|Project by Carey Mitchell||posted 08-04-2016 03:08 AM||6464 views||33 times favorited||32 comments|
This project took longer than expected – hand cutting the dovetails took forever and when it got to the stage for arranging and mounting tools, it slowed to crawling indecision. The plans and video came from Fine Woodworking magazine, and were first rate. I design almost everything I build and rarely use published plans. it was a pleasure not to spend a lot of time in design – and worrying that things might not work out.
I decided to hand cut the dovetails. The video showed some nice ways to do them with the table saw and router, but I wanted to do it the hard way. The cabinet and door sides are made from 7/8” maple. A new set of good chisels, well sharpened, made the dovetails much easier. The cabinet is 42×28 x 10 1/2” with doors 4” deep, so there was a lot of chisel work.
Both doors house internal doors that double the capacity. The upper section of the cabinet has internal doors that provide additional storage. Sooo, I still have room for additional tools.
I used birch plywood to give the bland maple a little color (good grief – birch plywood from HD ain’t what it used to be). I added some character to the front by veneering the door panels with walnut. Finish is a coat of satin lacquer.
It is supported by a clever french cleat, which is really the 1/2” plywood back. The lower part of the back, separated from the top by the solid shelf below the plane till, forms the part attached to the wall, and the upper back is secured to the cabinet. Using the back as the cleat parts allows a flush fit against the wall. The shelf has through tenons into the sides for extra strength.
Someone asked for a better explanation of the french cleat. Instead of attaching a conventional french cleat to the back, here the back becomes the cleat. It is composed of a 41×27” piece of 1/2” plywood, crosscut directly behind the horizontal shelf below the plane till. The crosscut is at 45 degrees so the upper section hangs over the lower. The lower section of the back is analagous to the part of the conventional cleat attached to the wall; the upper part is the piece that would be attached to the back of the case. The lower section is screwed to the wall studs with 6 2-1/2” cabinet screws. The upper section is screwed and glued to rabbets in the upper case. The case is hung (sans doors, etc. due to the weight !) on the bottom section and additional cabinet screws added near the top. I would have never thought of this – it allows the cabinet to be absolutely flush with the wall.
Hope that helps
One comment mentioned antique tools. In the photo, the Bailey#6 plane lying horizontally on the shelf, and the dividers on the right door belonged to my great grandfather (1857-1952) and date back to around 1900. I use them both. Also have his level, a very large brass plumb bob, a wooden clamp and a brace and a bunch of really rusty bits. The Stanley #48 tongue and groove plane standing vertically on the left has a patent date of of 1875 and works – needs some TLC but that is a winter project.
I also have a 12 oz. hammer and a coping saw I got for Christmas when I was 6 – I’m 72 now. I used the coping saw to remove waste on the dovetails in this project. 67 years and I’m still using both !