• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O'Connor build a storage system for a walk-in closet.

    1. Cut the plywood parts to size using a circular saw and clamp-in-place straightedge.
    2. Use a clothes iron set to the cotton setting (no steam) to adhere 13/16-inch iron-on veneer onto the plywood edges.
    3. Sand the veneer flush with the plywood using a sanding block and 120-grit sandpaper.
    4. Use a router fitted with a ¾-inch straight bit to rout rabbets and stopped dadoes in the vertical sides of the cabinets.
    5. Cut a small notch, called a haunch cut, in the front corner of the shelves using a jigsaw.
    6. Install a counter-balanced, fold-down wardrobe lift to the inside surface of the upper sides.
    7. Screw the cabinet parts together using a drill/driver and 2-inch drywall screws.
    8. Attach a ½-inch plywood back to the rear of the cabinets using 1 -inch drywall screws.
    9. Screw fixed closet rod hardware to the inside surface of the lower cabinets.
    10. Set the assembled cabinets into the closet and fasten them together with 1¼-inch screws and then to the wall studs with 3-inch screws.
    11. Mount the horizontal closet rods to the fold-down wardrobe lifts.
    12. Install slide-out shoe racks in the lower cabinets, and slide-out pant racks at waist height.

    See products and services from this video.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      requires mid-level carpentry skills, including precise router work
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • circular saw
        Portable circular saw and straightedge guide, used to cut plywood parts to size
      • router
        Router, for cutting rabbets and dadoes
      • drill
        Drill/driver, for drilling holes and driving screws
      • jigsaw
        Jigsaw, for making haunch cuts in shelves
      • random orbit sander
        Random-orbit sander, for smoothing wood surfaces
      • iron
        Clothes iron, used to adhere iron-on veneer to plywood edges
      • adjustable clamp
        Clamps, used to hold straightedge guide in place during cutting
      • sanding block
        Sanding block and 120-grit sandpaper, for sanding veneer flush

      Shopping List

      1. ¾-inch birch plywood, for building the cabinet, shelves and dividers

      2. 13/16-inch-wide iron-on veneer, for adhering to the edges of the plywood top

      3. ½-inch birch plywood, for the cabinet backs

      4. Fold-down wardrobe lift, used to make clothes more easily accessible5. Clothes rod, for hanging clothes

      6. Slide-out shoe rack and pants rack, for neatly organizing shoes and pants

      7. Assorted drywall screws, for assembling and installing cabinets