Hanging Tool Cabinet - updated photos

  • Advertise with us
Project by Carey Mitchell posted 08-04-2016 03:08 AM 32108 views 54 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some recent tool additions…............

This project took longer than expected, as do most of my projects – hand cutting the dovetails took forever (I quickly learned that dovetails on 7/8” maple are a bit more difficult than on 3/4” – amazing the effect of that extra 1/8”) and when it got to the stage for arranging and mounting tools, it slowed to an indecisive crawl.

The dovetails are hand cut. The cabinet and door sides are made from 7/8” maple. A new set of good chisels, well sharpened, made the dovetails much easier. By the time I finished them, I felt like a pro. The cabinet is 42 x 28×10 1/2” with doors 4” deep, that adds up to a lot of chisel work.

Both doors house internal doors that double their capacity. The upper section of the cabinet has internal doors that provide additional storage. Sooo, I added more tools on the backs of the internal doors, and still have some space left.

I used birch plywood for the door panels to give some contrast against the bland maple (good grief – birch plywood from HD ain’t what it used to be). I added some character to the front by veneering the door panels with walnut. The finish is a coat of satin lacquer.

It is supported by a clever french cleat, which is really the 1/2” plywood back. The lower part of the back forms the part attached to the wall, and the upper back is secured to the cabinet. The joint is hidden behind the shelf that supports the plane till. Using the back as the cleat allows a flush fit against the wall. The shelf has through tenons into the sides for extra strength.

Someone asked for a better explanation of the french cleat. Instead of attaching a conventional french cleat to the back, here the back becomes the cleat. The back is in 2 pieces, divided by a beveled cross-cut in the middle. The joint is directly behind the 7/8” cross member behind the plane till. The crosscut is made at 45 degrees so the upper section overhangs the lower. The lower section of the back is analagous to the part of the conventional cleat attached to the wall; the upper part is the piece that would be attached to the back of the case. The lower section is screwed into the wall studs with 6 2-1/2” cabinet screws. The upper section is screwed and glued to rabbets in the rear of the upper case. The entire weight of the case hangs on the bottom section and additional cabinet screws added near the top. It allows the cabinet to be absolutely flush with the wall.

Hope that helps

One commentor mentioned the antique tools. In the photo, the partially visible Bailey#6 plane lying horizontally on the shelf, and the dividers on the right door belonged to my great grandfather (1857-1952) and date back to at least 1900 and probably before. I used them both on this project. Also have his level, a spokeshave, a very large brass plumb bob, a wooden clamp and a brace and a bunch of really rusty bits (all on the wall in the photos of the new shop). The Stanley #48 tongue and groove plane standing vertically on the left has a patent date of of 1875 and works – needs some TLC but that is a winter project.

The Stanley #12 scraper plane on the lower left has the year 1905 engraved (not scratched) on the side, along with the name C. Schluter, Ballemore in beautiful script.

The Stanley #45 combination plane, with all the 1 1/2 dozen blades, I believe, pre-dates 1919.

I also have a 12 oz. hammer and a coping saw I got for Christmas when I was 6 – I’m 73 now. I used the coping saw to remove waste on the dovetails in this project. I’ve had them for 68 years and still using both – good quality tools last forever!

38 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3538 days

#1 posted 08-04-2016 03:26 AM

Great job on a really attractive project! Also, glad to hear someone else ends up spending more time on a project than anticipated—something I can relate to only too well.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2698 days

#2 posted 08-04-2016 04:09 AM

Sorry that you are stopping collecting any additional tools … ☺

Very nice work tho.


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View BurlyBob's profile


9344 posts in 3511 days

#3 posted 08-04-2016 05:01 AM

That’s a really nice looking and efficient tool cabinet. Makes me wish I’d done something similar.

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3625 days

#4 posted 08-04-2016 05:40 AM

Very nice.

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


7753 posts in 4613 days

#5 posted 08-04-2016 05:48 AM

That is nice!
Did you stray far from the original plans?
I wish I had that much wall space in my shop.

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

View Ken90712's profile


18067 posts in 4434 days

#6 posted 08-04-2016 07:48 AM

Nice work, looks great

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View MustacheMike's profile


263 posts in 3334 days

#7 posted 08-04-2016 09:36 AM


-- You can trust Mike -" because I will never pull your stash!" See my show weekly at

View johnstoneb's profile (online now)


3182 posts in 3418 days

#8 posted 08-04-2016 10:44 AM

Nice job. I made that same cabinet. It really does a good job.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 2021 days

#9 posted 08-04-2016 12:44 PM

Nice. I should post mine, which is an original and much much simpler design. That one would take me 5 years.

View tyvekboy's profile


2132 posts in 4258 days

#10 posted 08-04-2016 12:57 PM

Nice job. I know you’ll enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View NCTurner's profile


62 posts in 2402 days

#11 posted 08-04-2016 01:09 PM

first rate cabinet and workmanship. Good job! Nice to have stuff that organized (I can only imagine….ha!)

-- One good turn deserves another!

View Valete's profile


100 posts in 2704 days

#12 posted 08-04-2016 01:50 PM

Great job. This cabinet is on top of my build list.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4112 days

#13 posted 08-04-2016 02:39 PM

This is a great collection of tools and you did a wonderful job on this cabinet.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4610 posts in 1984 days

#14 posted 08-04-2016 03:06 PM

I made one similar, I love seeing how everyone hangs their tools. We all have our own thoughts of works best. I love it.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View Andre's profile


4747 posts in 3051 days

#15 posted 08-04-2016 03:23 PM

Looks nicer than your last tool cabinet! I built one a while back not near as pretty and am still trying to figure out the best way to hang the tools inside. Going to borrow your idea for the coping saws and squares, Thanks.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

showing 1 through 15 of 38 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics