Upcoming projects and designs. #10: Slight adjustment to the parts cabinet design methinks...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 11-05-2010 05:00 PM 4186 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Taunted by cut offs, and needing small parts bin dividers. Part 10 of Upcoming projects and designs. series Part 11: You guys stole my thunder... »

So this clamshell cabinet design that taunts me oh so often, and loudly too I might add, wanted to be changed a little bit last night. But It IS getting closer to final.

As you might recall, in my last installment I am wanting to make some drawer dividers for, and install into my clamshell cabinet 2 Stack On 39 drawer small parts cabinets. But that’s not ALL that is going in this clamshell cab. So I started thinking about what WILL be going into this cabinet. And the list is…

On the inside…
-2 39 drawer small parts cabs.
-1 MLCS 66 piece 1/2” shank router bit set.
-1 Skil 30 pc 1/4” shank router bit set.
-20 misc mixed router bits. Mostly MLCS 1/2” shank, a couple Rockler, one Freud, and even an Amana bit… Need room for at least 10 more. Will likely make provision for total of 40 to 50 loose bits.
-1 boxed MLCS Rabbeting bit set.
-Router bearing oil container. (is it my imagination or is that stuff just regular pink transmission fluid?)
-1 Milescraft router edge guide / circle cutter.
-Set of router bushings
-3 misc 25 foot tape measures.
-2 misc 12 foot tape measures.
-1 6” digital caliper.
-1 Digital dial indicator.
-1 3pc micrometer set.
-1 3pc set of mechanical calipers.
-1 #4 hand plane
-1 #5 hand plane
-1 low angle block plane.

On the outside. Or maybe on a “leaf” panel in the cabinet, haven’t decided yet…
-Marples double edge pull saw
-Marples dovetail / flush cut pull saw
-Old Ace Hardware hack saw.
-Stanley tool box saw.
-2 drywall saws (1 Stanley, 1 Greenlee)
-1 6pc set Stanley Fat Max chisels.
-1 Combination square.
-1 try square

Yeah, for the most part, I am trying to consolidate small parts, hand tools, and router accessories into the same area. I may be asking a bit too much, but that’s the thing, I am in no huge hurry, I just need to kind of plod along and just keep tweaking the design until I am happy with it. One of the things I am thinking about redoing is losing the pegboard front panel, and actually building tool holders for everything on the front panel.

So for right now, pretty much everything is up in the air on that. But there are a couple of things I have decided on for sure other than what I want it to hold. That is…

#1. Will be hung using a french cleat. #2. Exposed plywood edges will be trimmed with iron on edge banding. Most likely something different though. I am SERIOUSLY considering walnut banding for contrast. Nobody does it, and it sounds interesting, at least in my head… #3. Corner joinery will be locking rabbets. (I need to spend some quality time with my Dado stack…) #4. Finish is most likely to be Minwax Golden Pecan stain, with at least 2 coats of brush on poly.

So any tips, advice, or even pointers to finished projects similar to what I am talking about here would be GREATLY appreciated…

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5 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3191 days

#1 posted 11-05-2010 05:19 PM

Have to run to the hospital for my last bit of work for the weekend…......

I’ll review this a little closer later. One thing I have found, make sure that the internal structure of that thing is adjustable and mutable. You will change its contents as you use it, some tools and parts will become outmoded, and it might even find its way to a mobile structure some day…...........

More later….......


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#2 posted 11-05-2010 05:31 PM

I’m having a hard time envisioning what it is that you are trying to do do I’m not sure if this will be of any help, but you can take a look at the cabinet I made (which have since been updated with more personalized holders but the concept stays the same) here : It’s held to the wall using french cleat and you could customize it to your needs – add more drawers, divide the drawers, tool holders and all:

When the cabinet is closed it’s deep, but fully enclosed, when it opens it’s not as deep (becomes ~half depth) and really puts everything at hands reach and accessible. It’s just made of 3/4” birch plywood – no banding as I didn’t think it even needed that. but that’s a personal taste thing.

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

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3258 days

#3 posted 11-05-2010 05:48 PM

Kind of on the same plan. The part that is fixed to the wall / cleat will hold 2 of these…

One of these (and I will need to be able to open it!)

But yeah other than that sort of stuff, you pretty much have what I am shooting for. Just picture that, bigger, and a bit more stuffed…

I see you used Piano type hinges. Are you happy with that choice?

As far as the banding is concerned, it’s just a tickles my fancy sort of thing. Most folks want to ignore, or play down the edges of plywood. I kind of wanted to find a way to play them up…

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View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3191 days

#4 posted 11-05-2010 06:46 PM

Back again.

Some advice…....probably worth what it is going to cost you…...(-:

Make the internal structure of the cabinet modular and adjustable. The same with any tool mounts on the front. Make it so that the tool mounts are on small french cleats, or that the whole front part where the tools are mounted, meaning I assume the door, is replaceable. That is, mount the piece that has the tool holders, on the door, so that if you decide to change it, you do not have to make a new door.

I am going to do something similar, meaning cabinets on french cleats around the shop, and replace my old kitchen cabinets. But I am going to be sure the internal dividers are movable, and since I plan to hang things on both the outside and inside of the doors, that the hinges are strong, and I can remove old tool mounts and replace them with different ones without making new doors.

This will take some design and thought, but if you make one, why not make a few, with identical cabinet sizes, and modular, movable internal components. Then you could even use small french cleats on or in the cabinets with standard size cleats, for tool mounts, and another standard size cleat for the cabinets that is larger. And remember, if you make the hinge strong, you can install tools on the outside and inside of the doors.

Basically, that is what I am going to do. Standardize everything, and make everything adjustable and removeable. I think you should make everything out of wood or wood products so that you are in control. Small drawers, just like on my old tool tote can be plastic, however. Good ones seem indestructible. They need to be vinyl or something that is tough and resiliant, so that they don’t break. I have a large number of small parts bins that I keep my larger nuts, bolts, nails, etc in. I got them over 30 years ago, and not one of them has cracked or broken. They are vinyl, not cheap acrylic, although the Lucite quality acrylic also seems to last forever.

I have a small adjustable wooden rack like structure for my cable modem, router, and a 16 port switch. I have already replaced the switch, and the cabinet adjusts for differnent size stuff. Tools, may last longer than electronics, but you will still replace, upgrade, and find you change what types of tools you use over the years.

There you have my nickels worth…...........or perhaps two cents worth…..........


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3191 days

#5 posted 11-05-2010 06:57 PM

We doubled on our last posts. Purplev’s cabinet is the basic style I was thinking of. I am short of wall space, so I will mount tools on the outside also. I have used piano hinge for over thirty years, and keep some on hand and cut it to size. If it is mounted on the outside such as with thinner material, using a few nuts and bolts like at the ends and middle will improve strength considerably. I have a very heavy chain saw case built that way 30 years ago, and it has to support over 40 pounds, since it holds the top which has the handle, and it show no signs of failure.


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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