Every year Woodcraft has a trade show in which their vendors gather to talk business with franchise members. I was invited to take part in a build-off with my insanely talented friend Jory Brigham where we were assigned the task of going head-to-head on a DIY dartboard cabinet.
Jory walked in with a sick design and lots of ambition while I - in typical fashion - decided to wing it. While I hand this win over to Jory, I got to explore some fun techniques in this build and ended up with a great final product myself. Equipped with hand-carved dovetails, a grooved front door panel, and plenty of hand-crafted details, this DIY dartboard cabinet is a craftsman’s dream -- check it out.
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Get started by picking out you frame lumber, I use white oak ¾” thick 5lumber for the build. I started the build by planing and cutting the wood for the door panel because I had some special work to do on it later and wanted to make sure it was fully set and dry. Once the pieces were planed and cut, I glued it up with wood glue and some clamps, giving it ample time to set by starting on the carcass.
White the door panel dried, I started cutting the wood for the box and shelves of the cabinet. A DIY dartboard cabinet does not need to be very deep - just deep enough for the board and some darts, so 5” wide wood was perfect for the frame. I decided to use dovetails for joiners because I love how sturdy they are and the craftsman look they supply. One cut, I chiseled and sanded the dovetails down so they’d fit like a glove.
Next, I assembled the box frame and shelves into one sturdy carcass using wood glue and clamps. When needed, I hammered the pieces together with a wooden mallet to get the perfect fit. In the project, I let the glued-up carcass dry overnight.
I kicked off Day 2 of this build by building the back panel to the cabinet. Much like the door panel, the back panel was made with 3 cut and planed pieces of ½” White Oak. Glue and clamp them up, allowing them to dry. If you’re not under the wire like I was and have enough clamps, it’s a good idea to glue this up at the same time as the carcass and dry it overnight.
Here’s where the real fun kicks in. I wanted this thing to have an oversized handle, so I called about my immensely talented friend Ashley Harwood for her turning expertise. She carved out the most beautiful, oversized center handle that I literally could not wait to get on the door panel.
Once I saw Ashley make such a sweet handle I was inspired to try it myself in what came to be the most dangerous project I’ve ever done. I threw the door panel on the outboard lathe, and started going to down with my angle grinder, carving curvy grooves into the front of the door panel.
Once the door is carved out, it’s time to put ‘er all together. Though not shown in the video, you’ll want to get some full inset hinges, and install them so the door opens. I stained the cabinet frame a rich black color for a really sharp finish. I topped the whole thing off with butcher’s block finish for a rich, long-lasting finish -- a voila! One beautiful DIY dartboard cabinet.
Although my DIY dartboard cabinet couldn’t outperform the competition, I ended up with a damn good project that I’m super proud of -- and isn’t that what it’s all about?
If you liked this project, be sure to check out some of my latest builds:
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Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.