Woodworking shop storage cabinets

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by electricalD posted 02-20-2011 09:11 AM 4404 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello everyone, I am brand new to Lumberjocks, woodworking and I am as green as they come. I am about to embark upon building myself a woodworking shop as I have this desire and interest to do so. I have read scoreloads of material from books, websites and everything that I can get my hands on, to familiarize myself with the woodworking craft. I have been in the electrical field for the past 25 years. My shop will be about 550 square feet with a 12/12 pitch or barn style roof. Do any of you know some good sites that I can have a look at some storage cabinets. My plan is to build a set of cabinets that is familiar to a set of kitchen cabinets. You know, the counter top with the cabinets underneath. My plan is to purchase a sliding compound mitre saw and set it onto the top cabinets and have it offset so the top of the cabinets will be flush with the table of the saw. That way, as you people have surely seen, I can use the top as a bench as well as a place to lay stock for cutting. Any of you know of something of this nature of have something that you would deem a better solution. I am new and open to all suggestions and am relying on the experience of you kind folks.


-- If there were no God, there would be no atheists, G. K. Chesterton

14 comments so far

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3132 days

#1 posted 02-20-2011 09:38 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks Dan. Man have you fell into the place for what you need to know. lol Go to the top right hand of this page and click on search. When the box drops down, type in what you are looking for and watch the flood gates open. Also check out everyone’s work shop. There are some real beauties on here. Good luck, Rand

View FMG's profile


65 posts in 3306 days

#2 posted 02-20-2011 02:24 PM

Dan, I found Woodcraft Magazine Vol. 5/No. 39, June/July 09 to be very helpful and has just what you are looking for I think. Go to and click on magazine index. I just checked and the article is “hassle free workshop cabinets” You can order it from them for around 6 bucks. Good luck!

-- FMG- Woodworking is 90% mental the other half is physical

View electricalD's profile


116 posts in 3134 days

#3 posted 02-20-2011 02:40 PM

Thanks Guys, There is no doubt, scoreloads of information out there. I have already started searching the shop photos and I guess someone has something similar to what I am looking for. Maybe I might find something different that might impress me even more. I have located the magazine FMG, and thanks. One thing is for sure, There are thousands upon thousands of people at this kind of thing.

-- If there were no God, there would be no atheists, G. K. Chesterton

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3847 days

#4 posted 02-20-2011 03:32 PM

Dan, Here is the start of an 8 part series that sIKE posted on the construction of his miter saw bench. I added a similar one to my shop as well. The bench provides quite a bit of storage and a work surface to support not only miter saw operations but also other shop activities as well. Like sIKE I built my bench with extensions to provide support when cutting long boards and trim work. But, as you pointed out in your comments, this does limit the use of the bench. I am going to redo my bench at some point and will level the miter saw table to the counter top so that the bench top can be used for other operations when the saw is idle.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 3121 days

#5 posted 02-20-2011 04:04 PM

May I suggest you think about building a solid standalone workbench that you can walk around after you’re through with the cabinets, and a pair of sturdy sawhorse? I find these to be indispensable in my shop. In fact, I’m in the middle of building my second workbench right now. My first one was O.K., but I spent too much time making it pretty and less time on sturdiness, so now I’m concentrating on the “work” part of the name and its functionality and solidness. If it turns out to be pretty, then that’ll be only by accident. There are plenty of fine benches on this web site to get ideas from, and make yours fit your needs. I am also building my own cabinets while I’m waiting for the bench parts to dry. I’ve never built cabinets before, so I’m learning a lot, but what better place to learn than your own workshop.

BTW, welcome to the forum. You’ll find the folks here very knowledgeable and very willing to help. Oh, and they are really nice people too. One of the first things I told myself after joining was not to be intimidated the quality of projects posted, but to glean ideas and learn from them. And don’t make my mistake when I posted photos of my first shop by calling it “finished”. I was bombarded with comments that workshops are never “finished”. Shops only become operational and continually evolve.

-- John from Hampstead

View StumpyNubs's profile


7599 posts in 2825 days

#6 posted 02-20-2011 04:28 PM

Welcome to LJ’s! As already stated above, you can find versions of just about anything you’d ever want to build right here on this site.

One FYI- Use plywood, MDF or particle board for the counter top. It can be tempting to use a regular counter top because they are nice and smooth, but counter tops are not flat. They are intentionally cupped up at the front edge to keep water from running on if you spill something on them in the kitchen. This is not good for a cutting bench. I learned that the hard way!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View electricalD's profile


116 posts in 3134 days

#7 posted 02-20-2011 05:44 PM

Hey Scott, I have seen the version of Norm’s mitre bench and watched the show where he made it. The top of that bench is basically where I am leaning towards. The only thing now is what to do with the underside of of it and I am guessing I will probably go with sliding drawers. But that is to be decided.
John, I am planning to build a stand alone bench and that will be first project. I am not going to get into anything heavy but to start with one of those weekend types, actually I have got one picked out from the ’’Woodsmith’’ web site that I liked, and saw horses will be the next. So you read my mind there. I need practice before I’ll attempt one of those heavier benches. I do plan on using the french cleat system for hanging tools and the like on and will more than likely donate a fair portion of one wall to that. Like you said, it will always change and you always accumulate tools and it truly is never finished but only gets better and better.
And Hello Jim Hamilton, I am planning on using MDF for the top. Once I get a good look around at this site I think I will have seen enough to be filled with plenty of ideas.
Thanks for your advice gentlemen, your kind help is appreciated to a green thumb.


-- If there were no God, there would be no atheists, G. K. Chesterton

View Bricofleur's profile


1445 posts in 3218 days

#8 posted 02-20-2011 05:47 PM

Welcome to the craft, Dan.

If I would redo my basement woodworking shop I would build wall storage cabinets instead of floor cabinets as I did. My shop is about the size of ours and floor space is crucial for stationnary tools. For benchtop tools I would build a shelf (or counter) so few larger tools would roll under. Since I made floor cabinets all around, in my actual shop larger tools are centered and very limited space is available for more tools or large projects. For good ideas I suggest to take a look at TheFamily Handyman Shop Storage Section my actual shop, s.

Good luck and have fun. And don’t forget to share your progress!



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View Rob200's profile


313 posts in 3194 days

#9 posted 02-20-2011 08:05 PM

nce to have you as a lumber jock

-- Robert Laddusaw and no I am not smarter then a fifth grader ( and no I canot spell so if it is a problem don't read it ))

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 3064 days

#10 posted 02-21-2011 02:13 AM

I don’t think it is practical to plan to put any cabinet storage directly under your miter saw. A miter saw is a gigantic sawdust maker and you will need the space down below to make a dust collection passage.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View electricalD's profile


116 posts in 3134 days

#11 posted 02-21-2011 11:45 AM

Hi Serge, I have looked at that web site and there are some very interesting ideas there. You see this is the thing with this forum; you think of something and mention it and someone comes along and says, try this. Then you realize a whole new door opening. Thanks for responding and as soon as I break ground for my shop I will post pictures. Thanks for responding.

-- If there were no God, there would be no atheists, G. K. Chesterton

View electricalD's profile


116 posts in 3134 days

#12 posted 02-21-2011 11:51 AM

Oluf. Even with a proper dust collection system? I do realize that these things are not 100% efficient. But even with the top of the bench (that the saw rests on) butted to the wall? The other thing too is that I was planning to run the dust collection piping over the top of the bench. Not a good idea? Thanks for responding.

-- If there were no God, there would be no atheists, G. K. Chesterton

View Greg's profile


24 posts in 2717 days

#13 posted 02-28-2011 11:34 PM

If your going to be doing a lot of woodworking and you have the space, I suggest a dedicated bench like the one you mentioned above by Norm. If you’re not going to be using it all the time, I suggest something modular. I suggest making 3 cabinets all on casters. Make 1 of them 2’x2’ for the miter saw. Make the other 2 cabinets 2’x3’. If you make the 2’x2’ cabinet shorter than the other 2 by the height of the deck on your miter saw, then you can use the 2’x3’ cabinets on the wings and the 2’x2’ cabinet in the center. I’ve recently made some shop cabinets that would lend itself well to this type of setup. Here is the link:

The downside of this approach is that you don’t get the nice long fence that you get with some of the dedicated sations. However, I’m sure with a little ingenuity and some improvising, you can come up with something that will work.
Good luck

-- Greg - For the benefit and enjoyment of the people

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3812 days

#14 posted 03-01-2011 04:01 AM

Welcome Dan:

Re: the overhead cabinets:

1st, Plan on hanging them “french cleat” style. Run the cleat down the entire wall. That gives you the option of moving the cabinets left or right as needed to make space for higher tools like a band saw, drill press, etc.

2nd: Make the overhead cabinets at least 16” deep inside clearance (preferably 18”). Many tools come with cases and most have at least one dimension that is 16 to 18” long. The extra cabinet depth gives you many more storage options.

3rd, Make the shelves adjustable.

4th, Use cabinet grade 3/4 ply, not mdf. It will support much more weight.

For an example of how I did mine, see the photos here: I made mine out of 3/4” MDO (medium density overlay) ply which is hardwood plys with just one face veneered with MDF for painting. These are 32”wide cabinets 4’ tall with a 9’6” ceiling.

Hope this helps with ideas


-- Go

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics