Garage Tool Cabinets #1: Size and Materials Planning

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Blog entry by Parsimonia posted 07-31-2013 03:05 PM 2356 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Garage Tool Cabinets series Part 2: Cabinet glue up »

So after making a large workshop upper cabinet, and then a glass door cabinet, I decided to start making more cabinets to store garden tools in the garage. While I’m at it, I decided to make two, one for long handled tools, and another with shelves for smaller stuff. I made the previous cabinets with maple, and it seems like a waste of money to make a garden tool cabinet out of relatively expensive wood, but hey, if I’m going to all the trouble, it might as well look good. I also figure that if I have to move again, which is always a posibility, I’ll have matching cabinets for a new ultimate shop.

I had thought about laying out all the tools and designing a custom hanger arrangement, but realized I’ll never have enough storage space, no matter how careful I plan it out, so I’ll just build one and then another when the need arises. 72” x 42” x 12 seems about right. I’ll use two doors and a center stile. The largest depth tool is a tiller attachment for weed trimmer, so using 12” depth, same as the other cabinets, seems sufficient. Rather than like a base cabinet, I’m going to make it like an upper cabinet, screwed to the wall to keep if off the garage floor – maybe 3 1/2 inches up like a floating cabinet?

I had been roughing out bowls on the lathe, made a few (practice) drawers with a hardly used dovetail jig, replaced the plastic router table plate with a more sturdy aluminum plate, and basically tended the garden all summer, so after 6 months, it’s time for a new project.

Here’s the rails and stiles cut and routed with the grooves and pocket holes. I suggest to do the pocket holes first, then the grooves, to remind you not to route into the pocket holes. I mark on the router fence where to start and stop.

(How do you rotate an image?)

Assembling face frames. The paper under the joint while assembling is a bad idea. It gets pinched into the joint when clamped. It was there to keep glue off the good plywood underneath. If I had room, I’d have a dedicated assembly table.
The board with the blue tape on the end is a spacer to locate the center stile.

Ripping sides and lower shelf.

Test cutting the groove for the sides. I made a feather board to feed from either way. I completely stole the idea from Sommerfeld tools. Feeding the board in the wrong direction makes a cleaner cut in the plywood.

Next step is assembling everything.

-- More Ideas than Time.

3 comments so far

View John Lowell's profile

John Lowell

137 posts in 2710 days

#1 posted 08-01-2013 01:59 AM

Garage cabinets, am trying the same! Am not building to any design, just to “feel” and of course the size of material I have. I am going cheap, will hang on wall, and if I move, the cabinets stay.

Good luck on your build. johnl

-- Trying, but lots to learn.....

View Parsimonia's profile


54 posts in 2680 days

#2 posted 08-06-2013 05:49 PM

I have resisted going to particle board, since I could get that at Walmart. I do like to make cabinets customized for specific requirements and locations, so for a garage, maybe particle board would have been sufficient.
(Oh, the horror!)

-- More Ideas than Time.

View freddyaudiophile's profile


58 posts in 2779 days

#3 posted 08-07-2013 11:29 PM

I’m tuned into this one as well, as i am in the middle of the same process… I might do a similar blog as well.

-- freddyaudiophile, Fredericton, NB, Canada

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