Deep door tool cabinets

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Project by leftcoaster posted 04-02-2019 02:25 PM 1726 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built these two tool cabinets some time back out of prefinished 3/4” birch plywood. Having 3/4” ply on the back gives me plenty of depth to attach tools in various configurations.

The doors on these are 4” deep. On the right unit, whose interior I didn’t photograph, I attached plywood panels on internal hinges that let them swing clear of the door. This gives me three surfaces to hang tools on—the inside of the door and both sides of the panel. And of course the interior of the cabinet provides plenty of space.

The doors are held to the cabinet bodies with magnets and so are the internal panels. Opening the doors is easily done by pulling gently on the bottom—no handles or pulls needed.

In the left unit I keep all of my router bits, jigs, handheld and other accessories. I had some fun book matching the drawer fronts and making beveled pulls.

Rather than use slides for these drawers, I used a solution that I wish I’d known about when I made some other shop drawers. The bottoms are cut oversized so that they can ride in a kerf on either side. I used hard board for those—the shiny side glides nicely and the other, rougher side, provides some “grip” so that the contents don’t slide around.

These are spaced closely together with a dust collection pipe drop in between. This inhibits the range of two of the doors somewhat, but there’s still plenty of room to maneuver.

I’ve replaced the hook you see hanging my expandable hose since taking these photos. I now have one of those fittings you plug the dust rite handle into while the DC is running to shrink up the hose. The bag from an old expandable camping chair encircles the hose and I can pull the draw string to keep it at minimal size once the DC is off. This ensures full access to the other DC ports from the drop in the middle, especially the floor sweep, which can be obstructed by a sagging hose.

My router table is right in front of the cabinet, so I have it at my back while routing and can simply turn around to grab/store wrenches, bits, bushings, and other accessories.

8 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


8709 posts in 3319 days

#1 posted 04-02-2019 04:15 PM

You’ve got a lot of great ideas in those cabinets. If the drawers ever get difficult to pull put some paste wax or paraffin on the runners. I did that on a very old work bench and they work almost as well as metal drawer slides.

View Woodbridge's profile


3746 posts in 3472 days

#2 posted 04-03-2019 02:44 PM

great cabinets. There are many nice details that help take them a notch above ordinary shop furniture.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View leftcoaster's profile


384 posts in 1930 days

#3 posted 04-03-2019 02:54 PM

Thanks guys. I hasten to add that this is a pastiche of ideas from other craftsman. I’m happily standing on the shoulders of giants.

View SawdustTX's profile


347 posts in 3377 days

#4 posted 04-03-2019 03:36 PM

Great design, build, and aesthetics. Would appreciate some pictures of those internal hinged panels. I’ve played with designs to do something similar on my shop cabinets. I have a lot of heavy tools, books, supplies on the shelves, want to hang all my hand tools on the insides of deep doors.

View leftcoaster's profile


384 posts in 1930 days

#5 posted 04-05-2019 02:45 PM

View leftcoaster's profile


384 posts in 1930 days

#6 posted 04-05-2019 02:46 PM

View leftcoaster's profile


384 posts in 1930 days

#7 posted 04-05-2019 02:48 PM

Sorry about the image orientation. Anyway you can see the doors and inner doors fully opened gives more wall space than the entire wall. I’m also nowhere close to filling it. I included a close up of the hinge that works in this application. Not sure what it is called.

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 4905 days

#8 posted 04-05-2019 11:41 PM

Nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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