Hand Tool Cabinet inspired by Mike Pekovich

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Project by Buckeyes85 posted 06-02-2017 06:50 PM 3174 views 15 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The cabinet is based on an article by Mike Pekovich in Fine Woodworking.

I used stuff I had laying around. Mostly red oak exterior (with spalted curly maple bookmatched panels).
Interior uses lots of half inch baltic birch – edged with either red oak or elm. The tool holders have some red oak, white oak, ash, birch, walnut, poplar, and pine; the back of the door panels are 3/8 pine plywood beadboard. The internal drawer fronts are resawn and bookmatched olivewood veneer on an elm core with a red oak frame (because the olivewood wasn’t big enough). Drawer pulls turned from red oak.

Exterior is minwax poly. Interior and door panels are waterbased minwax poly.
Rubbed out and waxed with briwax antique mahogany
Color is a mix of transtint red and brown mahogany.

Carcass and door boxes joined with thru dovetails, hand-cut with #7 pitch.
Drawers (internal) hand-cut with #4 pitch. Dowels on the door panels and lock in the primary shelf which is housed in a stop dado

• Hinges are from House of Antique Hardware
• Pulls were handmade by a local blacksmith
• Rare-earth magnets (3/8”) hold the doors in place.

I gained a real appreciation all over again for how complex it is to get the tools laid out to maximize space and still get the doors and panels to close. I left that little ogee on the sides of the shelf that is the bottom of the slant board. That has come back to haunt me as it limits what you can put on the swing out door unless you set further back which limits the depth of what you can put behind it.

14 comments so far

View builtinbkyn's profile


2652 posts in 1118 days

#1 posted 06-02-2017 07:05 PM

Oh that’s really nice work and well thought out. Love the wood selection and the details. There’s still room in there too :) For how long though? LOL

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View HokieKen's profile


6636 posts in 1316 days

#2 posted 06-02-2017 07:19 PM

Very nice cabinet there! The maple and oak contrast very nicely.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View ShaneA's profile


7044 posts in 2776 days

#3 posted 06-02-2017 07:21 PM

Wow! she is a looker. Great job on this one.

View KelleyCrafts's profile


3275 posts in 917 days

#4 posted 06-02-2017 08:22 PM

Well done!

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View Hawaiilad's profile


3290 posts in 3199 days

#5 posted 06-02-2017 08:46 PM

I’m sure you put allot of love into this build and it shows.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View waho6o9's profile


8490 posts in 2755 days

#6 posted 06-03-2017 01:46 AM

Beautiful work!

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3044 days

#7 posted 06-03-2017 02:33 PM

You did an outstanding job on this beautiful tool cabinet and you have a wonderful set of tools in it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View sras's profile


4924 posts in 3307 days

#8 posted 06-03-2017 03:44 PM

Very nice!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Woodknack's profile


12402 posts in 2558 days

#9 posted 06-03-2017 03:55 PM

Great looking cabinet

-- Rick M,

View MagicalMichael's profile


117 posts in 694 days

#10 posted 06-03-2017 05:04 PM

Absolutely beautiful. You wrote inspired by Mike Pekovich. Could you point us to the inspiration?

-- michael

View Buckeyes85's profile


125 posts in 1866 days

#11 posted 06-03-2017 05:28 PM

Thank you all for the kind words. Mr. Pekovich did an article in Fine Woodworking #237 Tools & Shops 2014 edition You can get it on their website if you are an online member. I think you can access videos about it here:

View dbeck's profile


65 posts in 537 days

#12 posted 06-03-2017 06:44 PM

Beautiful job. When you complete a project like that what do you do to celebrate? Kidding but i have to wonder since i get fairly thrilled to complete a normal project at times. In the last year or so i have really come to appreciate the amount of time you devote to “thinking” on complex projects like this that its not really something you get pdf plans for i would guess. I just did a bench tool caddy and i think that i put way more time to to planning and such then i did working lol. Thanks for sharing

View Buckeyes85's profile


125 posts in 1866 days

#13 posted 06-03-2017 09:44 PM

dbeck – thank you. I too spend way too much time thinking about and through a project. You would think that doing so would help avoid re-work…if only that were the case.
I don’t know that I will ever consider this one “done” because I still have a lot of work to do on the interior to get more tools in there (existing and “acquisitions”).

View PaulHWood's profile


442 posts in 2431 days

#14 posted 06-04-2017 02:40 PM

most excellent

-- -Paul, South Carolina Structural Engineer by trade, Crappy Woodworker by choice

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