Tool Cabinet

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Project by Joe Brumley posted 2218 days ago 2478 views 11 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok so here’s one from the archives. This is my first and so far my only tool cabinet. It is still in use today and until I decide that I have enough time to warrant building another one this will probably be my last tool cabinet. I also now keep most of my hand tools on the wall behind my bench so that I don’t have to keep opening and closing the doors every time I want something. With this system I can see when something is missing and put it back right away. Anyway, I built the cabinet after getting a copy of the Toolbox book by Jim Tolpin from our local library. Since I was a beginner I chose to use pine and birch plywood as the bulk of the cabinet and use a little of the air-dried cherry and air-dried walnut that I had received from a buddy. He was not into woodworking but had a farm with some stickered wood located under an old shed at the edge of his woods. He estimated it at being about 20 years old.
Since this was my first big piece I decided to make it in a shaker style with the simple frame and panel doors and the graduated drawers. The doors are cherry frames with 1/4” birch ply panels, and the drawers are walnut with pine backs and 1/4” birch ply bottoms. I used a half-lap joing that I cut on the table saw to join the door frames and the drawers are hand cut dovetails. The pulls are generic hardware store pulls that were stained to somewhat resemble the walnut. The plane shelf is fixed and angled about 15 degrees. The three other shelves are adjustable. It is ultimately more utilitarian than stylish but I had a blast building it because I love woodworking. This picture was taken in 2001 but I built the cabinet in 1998/99. I just didn’t have a digital camera until after I got married (wedding gift).

-- Joe, Indiana,

13 comments so far

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 2378 days

#1 posted 2218 days ago

That is one nice looking tool cabinet thanks for the inspiration, and I will need to look for that book at the local library myself.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 2395 days

#2 posted 2218 days ago

Joe, very nice tool cabinet. I can’t see why you would want to make another…


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View SteveKorz's profile


2131 posts in 2338 days

#3 posted 2218 days ago

Very nice cabinet, great job!

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

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 2620 days

#4 posted 2218 days ago

I like it! Great hand cut joints for the drawers. Tool cabinets are some of my favorite pieces…

How did you join up the carcase?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View beaudex's profile


64 posts in 2262 days

#5 posted 2217 days ago

Very nice design. I have been thinking about trying a set of drawers with rabbeted sides. I have often wondered how they stand up under heavy use. I wonder if might comment on that.



-- Derek Tay, Venerate the Tree Design

View griff's profile


1206 posts in 2386 days

#6 posted 2217 days ago

Very nice tool cabinet. very good build

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View darryl's profile


1792 posts in 2950 days

#7 posted 2217 days ago

your cabinet looks great.
I could use something like this…

View Joe Brumley's profile

Joe Brumley

64 posts in 2406 days

#8 posted 2217 days ago

Thanks guys. You are all too kind.
Since it is a plywood box I just put a rabbet along the ends of the sides and a dado for the shelves and attached it with glue and nails. I edged the plywood with some cherry to cover everything up.

The drawers have held up very well. I don’t load them up with a lot of weight as they are only about 16.5 by 9.5 by 2, 3, and 3.75, but the one that holds my drill bits is pretty heavy and so far so good.

If you guys have any more questions please ask.

-- Joe, Indiana,

View Woodwrecker's profile


3580 posts in 2199 days

#9 posted 2188 days ago

Nice job Joe.
The joints on the drawers are sweet!

-- Having fun...Eric

View Karson's profile


34869 posts in 3024 days

#10 posted 1984 days ago

A great looking tool cabinet. I guess you did post it and it slipped by.

Nice job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2297 days

#11 posted 1104 days ago

Beautiful tool cabinet.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


9757 posts in 1242 days

#12 posted 1104 days ago

That is nice. Creative joinery on the drawers that looks cool. A fine project, sad to hear it’s not getting much use…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View RGtools's profile


3302 posts in 1278 days

#13 posted 1073 days ago

That’s a heck of a good start. The through dovetails are very tight.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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