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Quick-to-Make Tool Cabinet
Aproject plan for a cabinet that stores all your tools ina small space
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From Getting Started in Woodworking, Season 2
2 B y A s C h son r i s t i A n A Sea 2 ing, A orkas Se on in Woodw rted ou can thank Mike Pekovich, rking, ting Sta Fine Woodworking’s art direcodwosimple A Wo t i A n From Get ted in tor, for designing this i sbut C h r s A bookcase. He took a straightforB y A n A g Star stylish i Awith ward form--an oak bookcase dado i s t Gettin h r and rabbet C joints--and added nice proA Lies LisT A s and elegant curves. portions B y anD supp ware We agreed that screws would reinforce LisT er, harD eds pLie LuMb the joints nicely, and that gave us a de-sup kiln-dri
ng 2x4s, ensive be 8-ft.-lo ed re anD inexp sign option on the sides. Choose oak 4Dwa jaw can easy and 4x4s, kiln-dri be ng ried wide. Front , har tile and align plugs, grain ench is 8-ft.-lo by 3 in.jaw can 2 carefully, berthe , kiln-d and MDF and versa his workb 2x4sthem in. thick. Front LuM of 71/2 in. long the plugs disappear. Make from a ried sheet long is wide. jaw is 3/4 8-ft.-long 1 4x8 vise jaws, by 3 in. yet is sturdy kiln-d by 6 in. the rear thick. 4 wood, The base pensive 4x4s, and in. wide pieces for in. long long to build, contrasting like walnut, the od orker. thick and is 3/4 in. d, 46 inex , joined by in. woodw 8-ft.-long 2 Hardwo k plywoo 71/2 and 1 any and 2 add rear jaw rows of plugs a nice design of MDF feature 1 in.jaws, for easy n vise h is in. wide atile and 2x4s) the vise, 3/4-in.-thic sheet betwee enoug ing Thesides, and od, 4 r (4x4s s for bench mount to the s. broad at the con- for and vers thick 1 4x8 hinting dowel n lumbe is ft.com) piece ick plywo ructio oodcra 11/2 in. sturdy his workconst Filler block and short struction ) is 3/4-in.-th (www.w in a way.1 The base Hardwood glue in. and t.com 2subtle vise, , yet with long joined nsity yellow rker.bolts orking Vise of ting een 1 contains (medium-de bottle .woodcraf to build simply By design the betw bookcase moun a 2x4s), 1 for woodwo s and ction Woodw (www MDF The , with Vise ed rod block layers of for any is two els.sheet Groz number of fundamental lessons forRapid-A ing (4x4 . thread 7-in. gh Filler glue er dow 1 w single 3 work t 1 -in.-dia a top 8 ⁄ enou of shor of yello and like the shelf. furniture-makers, cut sitywould-be ion Wood tion lumb lengths and from bottle 4 6-ft. oard), -denhandy ded rod 1 bolts Rapid-Act construc fiberb make a other projects in this video the ia.sthrea todium jaw of vise Groz series, (me this bench over 3 ⁄ 8-in. 3 washer -in.-d with with long hof ng front left MDF make vise ofa ⁄ 8 16 hs to whole thing can1be7-in. built with just few dt, for attachi enoug rs simply jaw of le shee handlengt 3 ⁄ 8-in. nuts washers front ng rear jaw f. portable singneede tools and a power tools: a circular saw, a two laye only a 4 6-ft. 16 ers bolts, nuts, attaching y shel ar saw, Thefrom for attachi top is circul jaw benchtop hand ng 1/4-20 d screws drill,hand a router 3 ⁄ 8-in. wash ers for e aa d), cut drill/d river, 2 2-in.-lo flathea hing rear ting wash 16 this benc a to mak 1/4-20 ng vise table. attac for lamina g, nuts, nuts fiberboar are The- shelves attach 3to the sides with make cast-in.-lon s forscrews benchtop ⁄ 8-in. router bolts, 11/2 s, for attachi or a to left over a hand a small drywall screw ating 16 the back 2 1/4-20 hing vise router ead g needed simple dadoes, and and back, and end for lamin and washer long 1/4-in.-lon enough held attac tial one for of 1flath saw screws tools at Box lag essen lar gs 1/4-20 2 2-in.-Screws 1 ng, room ers, for screw Lumber and hardware List is is an drop splash into rabbets. rein-in.-lon circu wash 21/2all a The only There ., -in.-lo 3 ⁄ 8-in.-dia dryw - dado 11/2 s and rs vise, which driver, cast fastene 4 -in.-lo force the also attach theng vise isjoints2and p table. orking drill/ woodw er lag screw tableto Part QtY size small The l of 11/4 ng ype are a iron 3 in. long a rout Box plugs for a shop. lower stretcher, and 1 wood cover S-clip-t -in.