Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 2: Bust Out The Hand Saw

Hold on to your paint brushes – I’m back with another step in my tutorial for creating a custom storage unit out of salvaged cabinetry!

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials

This step involves a hand saw, so get excited!

So far, we’ve painted our salvaged cabinetry and now we’re ready to create a countertop for our storage unit.  The hubby and I salvaged a bunch of hollow core doors from our house during our remodel – I’ve had big plans for them for awhile, and I was super excited to finally get to put one of those babies into action with this storage unit project.

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 2: Bust Out The Hand Saw

Here’s what you’ll need to turn a hollow core door into the perfect countertop for your storage unit:

~ 1 hollow core door

~ hand saw

~ painter’s tape or masking tape

~ Sharpie

~ screwdriver

~ measuring tape

~ sawhorses or something you can rest the door on

1.  Measure up.  Unless you have freakishly deep lower cabinets, you’ll need to cut down your door so that you only have a small lip for your countertop.  Just place the door on top of the cabinets and play around with the amount of overhang that you have until it looks right – I went with about a 3 inch lip on mine (for a total counter depth of about 16 inches) so that I would have room on top of my cabinets to actually work on projects, display larger items, etc.

2.  Tape it up.  Once you know how large your countertop is going to be, use painter’s tape or masking tape to mark your “cut line.”  Make sure to tape around both sides of the door, and draw a center line down the tape with your Sharpie (you can draw the line on one side only).  There are two reasons for taping the door – first, it clearly marks the line that you’re going to cut with your hand saw and, second, it helps keep the wood from splintering while you’re cutting.  It’s not a perfect fix for splintering, but it definitely helps.

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 2: Bust Out The Hand Saw

3.  Remove the excess.  Since this hollow core door was actually hung in our house, it had a door knob and hinges that needed to be removed.  However, if you’re only using part of the door you can get away with only removing the door knob or the hinges – just use your screwdriver to take off whichever hardware is on the side of the door that you’re using.  In my case, I just had to remove the hinges.

4.  Go to town.  Bust out that handsaw!!  In a perfect, responsible world, you’ll place your door on two saw horses so that everything is stable and safe while you’re making your cut with the handsaw.  I didn’t have saw horses – while I definitely do not recommend trying this at home (safety first!!), I just propped my door up against a wheelbarrow that we had in our garage and started sawing away.

Make A Storage Unit From Salvaged Materials. Step 2: Bust Out The Hand Saw

At this point, you’ll definitely be glad that you have a hollow core door rather than a solid core door.  As you can see from the picture above, the majority of the hollow core door is just a wood veneer and cardboard spacers – the only real wood are two pieces of 2 x 4 at the top and bottom of the door.  I had a tough time cutting through the wood at the top and bottom of the door, but the middle part of the door was relatively easy to cut through – but don’t get me wrong, my wimpy bicep was definitely screaming the next day!

5.  Paint’er up.  Your door is almost ready!  Now just prime and paint the areas that will be exposed, like the sides and underside of the lip.  You don’t need to paint the whole underside or the top, since the cabinets will be covering most of the underside and our awesome custom treatment will be covering the top.

Stay tuned to see how this salvaged storage unit all comes together!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. Averill says:

    I’m super impressed you guys kept all your old materials to reuse.

    Can’t wait for the next installment!

  2. Kristina says:


    Looking good and nice hinking on reusing those doors!

  3. Meredith says:

    Exciting… who knew that a hand saw would be so useful!

  4. christy says:

    Wow I can just imagine you sawing away on that wheelbarrow. My husband would have a fit if he saw me doing that! Bravo to you!

  5. Joan says:

    Again, you have knocked my socks off! How clever of you to create and execute this project! I am fairly crafty, but did not know about using tape to reduce the splintering when you saw. Good to know.

    Enough of this ….. what I REALLY want to know is how you created the wonderful, so appealing, handcrafted top to you cabinet!?!?
    I am patiently waiting!