How to construct this hanging tool cabinet?

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Forum topic by ColonelTravis posted 05-22-2014 03:15 AM 11025 views 6 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1843 posts in 1948 days

05-22-2014 03:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tool cabinet

Found a photo of a hanging tool cabinet that I might use/modify. Couldn’t find any other photos of it, just this one.

In the red circles (also elsewhere) I’m guessing the shelves are in there with a mortise/tenon?

If so, what would be the way to glue that entire thing up? He’s got some sliding dovetails, but not all over, so I’m confused how to get those parts in there. Doesn’t seem like you could build the entire perimeter first, like most other tool cabinet designs. Would you in one step attach the 2 sides and bottom, then in another step construct all the shelving on its own, then connect the insides to the sides and bottom, then put on the top?

Sorry, still an absolute novice when it comes to anything but the dumb basics.

9 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3702 days

#1 posted 05-22-2014 03:22 AM

Do you think he might have started with the insert and build
the case around it? Could use blind sliding dovetails but
of course it could be really tricky to put it together. Dowels
would work well. The builder may have put screws in from
the outside… plugged holes would look alright.

That upper shelf could be blind dados, dowels.

Honestly those sliding dovetails are rather showy. If you
want the challenge, go for it, but they are not needed
for something like this.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1843 posts in 1948 days

#2 posted 05-22-2014 03:33 AM

Yeah, the sliding DTs are fancy pants, but I still thought they were kinda neat. Wish I could remember where the design was from. I also thought screws however he seemed to be an accomplished woodworker so I imagined he never took the low road with things. Maybe he did, no clue.

Vertical plane storage would solve this problem, but the only place I can hang this cabinet in my garage is on one part of one wall, and there’s an attic door/staircase above it, so I’m limited in how deep I can make it or else I’m gonna block that door from coming down. I could do vertical but my planes would have to hang totally up like Marc Spagnuolo’s cabinet, which is nicely done, but I really like that angled till look.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3702 days

#3 posted 05-22-2014 03:39 AM

Blind sliding half dovetails are not as tricky to fit as sliding
dovetails. You can work the flat side with a plane. Of course
nobody sees it when it’s blind.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1843 posts in 1948 days

#4 posted 05-22-2014 04:00 AM

I don’t know why he didn’t do those dovetails on all vertical boards top to bottom. Design-wise it would have been more consistent to have them for just the plane holder portion and none at all above them in the top 1/4th of the cabinet. But he’s got them at the bottom of the drawers. Also, the very top of the cabinet overhangs maybe 1/8th-1/4th of an inch, same with the sides of the drawer section. I don’t get that either unless the tools hanging on the doors wouldn’t allow the doors to be closed all the way?

I don’t know, I guess I’ll come up with something that isn’t too convoluted.

View bandit571's profile


20467 posts in 2737 days

#5 posted 05-22-2014 04:04 AM

Thinking that some of the non-showy joints were just stopped dados.

Simple dado, stopped just short of the end of the shelf/divider

Shelf/divider has a notch to cover where the dado stops, and then about 3/8” to 1/2” extra.

One could even add a rebate on the shelf/divider, to further hide the dado. Of course, the dado would then be a bit narrower.

Another trick would be to make the dovetails only at the last 1/2” or so, the rest would be a simple dado, again. Once slid home, it looks just like a sliding dovetail was used.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View ColonelTravis's profile


1843 posts in 1948 days

#6 posted 05-22-2014 04:13 AM

Two votes for blind dado, that seems to make the most sense. Not as convoluted as I thought. Thanks for the input.

View Cornelius's profile


33 posts in 1155 days

#7 posted 11-10-2016 12:55 PM

(...)Couldn t find any other photos of it, just this one.

Dear ColonelTravis, I know this thread is old but I love this cabinet myself, and as I was searching for more info I bumped into your question. I can give you the details I found earlier:

This cabinet was made by a woodworker called Eric Ervin and you can see more pictures of it (as well as his amazing workbench) on his page.

I hope this will help you or others.

-- Black and White Pictures Portfolio:

View rwe2156's profile


3003 posts in 1535 days

#8 posted 11-10-2016 01:57 PM

You could do through tenons on one middle shelf to keep sides true the rest dados.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View johnstoneb's profile


2971 posts in 2227 days

#9 posted 11-10-2016 02:19 PM


-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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