My Garage/Work Shop Makeover #3: New Cabinets Over the Tool Box

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Blog entry by MT_Stringer posted 06-20-2013 01:23 AM 7811 reads 7 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Cabinets for the Alcove Part 3 of My Garage/Work Shop Makeover series Part 4: Adding new receptacles »

To prepare for the next phase of the makeover, I demoed the old work bench that has served me well for the last 20+ years. Fortunately, it was built with drywall screws and came apart easily. I only had to pull the 6 nails that I used to fasten it to the wall. I called a friend and he came over and loaded it up. In a week or so, I’ll go help him set it up in his garage.

I cleaned up the area and painted the part of the wall that I could get to. Then with a lot of pushing and pulling, I managed to move the toolbox down the wall to where I wanted it to sit. It is heavy and thank goodness the heavy duty casters worked great. Then I painted the wall that had been blocked by the toolbox.

The wall is starting to look pretty good. Fresh paint always helps! :-) I have a blank canvas! :-)

Part of my makeover plan is to build and install cabinets above the rolling toolbox. With the toolbox in place, I was ready to start building the two cabinets that will be mounted on the wall above it.

I bought a couple of sheets of Birch plywood from Clark's Hardwood Lumber Co. – a local lumber distributor. They have a lot of hardwood to chose from. The birch was $40/sheet which is as good as I can get in my area for 3/4 inch A/B plywood.

Here is a pic of my “plan”. I had to make a couple of adjustments on the fly so take the dimensions with a grain of salt! :-)

Each cabinet has three components.

  • Each cabinet will have six compartments for storing plastic “tackle trays” which have everything from screws to bolts…and more. With 12 compartments, I can keep the most used trays within easy reach and have the others stored for use if needed.
  • Immediately above these compartments will be six compartments with 1/4 inch plywood dividers. These will be used to store drills/ drivers, nail guns, etc. Again, all within easy reach.
  • Above those compartments will be a storage area with shelf pins so shelves can be adjusted to whatever height I need. I am pretty stoked about this design. I think it is going to work out great.

Later I will build the face frames and add doors to the top portion.

So, let’s get to cutting, routing, painting and get ‘em put together.

I’d like to mention here that to break down the plywood sheets, I used a track saw that I bought recently with this project in mind. It is the CS55 model made by Scheppach. It looks identical to the Grizzly model in every way. I also bought the 55 inch track from Grizzly to give me over 100 inches of saw capability. All parts fit like they came out of the same box. :-) So far, I haven’t had any problems with the saw or track pieces and I am getting more comfortable with the saw with each use.

Here are the two sides of the first cabinet with my layout lines marked for routing. I have an exact width dado jig made similar to the one The Wood Whisperer built. Thanks for the inspiration, Marc. I used a 1/2 inch flush trim bit to cut the 3/4 inch and the 1/2 inch dadoes. For the 1/4 inch dadoes, I switched to a guide bushing and used a 3/16 router bit made specifically for undersize plywood. I took a lot of time to layout where the dadoes needed to go, and fortunately for me, all worked out perfect. I guess I was just lucky.

After drilling the shelf pin holes, I was ready to paint and assemble it.
Here it is ready to hang. Touch up painting will come later.

Here is the cabinet hanging on the wall before I moved the toolbox.

Trial fit with some of my tools and tackle trays.

Close up!

This pic is after I relocated the toolbox.

When my friend came over, he helped me scoot the cabinet over a couple of inches so it is now in the right spot.

Next up is some electrical mods. I am going to put in a couple of receptacles connected with 1/2 inch EMT conduit.

Stay tuned. more coming soon.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

8 comments so far

View clieb91's profile


4267 posts in 5425 days

#1 posted 06-20-2013 01:52 AM

Mike, Really like that wall cabinet. Great idea on the tackle box storage.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4592 days

#2 posted 06-20-2013 05:45 AM

Great wall cabinet with room to expand. Nice to get things put away…...................

-- mike...............

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3762 days

#3 posted 06-20-2013 02:40 PM

Isn’t it amazing how much inspiration and confidence comes from a thought to a drawing to fruition.

Keep on truckin’, it’s looking Great.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 4177 days

#4 posted 06-20-2013 08:29 PM

It looks to me as though your french cleat system is attached to the “nailer” strip on the cabinet? Does this cause it to lean forward or the shelves to have a downward slope, or did you put a on the bottom of the shelf so it sits flush?

Great looking cabinet.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4721 days

#5 posted 06-20-2013 10:05 PM

@Luke. I put a spacer on the back of the cabinet across the bottom so the shelf sits perpendicular on the cleat. Each cabinet has three 4 inch “backs”, one at the top, bottom and one just above the shelf above the cubbie holes. Lots of pocket screws and strong as heck.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3680 days

#6 posted 06-20-2013 11:58 PM

very sweet,nice organization.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View MSW's profile


1 post in 2974 days

#7 posted 05-06-2014 03:08 AM


I was researching the www for build projects using the Kreg Jig and one of the searches ended up here on LJ’s of one of your projects. It caught me by surprise when I dug a little deeper and realized who you were and that we had spoken via P.O.T.N a few times. I didn’t realize you are an avid woodworker as well. You have some really great stuff in your project and blog sections, and you did a fantastic job with this cabinet! I definitely have this one on my to do list. Thanks for sharing.

-- Mark Weaver

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4721 days

#8 posted 05-06-2014 03:51 AM

Thanks Mark. I sorta switched hobbies. :-) I retired from shooting high school sports, sold a few pieces of camera gear and bought some woodworking tools.

The shop cabinets are working great. Almost everything I need is in one of those plastic tackle boxes. Very easy to grab and go.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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