Tool Cabinet

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Project by Manitario posted 808 days ago 4975 views 47 times favorited 41 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This has been my ongoing project for the past 4 months. It’s kind of nice to finally have enough hand tools to justify building a cabinet for them! The cabinet is a combination of several different plans/designs from ww magazines, and what I’ve seen some of my fellow LJ’s build. It was important to have enough room for my growing plane collection, but also room to grow my collection of “other” hand tools. The cabinet is solid walnut and cherry, with exception of the back which is 3/4 walnut ply. Initially the whole cabinet was going to be solid walnut, but partway through making the carcase I ran out of walnut and decided to use cherry as a contrast. I’m glad that I went with this combo; it is sure a pleasure using walnut and cherry! It was a difficult to decide what joint to use to attach the sides to the top and bottom of the carcase. Dovetails would have looked classy, however I don’t own a dovetail jig, nor possess the skills yet to attempt them by hand. I came very close to buying a dovetail jig, but I just couldn’t afford the jig I wanted (a Leigh jig), and didn’t want to buy something cheaper that I’d only use for this cabinet. As you can see, I went with box joints that I purposely made slightly proud and then beveled the edges. This was over 1000 edges to bevel! I realized that if I would have had any competency with dovetails, it would have been way quicker to cut them by hand than to do all of the box joints. Assembly was not fun. Dry fitting the carcase and the shelves was perfect; somehow though once the glue was applied the shelves decided not to fit properly…result was 4 square corners on the carcase but the sides bow out slightly where the shelves bind…in hindsight it would have been easier to glue up the carcase and then fit the shelves in after… Finish is several coats of danish oil with several coats of wipe on poly on top. Final comment is that it is a heavy SOB! My wife and I just barely were able to carry it from my bench to wall.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

41 comments so far

View JohnMeeley's profile


253 posts in 964 days

#1 posted 808 days ago

Very nice wood combo. And you say you stumbled upon it because you ran out? Nice recovery.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View venicewoodworker's profile


100 posts in 1260 days

#2 posted 808 days ago

Very nice!!!

View Mauricio's profile


6806 posts in 1783 days

#3 posted 808 days ago

Wow very nice, made one similar but out of birch ply. I love your wood selection, the proud box joints, and the way you store your saws. Do you have a close up of the saw holder? How esay is it to reach the middle saw?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14872 posts in 1199 days

#4 posted 808 days ago

great looking cabinet.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View dpow's profile


457 posts in 1475 days

#5 posted 808 days ago

Looks great, Rob. It appears you have a little bit of room left to grow the collection. You have a cabinet that will serve you well for a log time. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6647 posts in 2611 days

#6 posted 808 days ago

Hi Rob;

You did an excellent job on this. It’s beautiful.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Manitario's profile


2301 posts in 1514 days

#7 posted 808 days ago

Thanks guys! Mauricio, I have your cabinet favourited, it was one of the cabinets I drew inspiration from. Here’s a few close up pics of the saw holder:

The saws slide out fairly easy. I made a few of the traditional saw holders that the handle fits around, but quickly realized that my small saw collection would take up the entire side of the cabinet. This holder uses the space more efficiently and allows me room to add a few more saws in the future.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View ShaneA's profile


5289 posts in 1230 days

#8 posted 808 days ago

Sweet looking cabinet and tool collection. Gotta feel good to have it done.

View jjw5858's profile


1117 posts in 1234 days

#9 posted 807 days ago

Really nice cabinet! Awesome job on this, love the Walnut and Cherry contrast. Great looking collection as well, enjoy it!

-- "Make something you love tomorrow...and do it slowly" JLB

View Skylark53's profile


2559 posts in 1692 days

#10 posted 807 days ago

Beautifully done. This should make you smile each time you step into your shop.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

890 posts in 1805 days

#11 posted 807 days ago

Nicely done. Something you can show off to anyone and be proud of it.

-- Tim-; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2304 days

#12 posted 807 days ago

Nice tool cabinet.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Mauricio's profile


6806 posts in 1783 days

#13 posted 807 days ago

Thanks Manitorio, I like how you moved the open shelf from the top to the middle.

Is that saw holder as simple as it looks? Are there any magnets in there or anything holding them in or just friction?

I’ve been lazy on my tool holders, I need to get on that. I’m actuall thinking of removing my doors and shelves and putting in a vertical plane till. Mine are pocket hole screws in just in case I wanted to move them later.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View mafe's profile


9491 posts in 1721 days

#14 posted 807 days ago

Wauuuu, what a beautiful cabinet you have made.
I love it, the contrast is perfect and your work with the boxjoints worth the efford.
Best thoughts,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View helluvawreck's profile


15623 posts in 1498 days

#15 posted 807 days ago

Wow! You sure did build yourself a fine toolbox and I love the wood you have chosen. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- 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

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