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Dartboard Cabinet

Playing darts is a competitive social game that has stood the test of time. Although the objective is simple, it requires a high amount of accuracy and precision. The degree of concentration and focus needed to play gives your brain a break and clears your mind of clutter.

Rob Brown designs and builds custom furniture and is the editor of Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement magazine. www.canadianwoodworking.com

What You’ll Need

  • three boards approximately 8’ long x 9” wide x 1” thick
  • 1/2” plywood for back panel
  • glue 2020-067
  • two sets of hinges 2411-045
  • two magnetic door catches 2314-695
  • protective finish of your choice
  • chalkboard paint 1824-100

Here’s How
• Breakout the sides, bottom, and divider, and then machine them to final thickness.
• Leave the two sides attached to each other for now to make machining their joints easier.
• Cut the side panel to final length but leave the divider and bottom at rough length for now.
• Machine the rabbets and grooves on the sides. (photo 1)
• Determine how long the divider and bottom need to be and cut them to that length.
• Machine the rabbets to accept the back panel.
• Rip the sides, divider, and bottom to final width.

• Sand the interior surface of the parts.
• Assemble the four cabinet parts.
• Cut, sand, and install the back, ensuring the cabinet is square.
• Machine and glue the molding spacer strip to the front of the divider. (photo 2)
• Breakout stock for the molding, mill the profiles (photo 3) and the glue grooves (photo 4), then glue the two pieces together (photo 5).
• Cut mitres and glue molding to case.
• Machine top to finished size, sand it and glue it to the case. (photo 6)
• Machine all door frame parts to finished thickness and width but leave the four rails long.
• Machine grooves to accept door panels in all the door frame parts.
• Determine length of rails and cut them to length.
• Machine tenons on the ends of the door rails.
• Machine door panels to size, cut rabbets around their back edges, and sand their front and back faces.
• Paint the back side of one (or both) door panels with chalkboard paint. Mask off the rabbets before painting. (photo 7)
• Assemble the doors and cut them to size. (photo 8)
• Locate and rout hinge mortises in cabinet sides and backs of door frames, then test fit doors. Make any necessary cuts to ensure even gaps around doors. Attach hinges. (photo 9)
• Rout finger recesses on lower edge of doors.
• Install magnetic door catches.
• Machine dart holders.
• Remove and sand doors, then ensure the rest of the parts are sanded and prepped for finishing.
• Apply a finish, sanding between coats.
• Hang cabinet on wall by driving screws through the back into studs.
• Reinstall doors.​​

Photo 1
Case Joinery
Keep the two sides in one workpiece so the groove to accept the divider, and the rabbet to accept the bottom are easier to machine. You can also see the rabbets to accept the back panel in this photo.

Photo 2
Molding Spacer Strip
A piece of wood gets glued to the front of the divider so the face of the doors will sit flush with the lower edge of the molding.

Photo 3
Making Molding
Machine the molding profiles on the edges of one long piece of wood that’s wide enough to obtain both molding pieces. This will be easier and safer.

Photo 4
Small Grooves
Two small grooves in the back of the molding pieces will stop glue from squeezing out during assembly. The small groove in the face of this piece adds some visual intrigue to the molding.

Photo 5
Assemble the Molding
Rip the molding pieces apart then glue them together so they’re carefully and evenly aligned with each other.

Photo 6
Glue on the Top
Apply glue, then clamp the top in place. Some hand planing might be necessary to ensure the upper surface of the cabinet is flush before gluing the top in place.

Photo 7
Paint it Black
Paint the back of a door panel with two coats of chalkboard paint before assembling the doors to make the painting process easy.

Photo 8
Stub Tenons
The door frames are held together with stub tenons, which fit into the groove that accepts the door panel.

Photo 9
Hang the Doors
Mortise the hinges into the cabinet sides and the backs of the door frames, then fine tune the fit of the door.

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