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Shop Tool Cabinet #1: plan and budget

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Blog entry by Orion Woods posted 01-12-2011 05:41 AM 3170 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop Tool Cabinet series Part 2: Construction Begins! »

My shop, which technically is only the space left over after my wife parks her truck in the garage, is small and cluttered. When I work on a project I have to constantly search for tools or move ten things just to get to where it is actually put away at. Well that is all about to change! You see I got a $100 gift card to the big blue box down the street, it’s supposed to be for part of a tablesaw, but apparently they won’t let me buy just part of a tablesaw. So while working on a adirondack chair I decided I have had enough of the clutter and set on course a plan to end the problem.

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I have many times admired the tool cabinets posted in the projects section and now is my time to make an attempt at my version. I took everything I liked from a few different versions and drew up my own plan. The most notable versions I took inspiration from are of course the Fine Wood Working “quick to make” tool cabinet, Wood magazine’s Heirloom Tool Chest (NOV 2010), and the tool cabinet from “the Complete Small Shop” from Shop Notes

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I only have $100 to start this project, I know I will go over, some overages are acceptable but I hope to keep the initial cost under $120. With this in mind I was reminded that someone once said that “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail” or something like that. So I sat down with a couple of pieces of graph paper and got to work. Here is the result:

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The next step of course is to go ppick up my supplies, SWMBO has informed me that although she is ok with this project I must complete the finish on the adirondack chairs first, so a little sanding tomorrow and two coats of paint and I’m off down the street to get my stuff!

I already have the glue, screws, and stain so all I need is wood and piano hinges! I will use pine or birch 3/4” plywood and some 1/2” mdf for the drawers.

-- Brian



7 comments so far

View woodworksbyjohn's profile

woodworksbyjohn

69 posts in 1447 days


#1 posted 01-12-2011 06:15 AM

Hi Brian, this is John Eugster from the Sin City group. Just saw your blog and it’s pretty detailed. Isn’t that something, you’re building a tool cabinet and so am I! I use Blogger for my blog and like you, share it on Facebook. Any chance you read mine? maybe we can compare notes as they happen. Looks good!

-- John Visit my Blog: http://woodworksbyjohn.com

View Sailor's profile

Sailor

534 posts in 2020 days


#2 posted 01-12-2011 06:30 AM

Brian, looks like you have a pretty good idea of what you want, I hope your planning pays off. Don’t forget, you really can’t get two 1’6” doors and 1’ shelf out of a 4’ sheet of plywood, once you factor in for your saw kerf you will loose about 1/4”, just something to think about.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! http://woodworkingtrip.blogspot.com/ Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SailingAndSuch

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2428 days


#3 posted 01-12-2011 06:36 AM

Brian, that looks good.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Orion Woods's profile

Orion Woods

67 posts in 1524 days


#4 posted 01-12-2011 06:40 AM

@John hey there! Of course I read yours, I get an email when you post! Saw it on your facebook before and subscribed. Can do on the note sharing! I start making dust Thursday at least that’s the plan!

@Sailor yeah I did figure on that throughout my plan. I feel I won’t feel the loss as badly in the shelf dept and just wasn’t feeling like counting at that moment!

Thanks for the input guys! John I’ll drop you an email soon with my phone # so we can get together sometime!

-- Brian

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 2483 days


#5 posted 01-12-2011 06:04 PM

please keep this blog going. I’m VERY interested in how it goes. I have plans to build one of my own in a few months!

View woodworksbyjohn's profile

woodworksbyjohn

69 posts in 1447 days


#6 posted 01-13-2011 06:05 PM

Brian, are you finger jointing the MDF for the drawers? Haven’t seen that done before, be interested in seeing how that will hold up. Have you thought of a tongue and a rabbet, not sure of the strength on that either though. That’s what I like about woodworking, definitely more than one way to skin a cat!

-- John Visit my Blog: http://woodworksbyjohn.com

View Orion Woods's profile

Orion Woods

67 posts in 1524 days


#7 posted 01-13-2011 08:34 PM

indeed John, not sure how it will hold up ultimately, thankfully the way I have it designed the whole drawer section can be redone at anytime. There are no runners or anything for such small drawers and I don’t expect much weight router bits wrenches etc. When I got my dovetail jig from harborfreight, I did some half blind dovetails in mdf to see how it worked, it went all right but tapping in the sides some of the mdf broke down on me. I figure my finger joints are a little looser still and it will be more of a press together fit rather than with a mallet so maybe it will hold up better. If not I will chalk that up to experience and remake with other materials down the line. I’ll try to bring in a drawer to the SSWW meeting on the 19th if I’ve gotten that far.

I did think about a tongue and rabbet, for the case as well but not sure I have the arsenal of router bits to do it. I guess I could do the tongue with my rabbeting bit but the fence in my router table I made is not accurate enough to try to make the rabbet. That whole router table is slated for replacement right after the cabinet. Hmmm I suppose I could rabbet both sides like the case, I did that same thing with a toy box for the dogs and it worked well, I trimmed the excess with the flush trim bit and rounded it with the roundover, although it is birch ply too it looked fairly good. The wife likes the layers showing on the corners, I know most people hide that sort of thing.

Well off to apply ONE more coat of paint to a chair then go pick up plywood! Will post part two either later today or tomorrow!

-- Brian

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