Garage Overhead Cabinets #1: Planning Makes Perfect?

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Blog entry by MyOldGarage posted 02-26-2009 05:11 PM 2975 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Garage Overhead Cabinets series Part 2: What to use? »

Ok—as I learned on the garbage can holder, I think I need a bit more planning on my next project. I’ve in the past at least drawn out some sketches and worked from that . . . which is what I did to a certain degree on the trash holder but I didn’t flesh out all the details until I was in (over my head) on the project. Norm Abram I’m not.

So on to the next thing which will be some overhead cabinets for in the garage. I’ve always wanted something above the workbench area, so I thought this would be a natural progression. I’m envisioning using making two or three of them and to get them on the wall I’ll use a french cleat. Man—I’m suddenly learning new terms in this wood working thing. Hehehe!

I’ve been tinkering more and more with Sketchup and I think I know enough to at least be dangerous. My dad has tried his hand at it and hasn’t quite got there yet . . . so I think I might need to impart some knowledge there too. (The blind leading the blind? LOL) Here’s what I have so far on my cabinet layout:

I tried running the thing through Cutlist 4.0 to see what I would need, but I have something off. It showed two bottoms out of a 4×8 sheet . . . and then kind of didn’t do the rest right. Hmm. I’ll have to play around with how I have my components/etc… configured to see where the disconnect is. I’m assuming that Cutlist will give me a good idea of what the waste should look like on a 4×8 sheet of MDF and how many sheets I’ll need. My daughter’s birthday is coming up soon and two years ago I built her a computer desk. This year I’m kicking around a headboard for her bunk bed. We’ll see how the garage cabinets go and see if I can slide in that project before her April 12th birthday.

-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO -

8 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#1 posted 02-26-2009 05:47 PM

knowledge is good, but it gets addictive ;) I have a Mac, so CutList doesn’t work for me on Sketchup ,so I’m not even sure how it works and what not (I heard good things) I just do the cutlist myself either in sketchup (draw a 4×8 sheet, and place (A copy of) my components on that sheet, or just rough it out on a piece of paper…

cool looking computer station.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View MyOldGarage's profile


93 posts in 3422 days

#2 posted 02-26-2009 05:55 PM

ACK! Tell me it isn’t so! I haven’t tried CutList on my Mac (my primary machine at home is a 20” iMac) but at work I’m forced to use Windows systems. (Grr!)

The computer station was slick—but LCD panels have obsoleted it . . . well, and my daughter got a laptop for Christmas. (Her mom spoils her a bit much!) I originally set it up for that Dell and then I changed her to another system and it didn’t measure the same—the CD tray (sideways) wouldn’t fit through the opening. AND . . . to top that off they moved to another place and the opening is now flat against a wall . . . it needs another opening cut on the other side . . . oh, and the old monitor went out too.

-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO -

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3390 days

#3 posted 02-26-2009 06:22 PM

Would you permit me to offer a tip on the face frame of your cabinet?

This is the method I use. The vertical elements of the face frame, I think, should rest on the horizontal elements. It doesn’t really make much difference, but if these were weight bearing parts, I’d want the verticls to transfer pressure to the horizontals and spread it out. In this case it wouldn’t necessarily be weight bearing, but my eye wants to see it that way.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3777 days

#4 posted 02-26-2009 06:27 PM

I used french cleats in my shop. I love ‘em!
As you found out with the computer station, things change.
I ran a cleat around all three walls in my shop. The cabinets can be rearanged any way I want. It’s easy to add more at any time.
One is a floor rack that is too narrow & has too much weight in it to be stable- the cleat makes sure it will not tip forward.
I even hung a custom built clamp rack that had to be expanded several times.
(I just can’t say no to a sale on good clamps)
Another Great thing is all the cab’s are NOT mounted to the walls, so when it comes time to move the shop they become shipping containers instead of a windfall for the new owner.


View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3563 days

#5 posted 02-26-2009 08:05 PM

For advice on cutlist – check out the thread Cutlist and Layout from Sketchup

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3436 days

#6 posted 02-27-2009 02:45 AM

I,m to much of a luddite to bother with working things out on a computer, I just scribble out an 8×4 grid on paper and lay it out on that. It,s plenty accurate
Agree with you on the obsolete computer desk, they are going the way of the Wooton desk and the Rolltop.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3553 days

#7 posted 02-27-2009 02:51 AM

Bradley. your face frames sre correct on your drawing. That is the correct way to build cabinets. Rails always tie into the stiles. I know, been building cabinets for over 30 years.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View John 's profile


253 posts in 3396 days

#8 posted 04-21-2009 06:40 PM

Yup, Cabinetmaster’s right on the face frames. I can’t comment much on the Mac & Sketchup since I don’t use either, but I do use Cutlist Pro and once you get used to that, there’s no looking back. In one of the shops I worked at, we used Cabinet Vision which was about 20,000.00 at that time but it had alot more bells and whistles. Computer stand is pretty cool. It looks alot like some computer desks we made for a school years age when a 15” CRT was just getting color & Windows 3.1 was taking over DOS.


-- John

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