Introduction to Cabinetmaking
with John Marckworth and Faculty

Cabinetmaking Series Level: Level I


This course will teach you how to build basic cabinets without the need for big stationary equipment.  Using modern tools and a few tricks of the trade, you'll learh how to create, cabinetry in a small home shop that is as good as high-priced custom, and much better than what's sold in the big box stores. This two-week couse is a combination of our original one-week Beginning and Intermediate Cabinetmaking classes. We've rolled them into one course to provide a complete "start to finish" cabinetry experience. You'll start with the basics and follow a project through to completion and installation.  

Class Description

We begin by learning how to accurately measure a room and lay out cabinet runs. How do you plan for plumbing, electrical, and venting requirements? How can you deal with dead, inaccessible inside corners? How do you make sure that cabinet doors and drawers open cleanly without interfering with adjacent units? What are the differences between modern and traditional hardware? What hidden traps are lurking in wait for the unsuspecting craftsperson, and what can you do to avoid them? All this and more will be revealed.
The course is a mixture of design sessions, lectures and discussions, slideshows, and shop exercises that cover the basics of cabinet design & construction. We'll also explore varieties of standard and specialty cabinet hardware, and special use units such as entertainment centers. Students will learn to construct both Euro-style and traditional face frame cabinets, and to build both edged slab (flat) and frame and panel doors. We’ll explore various types of drawer construction, and build and install drawers using mechanical slides.
We'll also include some of the more arcane, but necessary cabinetmaker's skills, such as scribing-to-fit and other black arts that make installation a pleasure instead of a nightmare. Finally, we'll lead you through the maze of design & technical resources available to the beginning cabinetmaker.
As part of the course, students will build and install cabinetry that will be used in either Fort Worden guest housing or the School facility.
Finally, we’ll take our accumulated knowledge and, as a group, discuss and brainstorm individual student cabinet projects – real or imagined. Bring your ideas, plans, questions and dreams, and we’ll see what we can come up with.


  • You do not need to bring any tools to class.
  • You should bring protective gear - ear defenders, dust mask and eye protection

More about this class


For the beginning cabinetmaker - no experience. Just bring along common sense and enthusiasm.

Class Information and Registration

Class starts at 9:00am on the first day. The class runs Monday to Friday each week. The workshop is not available at the weekend.

Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.

Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $1,400
Materials Charge: $40

2014 Class:

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.

March 31 - April 11 Introduction to Cabinetmaking Register

If you'd like to ask questions - please feel free to contact  us - (360) 344-4455 or by email.

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Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades Copyright © 2007-2014. All rights reserved.

200 Battery Way | Fort Worden | Port Townsend, WA 98368 | (360) 344-4455 | email

The Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. Any donations made to the School are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.