I told the story of the rat cage that spiraled out of control in an earlier post. I've finally got the photos together to show how it was constructed and how it looks now. As I mentioned, it started out as a $20 bookcase from a local second hand shop. It looked like this (I'd already taken off a piece of trim from the top edge before I thought to take a photo).
The lap joints were created by sawing down to half the depth of the wood every 1/4" with the hand saw then removing the excess material using the chisel. I used the chisel to knock down the edges of all the boards to create a more rustic finish at the joints since having them match perfectly was very difficult. The pegs were made out of stock doweling. I bored the holes with a drill bit, added glue, inserted small sections of doweling and then chiseled them flush. Once the door was finished I lined it with wire mesh and attached it to the carcass with simple hinges. To finish the carcass of the cabinet I sawed off the kick plate at the bottom, added crown molding at the top, added tall legs to the bottom and sawed holes in each shelf so the rats could access all levels of the cage. Here is a photo of the carcass without the door.
I searched photos of cabinets and decided that I would only use turned legs on the front for emphasis and plain legs on the back. Here is a photo of the door assembly as I was checking the fit.