Shop Cabinets -- quick and easy

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Project by thiel posted 06-03-2009 04:19 AM 3093 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In my old shop (moved about 6 months ago) I had a number of countertops that were built right into the space by the previous owner. In the new place, I have been desperate for some storage, but I wanted to spend my time doing “real” work instead of building shop furniture; I’d envisioned building my shop furniture with good joinery and nice details.

My patience ran out, so I opted to bang some things out quickly (like in 3 hours), but since even temporary stuff tends to have a long life, I didn’t want it to look TOO bad.

—Carcass is 18mm poplar (home depot)
—Doors are 1/2 inch birch ply (home depot)
—This is all butt joints, glue, and drywall screws. I didn’t even bother to break out the dado blade.
—I wanted lighter doors and realized too late that the hinges wouldn’t mortise deep enough in them… so I made the hinge cups a decorative feature by cutting all the way through.
—I undersized the doors on the carcass to get a shadowline. Unconventional, but I kinda like it.
—The knobs were saved from some demolition work I did YEARS ago. They were kicking around, so I used em.
—Interior dividers are coming, but will be removable

For the time invested, I’m pretty pleased. In the photo, you can see where I’m gonna spend a couple more hours on a basic countertop and cabinets… I’ll post those next.

-- --Thiel

8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4661 days

#1 posted 06-03-2009 04:33 AM

Hey that will doer good job


View patron's profile


13719 posts in 4425 days

#2 posted 06-03-2009 06:08 AM

i got particle board boxes no doors
spend your time on projects !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4418 days

#3 posted 06-03-2009 10:26 AM

They look nice. I find that when my shop is nicely outfitted , and neat and clean I feel more like working there, but I don’t want to spend too much time just building shop furniture. Looks to me like you’ve struck a good balance there.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4445 days

#4 posted 06-03-2009 02:41 PM

Sometimes simpler is better and a lot less time consuming. If it works for you….great.

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4559 days

#5 posted 06-03-2009 09:14 PM

I did the same concept… kept mine simple and cheap… but got stopped… can’t decide on adjustable shelves and do I really need doors? I’ve painted the carcass white so they would reflect light in my dark windowless work space. I do like yours.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View thiel's profile


410 posts in 4376 days

#6 posted 06-03-2009 09:28 PM

I am doing adjustable shelves— I’m just screwing them in and if I need to move them then I’ll unscrew and rescrew them in another location :-)

I thought doors were needed to keep the dust down… and easy enough that I couldn’t skip em. Euro hinges take just a minute or two—if you haven’t tried them then I recommend it!

-- --Thiel

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4559 days

#7 posted 06-03-2009 10:24 PM

thanks… If I hide my stuff behind doors I’ll never find what I need but know that I have it? ! ?

I made my “adjustable” shelves the same way on my first unit except it is now recessed and you can’t get to the “adjusting screws.” The second unit I decided to go with real adjustable and drilled the holes and used shelf pegs. Okay, but the unit is only 7 inches wide… not wide enough to drill into the side after it was installed…

I need to do a blog about this… lessons learned by an idiot doing his first cabinets. I was pleased with my first face frame with pocket screws… that turned out nice.

I do like the way you used your euro hinges…

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4669 days

#8 posted 06-03-2009 10:46 PM

I dont think if you have good or even fairly good dust extraction you really need doors.I keep my stuff mostly on view and a lot of it hangs on special brackets from the wall ( the little things) all other things have dedicated boxes .Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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