Tool Cabinet

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Project by GaryB posted 04-30-2008 04:02 PM 2672 views 20 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just finished my latest tool cabinet. I am fairly new to hand tools, and I set out to cut all of the joinery for this cabinet with hand tools. I found the cherry for the carcass to be very unforgiving when cutting through dovetails by hand, so I switched to box joints on the table saw for the main case (they also proved to be tougher than I expected). I did, however, manage to cut the dovetails for the drawers by hand.

Thats it for the confession, now for the details of the cabinet. It is 32” high, by 32” tall with doors shut. It totals about 11” deep also with doors closed. The main carcass, doors and top are cherry. The door panels and back panel are baltic birch ply, and I added maple veneer to the outside of the doors. The interior tool wells are made from bb ply and cherry. The drawers have cherry fronts, aspen sides and back, and bb ply for the bottom. The door and drawer pulls are cocobolo.

I tried to leave some room for expansion in the future (both in the doors and left side of interior). The missing plane spot is for a low angle jack, that has since been added. I have also added a good combo square and a tenon saw to hang inside the doors.

21 comments so far

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3743 days

#1 posted 04-30-2008 05:00 PM

Wow!! that is very nice. You’ve done a fantastic job, that is a great way to store all those nice tools. Did you dream this design up, or are there similar plans somewhere? It looks great!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View gator9t9's profile


331 posts in 3733 days

#2 posted 04-30-2008 05:01 PM

Its a Beauty ….great job …pix are very small and hard to get a real good view ….

thanks so much for sharing

-- Mike in Bonney Lake " If you are real real real good your whole life, You 'll be buried in a curly maple coffin when you die."

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4247 days

#3 posted 04-30-2008 05:02 PM

Looks great! We could stand for the photos to be a little larger, though. :-)

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

View GaryB's profile


29 posts in 3708 days

#4 posted 04-30-2008 05:08 PM

Thanks for the kind words. I just combined lots of other cabinets I have seen and fit it for my tools. I’ll repost the pics in larger format. I’m working on a matched lower chest for under the bench, and will post pics soon.

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3732 days

#5 posted 04-30-2008 05:21 PM

Great work!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Freddo's profile


85 posts in 3726 days

#6 posted 04-30-2008 06:16 PM

Awesome job – enjoy your piece! I started really using hand tools in the last few years (I mean really using them to fine tune and fit parts). Once you learn to keep them sharp and use them accurately, you’ll wonder how you got along without them. PLUS… there is truly a wondeful thing about working wood with hand tools (i.e., without power and the extra noise). I hope this doesn’t start a rant thread – I’m NOT an anti-power tool user…just love a sharp chisela nd hand plane :)

I wish I had the wall space for a cabinet like that. Maybe one day…

-- God bless! Freddo (Northern - NJ) Our Creator designed us to create - so use WOOD!

View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 4134 days

#7 posted 04-30-2008 06:27 PM

I’d love to see some bigger photos, if you can.

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4020 days

#8 posted 04-30-2008 07:06 PM

Very nice work… Was this your own design?

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3851 days

#9 posted 04-30-2008 07:53 PM

This is a wonderful storage area for your tools. Congratulations on the dovetails that is a major hurdle for most woodworkers.

Nice design and you chose a nice combination of woods.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View WudWrkr's profile


32 posts in 3749 days

#10 posted 04-30-2008 08:05 PM

That’s a beauty GaryB and it looks like you have a nice selection of hand planes to keep it company.

-- Steve - "Dang, no matter how many times I run it through the planer it's still too thin!"

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4017 days

#11 posted 04-30-2008 09:22 PM

That’s very nice. I could use something like that also.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View GaryB's profile


29 posts in 3708 days

#12 posted 05-01-2008 02:41 AM

Ok, new larger pics are up, will also add more with “another tool cabinet” post.
Thanks for the positive feedback.

View jcees's profile


1060 posts in 3828 days

#13 posted 05-01-2008 03:27 AM



-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3852 days

#14 posted 05-01-2008 03:52 AM

Very nice home for a sweet collection…Blkcherry

View Safetyboy's profile


119 posts in 3788 days

#15 posted 05-01-2008 04:13 AM

“Fairly new to hand tools”, and you already have a full complement of planes & saws? I’d say you’re doing all right!

I was just thinking I need to make a tool cabinet myself – thanks for the inspiration (though right now I’m thinking I’m just going to rough one out of ply to get started, see what kind of space I need, etc, and then later on build the “ultimate” cabinet…)

-- -- Kevin in Mentor, Ohio

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