Shop Improvements: Saw/Plane till and Drawers

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Project by RogerBean posted 05-31-2015 02:39 PM 3246 views 15 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently posted my Roubo bench project. But in reorganizing my tight little shop to accommodate the bench, I found that all my planes and hand saws at the other end of the shop from the bench. Well, the new bench was requiring a pretty extensive reorganization of this already cramped shop anyway, so I needed some new storage.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about this plane till and saw till. I chose to make them as separate units, but to fit together on the same wall. These are not intended to be masterpieces of woodworking, just functional storage for my planes and hand saws close to the new bench.

The tills are of pine from Menard’s, the 1×12’s, which were “sort of” dry, promptly cupped in my shop. Not unworkable, but a nuisance when cutting the dovetails. I had to clamp them tight and straight while doing the layout and cutting. Like I said, a nuisance.

Probably the most notable thing about the tills is the through dovetails connecting the bottoms, and the tapered sliding dovetails for the shelf horizontals. I’ve come to really appreciate my David Barron magnetic dovetail jigs and the Gyokucho 372 dovetail saw. It has improved my dovetails. The tapered sliding dovetails are also hand cut, and not nearly as difficult as many think.

(A close eye will notice that the top of my leg vise was not finished when this pic was taken)

The finish is just a single wet coat of linseed oil. They should eventually age off to a nice darker pine color. I’m eager to point out that these are not intended to be masterpieces, just solid shop storage units.

Anyway, I now have a place for my saws and planes that is near my bench.

When the bench was placed in the shop, I found that I now had no place close to the Roubo bench for my small tools, like chisels, rulers, squares, etc. either. The cabinet below the little metal lathe was not being used for anything in particular, so it seemed a good place for some drawers.

This little cabinet will hold 21 drawers, 16 of which are in place now. There are drawer suspensions installed for five more drawers in the center, but at the moment this space holds larger tool cases, and I seem to have sufficient drawer space for the moment. Each drawer is mounted in full extension slides that allow me to reach the entire 24” depth of the drawers. No masterpieces here either, just more needed storage space.

Thanks for looking in…. (I really hope this doesn’t double post as my last several have. No idea why that’s happening.)

Roger Bean

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

14 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16808 posts in 2527 days

#1 posted 05-31-2015 02:50 PM

Outstanding storage and display solution!!!!!!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View shipwright's profile


7094 posts in 2219 days

#2 posted 05-31-2015 03:30 PM

Well done Roger. Organization is a wonderful thing.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Blackie_'s profile


4527 posts in 1934 days

#3 posted 05-31-2015 03:30 PM

Very nice Roger

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View waho6o9's profile


7120 posts in 1998 days

#4 posted 05-31-2015 03:42 PM

Everything you need in one spot I like that, great job Roger!

View grizzman's profile


7782 posts in 2725 days

#5 posted 05-31-2015 04:32 PM

it looks really good roger, ive always loved organization in the shop and i need to really improve my own, in fact it really needs a big change in there….i think i shall turn mine into a summer project….i like the planes stored in the fashion you have picked, and i really like your lathe….nice piece of equipment…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View robscastle's profile


3315 posts in 1626 days

#6 posted 05-31-2015 08:29 PM

Nice workshop and nice layout Roger,

Is that your veneer press in Photo No 5 the cream arm just visible behind the cabinets?
I was going to take a sneak peek at your workshop to find out for myself but I could not get in!

Yep it double posted again,
Both are visible but only one can be opened, very odd, it may have something related to all the dodgy LJ members appearing again.

-- Regards Robert

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2756 days

#7 posted 05-31-2015 09:16 PM

Very nice Roger. I liked the crowns a lot too, a nice added touch.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2605 days

#8 posted 05-31-2015 11:03 PM

How do you cut a sliding dovetail by hand? Seems very challenging. Nice saw/plane till, it inspired me to start building my own saw till today.

-- Allen, Colorado

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2111 days

#9 posted 05-31-2015 11:56 PM

When you decided to refurb your shop, you went all out! Nice shop “furniture”.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bluekingfisher's profile


1246 posts in 2401 days

#10 posted 06-01-2015 10:58 AM

Great addition to the shop for your planes and saws.

As a relative new comer to hand tool work I can appreciate having those tools close to and handy at the bench. Nice dovetails too, you did very well on them considering the problems your encountered with movement.

How did you cut the DT mortices into the cab sides?


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View RogerBean's profile


1598 posts in 2375 days

#11 posted 06-01-2015 11:23 AM

Thanks everyone for the kind comments. There have been a couple questions about cutting the tapered sliding dovetails by hand. Basically, the process is covered in several YouTube videos better than I can explain in writing here. Here is one:

It’s really not difficult. Like all dovetails, your first one will probably be too loose. LOL Then you move in a little and the second one comes up fine. You need a backsaw, good chisel, marking gauge, router plane and a guide board. After you cut a couple, they go quite quickly.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2225 days

#12 posted 06-01-2015 12:40 PM

Super awesome. I likes it a lot

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View CL810's profile


3405 posts in 2410 days

#13 posted 06-01-2015 02:47 PM

Very nice till Roger, thanks for posting.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 1714 days

#14 posted 06-01-2015 05:17 PM

Very nicely done and great solution to those never ending storage challenges. Another well deserved DT3—congratulations!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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