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Storage Wardrobe 1

Storage Wardrobe -- Freebie

  1. Storage Wardrobe

    This is a large, easy to build storage box for people who do not have enough closet space, but who do have a storage room. It features a front made from used kitchen cabinet doors. It has a closet rod in the top section.

    The secret of this design is to obtain the doors at a low price. They could be left over from your remodeling, bought used from someone in your neighborhood who is remodeling, bought at a used building materials store, or bought as discontinued style at your local home repair store.

    This project has limitations in that the wardrobe is too big to move into locations with limited access like some basement spaces and attics. This type of door is not moth tight. Also the materials are too expensive if all are brought new. Before starting this project check around local suppliers to see if you can find a cheaper alternative.

    If you like our fun Freebies, remember we can only keep this Web site open if we sell our Low-Stress Computer Furniture Plans or you follow our ad links and make purchases from our sponsors. Thank you.

    Rockler order link to first page
  2. Obtain Detailed Drawings

    This free design includes 6 detailed sketches. To get them, Send in this little freebie form.

    If you like our fun Freebies, remember we can only keep this Web site open if we sell our Low-Stress Computer Furniture Plans or you follow our ad links and make purchases from our sponsors. Thank you.

    Rockler order link to first page
  3. Wardrobe Construction

    You can make this Wardrobe by:

    1. Downloading and printing this text.
    2. Ordering the sketches.
    3. Study information and locate materials
    4. Mail order speciality hardware
    5. Select Doors.
    6. Purchase local materials
    7. Have the MDF cut
    8. Hand cut and drilling the small pieces
    9. Glue up parts.
    10. Assemble the wardrobe
    11. Finishing all pieces
    12. Reassembling
  4. Discussion of Sketches

    After you obtain the sketches, these notes will help you understand them more completely.

    1. Storage Wardrobe

      This front view shows the Storage Wardrobe with the doors closed. There are three pairs of doors. The box is on caster so it can be moved around.

      The body of the wardrobe is deep enough for clothes on hangers. The hinges are special ones that let the doors swing all the way around though 270 degrees.

    2. Storage Wardrobe, Top View, Sketch #2

      This sketch shows the top view and some of the small wooden parts. The top section has a closet rod for hanging closes.

    3. Storage Wardrobe, Cabinet Doors, Sketch #3

      This sketch shows the ketches cabinet doors that were used for the prototype. Your doors might not be this exact size. A total of six doors are needed. All the doors on one side need to be the same width. The door pairs across need to be the same height.

    4. Storage Wardrobe, Back, Sketch #4

      The wardrobe back is made from 0.75" MDF or plywood. The MDF is less expensive and, although weaker, is strong enough for this application.

      The height of the back should be the total height of your doors pulse 1.625". You can have the store make a cut at the top so that the sheet will be easier to get home.

      The width of your back should be the width of your door pairs minus 1.5". You can have the store make a second cut along the width.

    5. Storage Wardrobe, Sides, Sketch #5

      This sketch shows the sides of wardrobe. They are the same height as the back. You can have the sheet cut exactly down the middle longways at the store.

    6. Storage Wardrobe, Shelves, Sketch #6

      A third sheet of 0.75" MDF makes the shelves. The are exactly the same width as the back and 0.75" narrower than the sides. Three shelves are needed for the top, bottom, and middle. A forth shelf is optional. There is enough scrap to make a fifth narrower shelf too if you like.

  5. Materials

    This Wardrobe is made of hardwood ketches cabinet doors mounted on a MDF box. The parts are assembled with glue, screw blocks, and drywall screws.

    1. Wood


      • 3 -- MDF, 0.75 inch, 4x8 feet, $20.00 each -- $60.00


      • 6 -- Kitchen Wall Cabinet Door, Used, 19"w by 28"H -- $60.00
      Other wood:
      • 37" -- 1.5" diameter closet rod, $1.70/ft -- $ 5.25
      • 10 ft -- .75" x .75" stock, cut from scrap -- $ 0.00

      Wood Subtotal: $125.25

    2. Hardware
      • 6 pair -- Hinges, 270 degree, @$3.30/pair -- $19.80
      • 3 pair -- Door Knobs, @$1.20 -- $ 7.20
      • 6 -- Door Latch, magnetic -- $ 12.00
      • 4 Castes, 2 inch -- 16.00


      • 1 lb -- Screw, drywall 1-1/4 inch -- $ 4.40
      • 1 lb -- Screw, drywall 1-5/8 inch -- $ 4.40
      • 16 -- Sheet metal screw, #10 0.75" -- 2.00
      • 8 oz. -- Woodworker's Glue -- $ 2.60
      Hardware Subtotal: $68.40

      Rockler order link to first page
    3. Finish:
      • 1 qt. -- Polyurethane, satin finish -- $ 10.00
      • 2 qt. -- Paint, oil based -- $ 10.00

      Finish Subtotal: $ 20.00

    4. Omissions and Contingencies (~10%) ( Tax, sand paper, etc.) $26.35
    5. Estimate Total Cost $240.00

    This is only an estimate (made in the February 2006). The price may vary in your area. Getting a good price on the doors is critical to keeping the price down.

  6. Tools

    This Storage Wardrobe was designed to be build using only a few hand tools that a household fix up person might have, purchase at reasonable cost, or borrow. These tools are all useful for general around-the-house maintenance and can fit in a tool box. The first two cuts on the large sheets of MDF are done at the store.

    1. Electric Drill, 3/8 chuck
    2. Screw Mate bit for drywall screws -- $6.20 new
    3. Square
    4. Screw driver
    5. Hammer and small nail set
    6. Jigsaw

    You will also need sand paper, paint brushes. etc.

    Rockler order link to first page
  7. Fabrication Notes

    This is your wardrobe and you can build it to suit your likes and needs. In the end this will be big piece of valuable furniture, so don't get in a big hurry.

    1. Design Options

      Before starting you might want to consider these design options. Some require only small changes to the dimensions.

      • Adjust size to your doors -- First thing go out and find a set of doors you like at a price you can afford. A smaller wardrobe can be made with four doors instead of six. All the door on one side must be the same width and doors across must be the same height. You could have a short pair of doors on the bottom and a tall pair of doors on the top. You could have wide doors on one side and narrow ones on the other.
      • Hinges -- The hinges shown allow the doors to swing 270 degrees and fold along the sides. Cheaper hinges would let the doors swing 180 degrees but would be hard to mount strongly to MDF.
      • More Shelves -- You may can make from three to five shelves from the materials shown.
      • MDF versus Plywood -- Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is an acceptable material for this job. It does have a weakness in that it does not take fasteners well and is not particularly strong. Plywood is much stronger, still has fastener issues, but much more expensive.
      • Two Sections -- It is possible to build this wardrobe in two section, at top and a bottom. It can then be set up in difficult areas. This makes the construction more difficult. Email me if you want to build this version.
    2. Doors

      The doors set the look of the piece and are the single major cost. You may be able to find perfectly good doors at a building materials salvage yard at about 1/2 half the cost of new ones.

      Most salvage doors will not be quite the same size as the ones shown and may have beveled edges that do not suit the 270 degree hinges. These problems can be dealt with. The edges can be trimmed with a saw or planed. The dimensions that you will need to adjust to fit your doors are marked on the drawings.

      You will need to hand sand and refinish any doors you buy, even new ones.

    3. MDF Cuts

      You will need to cut the three large MDF sheets. Make the final decision on the doors you are using before cutting the sheets. You can cut the sheets in a number of ways:

      • Pay the supplier to make the major cuts shown as "First Cut" and "Second Cut" on the drawings.
      • Get access to a table or radial arm saw
      • Use a skill saw with a plywood blade and a clamped straight edge

      If you want the supplier to make the cuts, go at an off time usually mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Be ready to demonstrate that you can pay for the materials before they are cut. Have the drawings with you and double check any dimension adjustments. You will have to buy the material even if you make a mistake.

      Mark all the pieces with the drawing number and description using a pencil. Keep all the scrap pieces.

    4. Screw Blocks

      The screw blocks are shown in Sketch #2. They are used to strength all the MDF joints and to make assembly easy. Screws into the edge of MDF alone do not hold well. The glue blocks are also used in gluing up the other parts so you might as well start construction by making them.

