German Style Tool Cabinet

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Project by Waldschrat posted 04-09-2009 09:07 PM 5470 views 19 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Good layout, pratical, space saving, and fun to build

Ok, so I thought I would post this too! (perhaps you all find this interesting)... this is a more or less standard German tool cabinet. When one learns as an apprentice here, he builds a tool box, a foot stool, tool cabinet, among other small things… here the Cabinet that I built.. (again, commming from my cellar again after cleaning it out today). Every shop I can think of has a couple of these in more or less the same form.

There is space for every hand tool a Cabinet maker needs…. planes of various sizes, chisels, schrew drivers mallets, hammers, saws.

Keep in mind this has been banging around in my basement for a while now!

It is all solid wood except for the back which is birch plywood. The rest is Nordisch Fir wood, which is why it is so finely grained. This Cabinet is a good example or way to show off hand joinery, skill, and the speed to complete it in a rational/economical fashion. The joinery was all made by hand… excecpt the tounge and groove door were made with the tableshaper machine.

As you can see the Doors are pinned from the inside and are held straight, but still able to work with moisture and still not change the outside dimension of the doors. The munton that is on the top and bottom as well as the tool holders are made out of Ash wood.

You can also see in the pics that moisture has taken a little effect, visible on the closeups of the dovetails. (when freshly built, they were all cleaned/planed flush, now you can see that a couple of tenths of a mm have swolen with the wood)

The key hole protector is made as well by hand out of extra hard yew wood, and made in the typical form of the Biedermeyer style (A style that was very popular in Germany in the second half of the 19th century and one of my personal favorites).

So tell me, fellow jocks, what you all think! I would love to hear!

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

16 comments so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3586 days

#1 posted 04-09-2009 09:10 PM

farbelhaftig und sehr hubsch viel gluck/Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3446 days

#2 posted 04-09-2009 09:33 PM

Very impressive hand joinery. Can you give a little more detail on how the doors are made.

View Alan's profile


443 posts in 3405 days

#3 posted 04-09-2009 09:55 PM

Looks great. Shop cabinets are on my list to build.

-- Alan, Prince George

View bootboy's profile


1 post in 3347 days

#4 posted 04-09-2009 10:31 PM

hey there mate the cabinet looks terrific. Can you send me the design so i can make one.

View WoodSpanker's profile


519 posts in 3392 days

#5 posted 04-09-2009 11:01 PM

Funny thing, my Opa was a German Cabinet Maker his entire life… cabinets just like these (more or less, anyway) lined the walls of his shop, and home garage. A fine example of outstanding craftsmanship. Good job! :)

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4064 days

#6 posted 04-10-2009 12:10 AM

Anyone would be proud to have such a cabinet. Building it yourself would double the pride. I’d love to see it filled.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3394 days

#7 posted 04-10-2009 01:00 AM

It’s a very nice cabinet, built with so many care and atention on every detail, absolutely beautiful work.
I love German stuff, I often go to the Ulmia or E.C.E. website to look for the beautiful simplicity of all the tools, cabinets and workbenches.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Miket's profile


308 posts in 3772 days

#8 posted 04-10-2009 01:02 AM

Nice clean lines. Excellent job!

-- It's better to have people think you're stupid rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

View JuniorJoiner's profile


486 posts in 3440 days

#9 posted 04-10-2009 01:59 AM

great work, tight joints
how is the back attached?

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4219 days

#10 posted 04-10-2009 04:41 AM

Beautifully designed and built!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3989 days

#11 posted 04-10-2009 04:57 AM

Great execution and a very nice project.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View steiner's profile


284 posts in 3351 days

#12 posted 04-10-2009 05:15 AM


-- Scott

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3436 days

#13 posted 04-11-2009 11:22 AM

The back is attached with 40 mm screws (about the only kind of modern fastener on the whole thing!)

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 3449 days

#14 posted 04-11-2009 11:41 AM

nice job…looks good

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3774 days

#15 posted 04-16-2009 09:53 PM

Great looking tool cabinet. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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