Shop Cabinets Design - Help!

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by MT_Stringer posted 06-02-2013 04:49 PM 2284 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3435 days

06-02-2013 04:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine tablesaw router joining

Before I make a mess out of these, I could use your thoughts for building some cabinets. I have been searching You Tube, and perusing the various forums. However before I go any further, I have a couple of questions.

Before the questions, here is my setup.
  • One car garage used for woodworking and storage ( along with washer, dryer, freezer, hot water heater).
  • Four foot wide x 6 foot deep recessed area for work bench
  • Large tool cabinet
  • Mobile tool carts – one with planer and oscillating sander on a flip top. Sliding compound miter saw on another cart.
  • Cabinet table saw, drill press, 6 inch jointer and a 14 inch band saw.
  • Outfeed table which also serves as an assembly table/work bench.

Since I plan to install the cabinets myself, I plan to use 3 1/2 inch plywood french cleats to make it easier on me.

First part of the reorganization of the garage is to install an upper cabinet in the cubby hole area (4’ wide x 6 foot deep).
Later after moving my rolling tool cabinet, I will build upper cabinets to go above the tool box. Note: the tool box is the Harbor Freight model – big and heavy, but on HD casters. See picture attached.

I have already cut a sheet of 3/4 AC plywood into 11 1/2 inch widths. The first two cabinets will be 32×30 and 15×30. I will hang them side by side on the cleat to form a 47 inch width x 30 inches tall cabinet. It will be too difficult to build one cabinet and fit it into the work bench area so I figured it would be easier to build two and hang them separately.

I will also be building these cabinets with face frames for extra strength.

Questions for upper cabinets:

#1 What type of construction? – dado or pocket screws? I can do both. I will be storing paint, stain, power tools, etc.
Time is not a factor (although I do wait in a hurry! :-)

#2 Should I include a solid back of 1/2 inch plywood or 1/4 inch or no back?

Your thoughts appreciated.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

5 replies so far

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3435 days

#1 posted 06-04-2013 10:06 PM

Since no one had anything to contribute, I decided to forge ahead with my project. :-)

Everything is cut and primed. Paint is next, then assembly.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View RJweb's profile


124 posts in 2837 days

#2 posted 06-04-2013 11:38 PM

please post pictures when done, thx

-- Life Begins @ 190 MPH

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3144 days

#3 posted 06-05-2013 01:33 AM

The back is not that important unless you don’t want to see the wall. You’ll just need to cut in four your cleat. I prefer dado over pocket screws. But sometimes I’ll use pocket screws in place of clamps if I cant get a clamp in position.

I’ve seen some good space saving designs on LJ’s. Check out Leeinaz clamp storage cabinets.

Good luck.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View firefighterontheside's profile


19456 posts in 2061 days

#4 posted 06-05-2013 01:39 AM

I do most of my cabinet construction with biscuits. Saw it in a Wood magazine article and have been doing it ever since. Stack up all the shelves and bottom with their tops facing down. Cut the biscuit holes with out using the guide. Just put the cutter on the next shelf below and cut. For the sides, clamp straight edge where the top of each shelf goes and put the cutter against it and cut. This aligns shelves and base perfectly. Put face frames togehter with pocket hole screws. Either glue and nail face frame or biscuit and glue and clamp on to front. Backs go on in a rabbet. Make sure to square up the cabinet carcase when you put the back on.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3435 days

#5 posted 06-05-2013 02:34 AM

I am using pocket screws on these first two cabinets. Got one partially assembled. Had to stop and take a break. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics