Tool Cabinet

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Project by Safetyboy posted 06-16-2008 03:28 AM 3044 views 9 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided I needed a tool cabinet to combat the rust in my garage shop, especially now that I’ve got a few nice tools. I’ve already used up most of my wall space, so I decided to make one that sat on the back 1/2 of my deep bench. I adapted Chris Schwarz’ design from the back of this book, but didn’t want to spend the time or the $$ to make it out of cherry & maple like he did… so, another great use for the left-over plywood taking up valuable shop space. I also took the chance to test out the homemade box-joint jig from the latest woodworking magazine – chip-out is a mess on those with plywood, but I got it to work okay.

Like most of my projects, it’s a bit of a hodge-podge. I originally planned just to slap some plywood slabs on for doors, but after I build the case I decided I didn’t want to look at that plyood all the time… so I decided to take some left-over maple and build real door frames & use the 1/2 birch ply for panels. Then my spiral router bit broke making the mortices for the doors, so this is my plywood tool cabinet with maple doors with hand-cut mortices.

The chamfers on the doors were inspired by the woodwork we saw in the late 19th-century Garfield House (as in the President) in Mentor, Ohio recently. The left 2 doors are hinged in the middle to fold out the way when open. The drawers on the right side are recessed to make room for the chisel rack.

Now all I need is some more planes & tools to fill up all that empty space!

-- -- Kevin in Mentor, Ohio

17 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 06-16-2008 03:37 AM

Nice looking cabinet- and the doors ARE a nice touch. I just built a (sorry – mine is ALL plywood) tool cabinet based on the FWW design but scaled smaller, and am now left to figure out how to organize the inside, and actually make good use of the cabinet space that I now have… I guess it’s one step at at time huh?

Thanx for sharing… hopefully I’ll post mine soon too.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3768 days

#2 posted 06-16-2008 03:40 AM


View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3823 days

#3 posted 06-16-2008 03:53 AM

A nice garage for your hand tools which will come in handy. May I recommend a neat idea that I iused in my tool chest. In the space for the handplanes cut some carpet to fit the slots this way you don’t have to retract the blade everytime you store the plane. Nice cabinet thanks for the post…Blkcherry

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3767 days

#4 posted 06-16-2008 03:57 AM

Great looking storage cabinet. I need to make some similar projects for my shop. Thanks for the inspiration.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View BobR's profile


136 posts in 3984 days

#5 posted 06-16-2008 05:11 AM

Very functional and looks good.

-- Bob

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4195 days

#6 posted 06-16-2008 05:12 AM

Great job. I’m in the planning (actually more like fantasizing) phase of a toolbox project, so it’s always nise to view others to get ideas. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3988 days

#7 posted 06-16-2008 05:18 AM

Nice looking cabinet. A place for your stuff!

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

View Davesfunwoodworking's profile


278 posts in 3875 days

#8 posted 06-16-2008 07:55 AM

Nice looking tool cabinet. I like the way it looks. Good job.

-- Davesfunwoodworking

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4218 days

#9 posted 06-16-2008 04:03 PM

Very functional and purdy as well!

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

View Safetyboy's profile


119 posts in 3759 days

#10 posted 06-17-2008 02:54 AM

Thanks for the comments. Somebody else asked how the drawer runners worked, so I thought I’d post that here too:

All the drawers run on wooden rails (more 1/2” ply). They’re actually pinched between 2 sets of rails, so that the drawers don’t tip forward & out until you’ve pulled them almost all the way.

The drawers have a corresponding runner glued to the outside that runs in the gap. I loose a little bit of drawer width this way, but I keep the maximum drawer depth, which was my goal.

Probably this is not an original idea… but I was pretty happy with how it worked out.

-- -- Kevin in Mentor, Ohio

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3799 days

#11 posted 06-17-2008 03:08 AM

looks good man. I like to leave little silica packs in my outdoor enclosed cases to help avoid moisture problems. Lots of food items and stuff come with them. They are also called anti-desiccant… It helps in a wet garage.

-- making sawdust....

View Safetyboy's profile


119 posts in 3759 days

#12 posted 06-17-2008 02:50 PM

Nice idea with the silica packs… I was going to see how it did with nothing first, and then try those little “anti-corosion” emitters that Lee Valley sells if I needed more help. Anybody ever used those?

But maybe now I’ll start with the silica instead.

-- -- Kevin in Mentor, Ohio

View USCJeff's profile


1063 posts in 4068 days

#13 posted 06-21-2008 07:02 AM

I love the simplicity of the design. It looks great, yet you didn’t go to extreme’s in constructing it. the wood drawer guides are a great example. Very functional for the shop and cheaper than buying hardware. I’m getting more and more into hand tools and they’re starting to need a dedicated home. Will have to keep this in mind.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 3716 days

#14 posted 07-30-2008 08:54 PM

Nice looking cabinet.Good job.

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3673 days

#15 posted 12-13-2008 06:37 PM

Thats a nice tool cabinet.

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