      The ones shown are made from 0.75" by 0.75" stock. This can be bought but it is much cheaper to make the blocks from scrap wood cut on a table or radial arm saw. Round over one edge with a block plane or sand paper. The finished wardrobe will look much better if all these block are almost identical and are placed in symmetrical patterns.

      Each block has three screw holes, two in one direction and one in another. Drill pilot holes from the flat glue face into the stock sloping up slightly (about 15 degrees). This slope will allow you room to use a screw driver. Redrill the holes from the non-glue side with the Screw-Mate drill. Make the lower edge of the screw head match the surface of the block, do not counter sink too deeply.

      Make the first screw block and practice making a joint with two pieces of scrap MDF. Align the block with the flush edge of one piece. Drill pilot holes with the Screw-Mate. The pilot hole must be the full depth of the screw. Blow away all saw dust. Glue the bottom of the glue block and the area it sits on. Screw the block down, but do not over tighten the screws. Drill a pilot hole through the glue block into second piece of MDF. Glue the edge of the MDF, glue block, and mating area on the second piece of MDF. When you have this test joint the way you want it, make the rest of the glue blocks.

    5. Making Base, Top, and Shelves

      The base, top, and shelves are identical. They consist of a rectangle of .75 inch MDF the exact width of the back.

      Install the nine screw blocks onto the bottom. Be sure to leave room in the corners for the casters. Use glue and 1.25" screws.

      Mark and drill the holes for the casters. The casters will need to be installed with 0.75" sheet metal screws with washers. Test install the casters by drilling the holes. The caster wheels should not touch the sides, back, or front piece. The sheet metal screws may need washers. The screw points should not come up through the bottom. Remove the casters for painting

      The top and shelves are the same as the base except they do not have glue blocks on the front. Install the glue blocks dressed right to the edge of the MDF.

    6. Back and Sides

      Place the back flat. Drill pilot holes for the glue blocks on the top and bottom. The top is at the very edge of the back MDF but the bottom is set in 1.5" to hide the casters. Both sets of glue blocks go down. Glue and screw the top and bottom to the back with the glue blocks. You may need to temporary support these parts until one side is installed.

      Put one side in place and drill pilot holes for the glue blocks. Glue and screw on the side. Install a screw about every foot from the outside through MDF side into MDF back, top, and bottom. These should have pilot holes the complete length of the 1-5/8" screw and be slightly counter sunk. A little glue on the screw threads helps.

      Install the second side the same way. Turn the box over and place a few screws trough the back into h=the top and bottom.

    7. Middle Shelf

      Install the glue blocks onto the middle shelf. Try fit the doors to be sure that the middle shelf is centered on the crack between the bottom and middle doors. Glue and screw in the middle shelf.

      You may install other shelves now or you can simply install the glue blocks and place them later.

    8. Install the Doors

      With the box laying on its back, layout all the doors and mark where the hinges go. There is a 0.125" allotment for the two spaces between the three pairs of doors.

      The screws for the hinges in the MDF need to be as long as possible and to have pilot holes for their entire length. Put a screw in every available hole.

    9. Disassemble

      Remove the hardware and bag it. Take off the doors and casters.

      Sand all edges to remove sharp corners. You can fill and lightly sand the screw outside counters sinks. You are ready for finishing.

    Rockler order link to first page
  8. Finishing

    You may finish your wardrobe any way you like. We recommend:

    1. Paint the MDF

      Paint the MDF with color enamel. This helps seal it and makes it last a little longer. The outside is usually dark, but the inside should be a suprising bright color like yellow.

      Be sure to print your name, the date, and who the Wardrobe was for on the back or bottom. Draw pencil guide lines and print with an indelible marker.

    2. Refinish the Doors

      Clean, lightly sand, and polyurethane the doors.

  9. Completion

    All that is left is to reassemble the Wardrobe.

Rockler order link to first page


Thanks again for using a Woodware Computer Furniture Plans. We very much want to know how you are getting along with your project and would be happy to answer any questions by email.

If you send us a picture of your finished wardrobe, we would be happy to put it on our web page. We need pictures of Wardrobe with real people standing beside them.

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