Shop Entertainment Center (AKA Hand Tool Cabinet)

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Project by JoeMcGlynn posted 10-10-2013 01:02 PM 5344 views 50 times favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got interested in doing woodworking again a year or two ago when I ready Christopher Schwarz’ book “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest”. It was a fun read, and it opened my eyes about hand tools. I’d done some woorworking previously, but it was just feeding power tools and I was missing some fundamentals (I’m not claiming to have those fundamentals now, just saying…)

Anyway I started buying planes and saws on ebay, tuning them up and making simple projects. The next thing I knew I had piles of tools all over my metalworking shop. I had all of my planes and saws on my welding bench, and when I needed to weld something I’d have to move them to the next available horizontal surface (the bandsaw). When I needed to cut something on the bandsaw I had to… well, you get the idea. My shop was primarily set up for metalwork, and I needed a way to organize my woodworking tools.

I seriously considered a tool chest like Chris wrote about in the book, but in the end I went with a wall mounted cabinet. My goal for this project was to be able to put ALL of my hand tools and related supplies away in one place. I drew some ideas in sketch up, bought some plywood and started cutting. It was a good learning experience, and it yelped me get familiar with the new table saw I’d just bought (another long story).

I’ve had the cabinet in use for a couple of months and I really like it. Any tool I need is at my fingertips, I grab it, use it, and put it back. No more tool clutter.

-- Blog:

36 comments so far

View mike1950's profile


352 posts in 1072 days

#1 posted 10-10-2013 01:15 PM

Nice cabinet and tool collection!!!

-- "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is."– Albert Einstein

View chrisstef's profile


14835 posts in 2280 days

#2 posted 10-10-2013 01:18 PM

Im gonna need to break out the bib. Your tool cabinet is chock full of tasty treats. Great build.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View BTimmons's profile


2291 posts in 1759 days

#3 posted 10-10-2013 02:20 PM

That’s a seriously beautiful setup you’ve got there.

-- Brian Timmons -

View ITnerd's profile


262 posts in 1873 days

#4 posted 10-10-2013 02:27 PM

I’m with Stef. That cabinet is everything that is right and good in the world. Baileys, Woodies, Rasps, Saws. And 72 extra man points for the collections of spoke shaves and pig-stickers.

Any chance you would share the sketch-up? I promise to name mine ‘Joes House’.

-- Chris @ Atlanta - JGM - Occam's razor tells us that when you hear hoofs, think horses not zebras.

View Sanding2day's profile


1001 posts in 1120 days

#5 posted 10-10-2013 02:49 PM

Fantastic!! Added to favorites… Great setup, thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View NickyP's profile


156 posts in 997 days

#6 posted 10-10-2013 03:35 PM

I too am going to have to 2nd Stef & the nerd . . . just making a cabinet like this is what one lives for as a woodworker and will inspire one (and most likely thousands) to spend hundreds of dollars to fill the belly of this beast. Thank you for the inspiration and the next draining of my wallet. WOOD . . . what WOOD we do without it?

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1686 posts in 1243 days

#7 posted 10-10-2013 03:44 PM

Wow. This was really well thought out and presented. Incredible work, and as a tool nut I’m jealous of the fine tools you have. Really great project

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View hoss12992's profile


3714 posts in 1167 days

#8 posted 10-10-2013 03:54 PM

Awesome job! I think everybody needs a entertainment center like yours.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View grfrazee's profile


385 posts in 1413 days

#9 posted 10-10-2013 04:14 PM

Nice one. I’ve been meaning to build one of these when I get the time.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 2314 days

#10 posted 10-10-2013 04:41 PM

Very Nice !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View theoldfart's profile


7434 posts in 1725 days

#11 posted 10-10-2013 05:01 PM

Yea, Schwarz kinda does that to folks. I’ve seen this illness many times and the only cure is to send me everything in that fine cabinet! Nuts, I can’t take them after all, mine is full too!
Fine, fine build Joe, looks to be very efficient working system there.

You may want to think about posting this on the dream tool chest thread

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View becikeja's profile


520 posts in 2087 days

#12 posted 10-10-2013 05:18 PM

Now that’s an entertainment center.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View JoeMcGlynn's profile


219 posts in 1627 days

#13 posted 10-10-2013 05:24 PM

The sketchup model is available here:

It doesn’t have the doors on it, but that’s pretty easy to figure out.

-- Blog:

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 1098 days

#14 posted 10-10-2013 05:42 PM

Very nice entertainment centre…every workshop should have one…nicely done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View bobasaurus's profile


2351 posts in 2458 days

#15 posted 10-10-2013 06:09 PM

Fantastic work. I really want to build one of these for myself… been planning one for months without ever really starting. I love how everything fits perfectly and there’s still some room to grow. Your collection of tools is amazing as well. If possible, I would like to have your sketchup model for reference (looks like you were very thorough with it).

Edit: saw your sketchup link above. Thank you!

-- Allen, Colorado

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