
Because I had to remove the fence from the router table to mod it- I could not use the dust collection. The MDF was incredible dusty and messy. It was horrible.
A mask and some earphones are highly recommended. At first I was listening to the stereo, which I turned up loud enough to overcome the rigid shop vac I was using for dust collection and the noise of the table saw, miter saw and router. My ears fatigued and I decided it was better to just use ear phone sound protection. It was a smart move in hindsight.
I ended up setting up two big fans we use on the patio to keep cool. One I set up to blow across the router table and towards the door of the garage. I set up the second on the outside of the garage also blowing out. My goal was just to have the dust blow out of the garage. It made a huge mess.
Car got covered in dust. Ended up having to wash the cars and driveway off with a hose.
I made a huge mess (sorry I am no where near as neat or organized as Cowger
) but in the end I learned a new skill. I am not perfect at it by any means, but I feel like next time I could probably do a really good job with better results now that I know what I am doing. There was learning curve for sure. And - if I bought the cabinet doors everything I could find to purchase was very expensive in comparison. I likely would have resorted to just using plywood.
Special thanks for sharing your project and giving me the inspiration to try something new and outside my comfort zone!