-lo orking ntia and the 16 end er or any one , roughly ners jaws,holes. ia., 21/2 nscrew . dowels faste an esse in at woodw h is woode 3 ⁄ wood the Smaller 8-in.-d screws 3 ⁄ 8-in.-dia top held rout tool long 4 in. room arring sized table 16 is 3 is 2 3/4 in. x 11 in. x 52 in. ly sides , whic non-m holes, -type are used to attach the plywood back. with dog There fitted evise g vise ls, rough . The . 16 S-clip pieces receiv the shop sories Curves add life to rectangular dworkin bench ia. dowe gtop and , acces 3 ⁄ 8-in.-d and jaws bench dworkin handy iron woo jaws 16 den d of furniture, and Pekovich worked in woo woo y of 5 3/4 in. x 10 5/8 in. x 27 in. sheLVes any s, size ring variet a mar three types, each irregular and organic tool in to fit dog hole 62 in. ies. ssor with non(as opposed to radius curves that can receive acce fitted htop in. 11/2 in. bench seem mechanical). At the top are genin. 1 3/4 in. x 3 1/4 in. x 27 1/2 4in. back 62 sPLash and benc handy jaws ty of tle curves that speed up as they move a varie 35 ⁄16 in. forward, each taken from a section of to fit
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11/2 in. curve. At the bottom are two a French
10 in. Side ers 16 in. 13 ⁄stretch --Asa Christiana, editor, Fine Woodworking Side stretchers
long curves formed with a flexible wood batten, one extending end to end on the 27 ⁄8 in. lower stretcher, and the other a short graceful arch at the bottom in. the sides, 10 of 13 ⁄16 in. ending at a straight step at each end to 8 in. 27 ⁄legs. suggest
13 ⁄4 in. 3/4 in. x 3 in. x 26 1/2 1 ⁄ in. Oak
35 ⁄16 in.
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3 ⁄4 in. 3 ⁄4 in.1 #12 x 2 in. flat head screws 1 Steel
screws FOr back
#6 x 3/4 in. flat head screws
93 ⁄16 in. 93 ⁄16 in.
Go to Finewoodworking.com/start to watch a multi-part video detailing how to build this bookcase from start to finish.
13 ⁄16 in. 17 in.in. 13 ⁄16
95 ⁄8 in.
9 in. 95 ⁄8 in.
17 in. 31/2 in.
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held securely by means of the friction of their teeth. The cabinet hangs on upper and lower pairs of French cleats. Hinged panels add storage. of wall. and three panel saws.com TOOLS & SHOPS 2007 41 . but the design can be modified easily to accommodate small power tools as well. ft. yet covers only about 12 sq. adding 40% to the cabinet’s hanging area. even if your tool collection would look lost in a cabinet of this size. drill bits. The result is home to well over 300 tools. A carpenter’s square on one side and three panel saws on the other fit into slots in the back of the cabinet. while six small drawers in the bottom hold smaller tools such as block planes. I deliberately dedicated this cabinet to hand tools to keep them apart from dusty power tools. The six drawers at the bottom of the cabinet hold small objects such as block planes. the upper shelf seats larger handplanes. working down from the top. is a place to hold a carpenter’s square on one side. in the space between the cleats. Storage behind the cabinet. the middle section has a pair of internal doors that support tools on both sides (increasing the hanging area by 40%) and that open to reveal additional space for saws and marking tools.Tool Cabinet Attractive design stores all your tools in a small space B y J a n Z o l t o w s k i Quick-to-Make A fter a career of 35 years I had collected a substantial number of woodworking tools and I finally decided that they deserved a proper home.F i neWoodwor k i n g. Tools hang on both sides. and router bits. Think twice before making the cabinet smaller. No wasted space The inside surfaces of the main doors hold thin tools such as chisels and screwdrivers. I set out to create a cabinet capable of holding my tools in a relatively small but accessible area. The lower area is divided into cubbyholes for smoothing planes and other specialty planes. Inside the cabinet. Behind the cabinet. on A brief tour Drawers for small objects. it’s nice to have space to grow into. www.
