Drill press cabinet

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Project by TheGravedigger posted 11-15-2007 09:50 AM 6936 views 6 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a simple cabinet -style stand for my table-top drill press. Like my workbench, it was made using common building materials. The carcase is frame-and panel construction using dressed 2×4’s and 1/4” plywood. The top and adjustable shelves are 3/4” plywood edged with oak for durability. The drawer is 1/2” birch plywood. The pulls are made from scrap oak using 1/2”-radius cove and round-over bits

Joinery on the carcase is with biscuits, which is possible due to the fact that the plywood panels are glued into their grooves—something that would be disastrous with a solid-wood panel. The drawer has tongue-and-groove corners, and the 1/4” plywood bottom is again glued in.

The outside of the cabinet is finished with three coats of 50:50 BLO & spar poly, which is rapidly becoming my favorite for a simple Watco-style finish at a much lower cost. The inside components are all finished with shellac. A close look will reveal that the drawer front has a rubbed-shellac finish. I was experimenting with this type of finish for the first time, and said, “What the heck, why not?”

I decided to place the drawer inside the cabinet to eliminate the need for a third rail on the front. This would give me a bit more room for shelf space, and hopefully help keep chips and dust out of the drawer. Most of my bits, etc. come in their own cases, or have already been organized in boxes. This made shelf space more important than drawer space, so one 4” drawer seemed sufficient. The cabinet is made wider than normal to help eliminate any tippiness when a long piece is being drilled.

As you can see from the third picture, the cabinet has been fully shop-kitty tested and approved.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

10 comments so far

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4139 days

#1 posted 11-15-2007 02:38 PM

Excellent! Very nice drill press cabinet. I like the idea of an internal drawer to keep out dust & chips. Your shop kitty looks very comfortable!


View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 3995 days

#2 posted 11-15-2007 03:20 PM

That is a great job. Sounds like you built this with very thoughtful purpose as to the function it will serve. This is an attractive cabinet that is well designed that should serve you well for a long time. Super!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4307 days

#3 posted 11-15-2007 05:18 PM

Great work Robert. I’m using spar varnish on a few more projects too. Looks like a very sound cabinet.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4274 days

#4 posted 11-15-2007 06:46 PM

That “simple” cabinet as you call it seems to me to pretty functional and a great place for all the drills and extra goodies. Also a great place for the gaurd cat….. I like it….

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4219 days

#5 posted 11-15-2007 07:01 PM

Hey, that is a beautiful drawer and pull hidden behind the door! Nice job!

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

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3963 days

#6 posted 11-15-2007 07:09 PM

Hey Robert, I’d call that a work of work!! And it looks like it will work.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4066 days

#7 posted 11-15-2007 10:33 PM

Great looking cabinet that should prove useful for years to come. I built a bit cabinet that might go with it pretty well

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 4070 days

#8 posted 11-15-2007 10:51 PM

Some day I will make things for my shop and get more orgnized.The cat looks like he’s watching you to make sure you do things right

-- Scott NM,

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3936 days

#9 posted 11-16-2007 01:48 AM

Robert, Nice looking cabinet and quite functional. The drawer inside is a great idea.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4100 days

#10 posted 11-16-2007 05:53 AM

Even with making refined pieces, I just love a good utilitarian shop project. You get to just slam out a project without getting too fussy, maybe practice some new joinery. Or just like you did, try some finish. In the end you get increased productivity through better organization. This is great!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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