Let me start by saying that the first part of this blog although posted earlier today, was actually made about a year ago, I just posted it today as a preceding part to the one you’re reading now… tried not to double post and ‘push’ other’s from the blog front page, so I waited half a day between 2 posts, although both were made ready at the same time.
to continue the story were I left off, what I found most difficult with setting up the box was the box joints, those are LARGE box joints in 3/4 material. my first approach was to use the router table with a 3/4” straight bit, but that proved to cause lots and lots of tear outs (even with a backer board) it was hideous! so I opted to go for the table saw instead. I did not have a dado blade at the time, so what I had to do was cut both edges of the finger cutout piece, then take it to the router table, and clean out the material between the 2 edge defining cuts. this procedure took a long time to finish, and was very hard to follow as each cut on the table saw had to be precisely on the edge marks, and the router table cleanout cut had to be precisely between those 2 initial cuts (basically manual cutting the finger joints one at a time… no repetitions much…no automation). I have since gotten a dado blade, and constructed a fingerjoint jig for my table saw that makes things much easier!
Here is the cabinet above my work bench, easy access to hand tools where and when I need them most. notice that when it’s closed it’s pretty deep, and seems like it’s in the way, but when it opens up it takes 1/2 the depth as the doors are very deep:
the next step after having a general ‘box’ was to put it to use and start organizing it.
When I had originally made the box, I routed the back pieces for the doors with horizontal t-slots all across the panels, I figured this would allow me to custom design and setup different parts to hold tools in various positions and places- this will also leave me the option to re-organize and change the layout of my tools on the doors without having to drill the doors later on. this was tedious, took a long time to route, and leaves all the slots visible on the doors – BUT – since I like modular capabilities, I’m ok with that, and so far, it has proved to be functional for me.
Here is the current stage of the doors. The chisel set on the left is finished, and there is a second setup for chisels on top of it that is currently a bit messy just cause I still have a few things with no permanent place, and I do what I can with what I’ve got. on the right door I’ve mounted my 12” and 6” combination squares in a way that their shape (45 angle) and ruler keep them locked in. Also I’ve got my (so far just 1) hand saws on that side. The middle has some drawers made with fingerjoints – this time I used my dado blade, and the fingerjoint jig that I made (very basic jig, just a backer tall board that attaches to my miter gauge and has a slot for the blade, and a slot for a finger) – while making these drawers I accidently made my Incra 1000SE into an Incta 998... (check the blog – it also shows the finger joint jig). Also in the main cabinet I will be hanging my hand planes, right now they are just standing there, but I will set them up with individual shelves (already have the design… just need the time to make it):
As you can see, the cabinet opens wide, and decreases some of it’s depth, providing easy access to almost any tool you’ll need to work with at the bench. while keeping the cabinet closed, it keeps all the tools away from dust, extra moisture (esp. if you seal the cabinet properly…), etc.
next would be drawers slides, and organizing and putting those drawers to use, and setting shelves for the planes.
one step at a time… the way I see it, everytime I’m working on a project, I’ll add another step to the cabinet. no rush, I believe this cabinet will take many steps, and many changes till it’s just how I want it.
EDIT: Added following photos of mounting possibilities with 1/4” bolts, and the T-slots:
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.