wide Rabbet. wide Sides. tall Front and back. deep by 48 in. drawings: Bob La Pointe . Add 3 ⁄4-in. Glue and nail the front panel (above). tall 12 1. deep by 3⁄8 in. 1 ⁄2 in. 31 in. Cut doors from case. 42 F I N E w oo d w o r k in g Photos: Mark Schofield. Construct the carcase Build a big box. deep by 32 in.A c o m pac t ca b i n e t w i t h am p l e capac i t y The cabinet is made almost entirely from birch plywood. finger joints cut on the tablesaw (left). but attach the rear with screws for interior access. Rabbet the front and rear for the panels.-thick center door side. wide by 47 1 ⁄4 in. which gives dimensional stability at a budget price. The main carcase is 3 ⁄4-in. 13 1 ⁄4 in. The main body of the cabinet is connected at each corner with 1⁄2-in. ⁄ -in. finger joints 3.-thick plywood connected with finger joints. Top and bottom. Split doors in two. 2. 13 1 ⁄4 in.
I hung the drawers by attaching 1⁄4-in. After unscrewing the back panel of the cabinet. Rout a 1⁄ 2-in. With the front and rear panels installed. Cut the upper and lower crosspieces. cut away the front quarter of the box to form the main doors. then cut the dadoes for the 1⁄4-in. these will be covered by banding. On the tablesaw. cut the newly removed front section of the cabinet in half to form the two main doors. When this is done.F i neWoodwor k i n g.-thick plywood to form the center side of each door. sit in a rabbet rather than a groove because the latter would reduce the depth of these already-shallow drawers. using the rip fence as a guide. www. cut through both ends of the box. This is to keep the two parts of the box attached while cutting through the long sides on the tablesaw. Then set the sawblade to just score the underside of the strips. cut off approximately the front third of the box to form what will become the main doors. 84. The bottoms. While at the saw. Construction starts with a single box I built my cabinet out of Baltic-birch plywood. Not only is it more economical than solid lumber.the other. see “A Lesson in Box Joints. Use the same method to create the dado on the underside of the gallery to receive the center drawer divider. finger joints. and then tack a batten across the cut to hold the section in place while cutting the long sides.thick by 1⁄ 2-in. In this way the panel is cut in half but won’t bind on the sawblade. Stack the drawers using laminate or thin cardboard as spacers. but the back is attached with screws only to allow access during later construction. Don’t worry about the exposed edges of the plywood sides. The body of the cabinet starts out as one large box with the sides made from 3⁄4-in. Attach a thin piece of scrap plywood to each end by nailing it on both sides of the cut. attach pieces of 3⁄4-in. Cut the pair of dadoes on each side. with its cubbyholes used to store planes.-thick plywood. TOOLS & SHOPS 2007 43 . so as not to weaken the bottom of the cabinet. or “Box Joints on the Tablesaw. gives the cabinet rigid ity. and every blade and tooth stays sharp and protected. pp. Tack two strips of wood across the cut line as shown. and then install the gallery and the central drawer divider.thick plywood with 1⁄4-in.-thick plywood. but it eliminates problems such as stuck drawers from dimensional changes caused by the high humidity in the Northwest. Before installing the gallery you need to make the drawers.com Next cut makes the two main doors. finger or box joints (for more on this method. The latter is screwed to the bottom of the cabinet from the outside and is not dadoed. Join the corners with 1⁄ 2-in.-wide rabbet around the inside front and back edges to accept panels of 1⁄ 2-in. rout a dado on each side for the upper shelf. The cabinet holds all these tools within easy reach.” FWW #181.-thick plywood. Lay the gallery across the cabinet and mark the location of the top dado. Create the gallery and drawers The central gallery. 60-63). p. Next. The front of the cabinet is attached with glue and nails. To get the drawers to hang perfectly Cut away the door section. and mark the top of the stack for the location of the bottom dado of the gallery. made of 1⁄4-in.-wide strips of hard maple to the sides of the cabinet and the central divider. because their height and spacing will determine the location of the gallery.” FWW #148. The six drawers are made of 1⁄ 2-in.-deep by 3⁄ 8-in. Cut the short sides first.-thick shelf partitions either on the tablesaw or with a router. and then glue in the shelf.
