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Hanging Tool Cabinet

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Project by Carey Mitchell posted 08-04-2016 03:08 AM 5081 views 28 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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 really slowed to a crawl. 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 – all of them. The video showed some nice ways to do them with the table saw and router, but for some reason I just 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 doors 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 dates 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. There is also a small folding ruler with a sliding brass cap that I don’t understand – will post it and ask for input.

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 !





31 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1683 days


#1 posted 08-04-2016 03:26 AM

Great job on a really attractive project! Also, glad to hear someone else ends up spending more time on a project than anticipated—something I can relate to only too well.

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

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

921 posts in 844 days


#2 posted 08-04-2016 04:09 AM

Sorry that you are stopping collecting any additional tools … ☺

Very nice work tho.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3265 posts in 1656 days


#3 posted 08-04-2016 05:01 AM

That’s a really nice looking and efficient tool cabinet. Makes me wish I’d done something similar.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7482 posts in 1771 days


#4 posted 08-04-2016 05:40 AM

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5593 posts in 2759 days


#5 posted 08-04-2016 05:48 AM

That is nice!
Did you stray far from the original plans?
I wish I had that much wall space in my shop.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

16831 posts in 2580 days


#6 posted 08-04-2016 07:48 AM

Nice work, looks great

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View MustacheMike's profile

MustacheMike

133 posts in 1479 days


#7 posted 08-04-2016 09:36 AM

Nice.

-- You can trust Mike -" because I will never pull your stash!" See my show weekly at Stumpynubs.com

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2083 posts in 1563 days


#8 posted 08-04-2016 10:44 AM

Nice job. I made that same cabinet. It really does a good job.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View gargey's profile

gargey

338 posts in 166 days


#9 posted 08-04-2016 12:44 PM

Nice. I should post mine, which is an original and much much simpler design. That one would take me 5 years.

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1294 posts in 2404 days


#10 posted 08-04-2016 12:57 PM

Nice job. I know you’ll enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View NCTurner's profile

NCTurner

28 posts in 547 days


#11 posted 08-04-2016 01:09 PM

first rate cabinet and workmanship. Good job! Nice to have stuff that organized (I can only imagine….ha!)

-- One good turn deserves another!

View Valete's profile

Valete

67 posts in 850 days


#12 posted 08-04-2016 01:50 PM

Great job. This cabinet is on top of my build list.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

22527 posts in 2257 days


#13 posted 08-04-2016 02:39 PM

This is a great collection of tools and you did a wonderful job on this cabinet.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ki7hy's profile

ki7hy

309 posts in 130 days


#14 posted 08-04-2016 03:06 PM

I made one similar, I love seeing how everyone hangs their tools. We all have our own thoughts of works best. I love it.

View Andre's profile

Andre

968 posts in 1197 days


#15 posted 08-04-2016 03:23 PM

Looks nicer than your last tool cabinet! I built one a while back not near as pretty and am still trying to figure out the best way to hang the tools inside. Going to borrow your idea for the coping saws and squares, Thanks.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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