How to Build Alcove Cabinets

In this video I give you an information-packed overview of how we build alcove cupboards including codes and descriptions of hardware and where to buy.

To access our full blueprints for how to build alcove cabinets, as a downloadable PDF, including 2-door and 3-door base cabinets, upper bookcases, floating chunky shelves, and both modern and more traditional styles, become a monthly supporter (member) at:
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Check out our new podcast – first episode at the link below as a YouTube video, but see the links in the description below that video for the podcast series available on various audio-only platforms:

To find out more about how we build different types of fitted furniture search our videos – or here is a playlist all about alcove cabinets:

And this playlist is all about the ever-popular floating shelves:

We buy most of our hardware from Hart Wholesale:
(If you try them, do please let them know that it was me who pointed you in their direction! Great people, unusually knowledgable about hardware – Blum and Hafele products and more – and good stock including the more unusual stuff).

We buy Medite MR MDF and birch plywood etc from either Arnold Lavers or Lawcris.

We buy solid wood boards such as the 23mm oak seen in this video from Optimum Timber Supplies in Mexborough – you can see their little warehouse in this video:

Again, if you approach these suppliers it would be great if you mention that Alastair at Freebird recommended them, thanks!

Jordan Trent - February 22, 2020

Lovely clean fit, lots of great tips.

Morgan Skinner - February 22, 2020

Lovely looking job!

    Freebird Interiors - February 23, 2020

    Morgan Skinner thank you!

D P - February 22, 2020

Nice to see you add the grill at the top of the unit but i am certain that the air vent has to be direct to room. Pretty certain it does not conform to heatas regs. Does the halfe grill have the same free air area as the wall grill?

    Freebird Interiors - February 22, 2020

    Thanks, it’s something I could look into more to make sure I’m really doing things properly, thanks for the prompt

    D P - February 22, 2020

    Freebird Interiors no probs. Last thing you want is a phone call letting you know your customer is in hospital with CO poisoning and your responsible.

    Jeremy Dickson - February 22, 2020

    Would it be acceptable if a duct was built between the wall vent and the vent in the top of the unit so there was a “free” air route?

    Freebird Interiors - February 24, 2020

    Jeremy Dickinson I expect that would be better!

sunthroughtheblinds - February 22, 2020

Super helpful video Alastair – so many useful detail shots. Thank you.

    Freebird Interiors - February 23, 2020

    sunthroughtheblinds glad you found it helpful, thanks

Jason Lloyd - February 22, 2020

Amazing again. Wish I could shadow and learn from you

Rhett Baker - February 22, 2020

Hi Alistair, I was wondering how you determine whether you will use a wooden plinth or black adjustable feet? Much appreciated

    Freebird Interiors - February 22, 2020

    Rhett Baker I often get asked this and tbh it’s not always rational but generally if it’s a single standalone unit, or a couple which I can easily prefix together, I use black feet. If it’s a long run of heavy wardrobes (which are also deeper than most alcove cupboards) then I use the ladder plinth to create a continuous level base which I can skate them into position on. But there are pros and cons to each method and at least the black feet allow for adjustment after the units are in position.

Des Brown - February 22, 2020

As usual, nice looking units Alastair

David Woods - February 22, 2020

Great video done great tips. How do you find the makita tool bag? I bought a veto ot xl for hand tools which is amazing . But was looking at the makita for cordless tools

    Freebird Interiors - February 22, 2020

    It’s just a glorified wheely soft suitcase, hardly any more durable, but I got it for £20 and it’s been useful enough! I decided I prefered a soft case to toss various tools into rather than organising everything into rigid systainers.

    David Woods - February 22, 2020

    Cheers for the reply. I’m a bench joiner so I only do a small bit of fitting. Have really enjoyed all the videos you post and love the way everything is organised. A lot of guys are going cordless with tools now. Most of my gear is corded festool but have been looking at dewalt cordless tools. I’m so you find cordless tools work best for fitting ? Cheers David

john gibson - February 22, 2020

Beautiful design and fit. As always, you offer many useful tips that are so helpful for us striving to do better with our projects. Thank you for that.

    Freebird Interiors - February 22, 2020

    You’re welcome John!

Robert Hatcher - February 22, 2020

Why do you use ply for carcasses rather than MDF? I’ve just retired and am going to build Alcove Units (which I should have done 30 years ago!) Love your videos. Will drop you a Tenner!

    Freebird Interiors - February 22, 2020

    Thank you! It went like this: we discovered most of our customers would rather pay a little less than have the internals painted. We used brown mdf at first rather than MR (green) but weren’t happy with the screw holding strength for the hinges. We settled on birch ply for screw holding but also it looks and smells better! And is more rigid for the mid shelf. I would like to start finishing the internals in a clear finish as standard but the profit margin just won’t allow it at the sort of price point we are currently able to sell these at.

    Robert Hatcher - February 24, 2020

    @Freebird Interiors Thanks for your reply, Tenner on its way soon!

    Freebird Interiors - February 24, 2020

    Consider becoming a member to get more value for your money! You can always cancel after a month or two.

thesey - February 23, 2020

Carpet. Do you bond the cut edges wiith carpet tape? Do you ever for on top of carpet (if well fixed to wall?). Very enjoyable videos. Informative, educational. Subscribed

    Freebird Interiors - February 23, 2020

    Hi, I refit the carpet gripper strip to the floor at the cut edge of the carpet (cutting back the underlay a bit further to allow for it). I try to avoid ever placing fitted furniture directly onto carpet as a little bit of settlement over time would lead to caulked wall scribe joints moving and cracking. Glad you like the content!

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