wide by 9 1 ⁄ 2 in. thick by 3 in. thick. 13 3⁄8 in. or 1 ⁄ 2 in. wide by 91 ⁄2 in. 1 ⁄4 in. 1 ⁄4 in. thick Piano hinge Dado. 5⁄8 in. 48 in.French cleats.thick plywood. 1 ⁄4 in. thick Door post. deep by 1 ⁄ 2 in. the shelves are either 5 ⁄ 8 in. 5⁄8 in. 13 1 ⁄4 in. thick Bottom shelf. long 91 ⁄2 in. thick Gallery dividers. 61 ⁄2 in. 1 ⁄ 2-in. Drawer divider Grooves.-thick panels. 7 in. hard maple. recessed into a rabbet cut in the bottom of the drawer sides 10 1 ⁄4 in. 44 FINE wOOdwOrkINg .-thick material with 1 ⁄4-in. screwed to the cabinet through counterbored holes Top shelf. wide by 30 1 ⁄2 in. 32 in. deep by 5⁄8 in. 1 ⁄ 2 in. 8 in. Drawer bottoms. thick. wide Butt hinges Inside doors. 5⁄8 in. thick by 1 ⁄ 2 in. and the front and back are 1 ⁄ 2-in. 5⁄8 in. thick Back panel consists of two layers of 1 ⁄4-in. long Carcase Top shelf. 17⁄8 in.-thick plywood used for the drawer bottoms and the gallery dividers. 1 ⁄2-in.thick plywood. 1 ⁄4-in. 311 ⁄4 in. The drawers are made from 1 ⁄ 2-in. The inner layer has sections cut out to hold panel saws and a carpenter’s square. 3⁄8 in. 27⁄8 in. Drawer guides.-thick plywood Drawer fronts and backs. thick.-thick plywood 231 ⁄4 in. long Drawer sides. ShelVeS AnD cUbbyholeS pRoViDe tool S toRAGe The internal doors are 5 ⁄ 8 in. 5⁄8 in.
Screw the runners to the sides. make and attach custom hangers for each tool using scraps of plywood.. use the spacer strips from the router table and the laminate spacers used earlier when stacking the drawers to establish the location for each maple drawer runner. with the main cabinet construction complete. The separate unit at the back of the cabinet is built of two layers of 1⁄4-in.-wide strip of solid maple. and the central divider and the drawers are hung. create a guide channel the same width as the drawer sides comprising two outer guide strips. test-fit the gallery and then glue it in. rounded slightly (as all exposed corners should be). Cut a dado on both sides of the cabinet and install the upper shelf. I used the same spacers when cutting rabbets in the drawer sides and when attaching the strips to the cabinet. each inner door is hung from a post screwed to the cabinet. On a router table. and then screw each post to the sides of the cabinet between the top of the torsion box and the upper shelf. After routing the dadoes for the upper and lower shelves. The two inner doors and their posts are made from 5⁄ 8-in. The cubbyholes and the bottoms of the drawers were covered with industrial rubber-backed floor covering. An inner layer of 1 ⁄4-in.parallel. The outer doors are hung using piano hinges and magnetic catches.-thick plywood.-thick by 3⁄4-in.com Storage behind the cabinet. available from home centers. Install all of the tools and then start putting them to use. Install the upper shelf and gallery. Assemble the interior Attach the inner doors. conceal the exposed rabbet joint around the front panel with a 3⁄16-in. when all the grooves have been cut. These are a great help when you and a friend lift the cabinet onto the wall-mounted part of the cleats. then covered by a solid outer piece of plywood. Screw this unit to the back of the cabinet between the French cleats. ball catches give a positive latch to the doors. two center strips of wood the width of the straight-cut router bit.-thick plywood is cut to receive panel saws and a carpenter’s square. and stout handles to the outside of the cabinet. raise the bit to 1⁄4 in. Then I wiped on a couple of coats of tung oil. Clamp the outer strips to the table. It comes in many colors and gives excellent protection to edge tools. Cut matching recesses on each door and post for a pair of hinges. and cut a groove until just before the finger joints at the front of the drawer. and two equal spacers to go above and below the bit that center the drawer side over the router bit. I finished my cabinet with two coats of oil-based sealer that were sanded with P320-grit sandpaper. The final step was to attach pulls to the drawers and doors. Hang the doors on these posts.-thick plywood and should be designed to accommodate carpenter’s squares and panel saws. www. Wash. After hanging the front doors. Jan Zoltowski is a professional antique and art restorer who lives near Seattle. remove the spacers and the center strips. Stretching from the top of the gallery to the bottom of the upper shelf.F i neWoodwor k i n g. TOOLS & SHOPS 2007 45 . This gives the carcase extra rigidity.
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