How to Make a Root Vegetable Storage Cabinet

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Posted by Emily Tisdale

My husband got the idea for this project from a root vegetable cabinet his mom bought down in North Carolina.  We took measurements and recreated the cabinet in a weekend’s time.  This kind of cabinet is great for storing root vegetables because it keeps them cool and dry with good air circulation.  

You’ll need to buy:

  • 2 - 6 foot lengths of 3/4” x 11 1/4” lumber
  • 3 - 6 foot lengths of 3/4” x 1 1/2” lumber (you’ll only need two, but it’s nice to have some extra in case you need to re-cut something - you’ll also need some scrap wood for the backstops for the cabinet doors) 
  • 1 - piece of masonite
  • 3 - knobs
  • 1 - roll of 1/2” wire mesh
  • staple gun and wood staples
  • 6 - 1 1/2” hinges
  • 12 - flat “L” brackets” 
  • hammer and nails
  • drill (for piloting holes for knobs - you might not need this depending on the knobs you buy) 
  • 3 - plastic bins (maximum 14” wide)
  • wood stain, gloves, and sponge brushes  

You’ll need to cut:

  • Top: 1 - 16.5” x 3/4” x 11 1/4”
  • Shelves: 3 - 14.5” x 3/4” x 11 1/4”
  • Sides: 2 - 34” x 3/4” x 11 1/4”

Cabinet doors:

  • 6 - 11 1/4” x 3/4” x 1 1/2”
  • 6 - 9 3/4” x 3/4” x 1 1/2”

Back:

  • Masonite - 16” x 32”

Putting it together:

I think the directions are pretty self-explanatory if you follow the pictures and captions.  You nail the shelves and the sides together leaving a little under 10” spaces between the shelves.  Use wood glue and nails to attach the pieces.  Nail on the top also using glue.  Assemble the cabinet doors using the flat “L” brackets at the corners on the inside. Use wood glue on all of the joints.  Be sure to wipe off the excess as it becomes difficult to remove once it dries.  Once they dry, stain the cabinet door frames.  Cut wire mesh into three pieces that will fill the front of the cabinet doors.  Staple the wire mesh into place.  You might need to hammer in the staples if the staple gun only drives them in part way.  Drill pilot holes for the knobs and then install the knobs or just screw them in.  Stain the frame (sides, top and shelves).  Attach the cabinet doors to the frame using the hinges.  Use a small piece of scrap wood on the inside of each cabinet door to ensure that the door does not close past 90 degrees.  You might want to put a small magnetic mechanism on this piece of scrap wood and on the cabinet door to make sure the cabinets close securely.  We haven’t had to do this yet as the hinges are still tight enough to keep the doors closed, but we can see this becoming an issue as we use the cabinet more.  Nail on the masonite back using small tacking nails.  Place a plastic bin on each shelf.  This is a place to keep your potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, and so on - the plastic bins will catch any liquid that the fruits/vegetables give off if they rot (easier to remove and clean than having to clean the piece of furniture itself).  

This project takes some patience and work, but the result is quite handsome and very useful.  

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Emily Tisdale1 Comment