Underbench Cabinet

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Project by Derek Cohen posted 06-11-2021 04:02 PM 747 views 9 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some months ago I decided to build a cabinet underneath my Roubo bench to house many of the hand tools which were accumulating in abundance on a tool wall.

I shall be retiring in a few years, and downsizing the house. My thoughts have begun entertain preparations to move the workshop, and saw this an opportunity to reduce the collection to those that fit in the drawers.

The cabinet was also an opportunity to put together a Master Class set of articles for my website on the construction of a mitred dovetail case and piston-fit drawers. Lots of sliding dovetails! Even further, the drawers for the tools was planned to include “French fitting” in solid wood, and I had a few ideas that might prove interesting for others.

Dimensions: 660mm x 400mm x 400mm (26” x 15 3/4” x 15 3/4”).

Small drawers: 205mm x 70mm (8” x 2 3/4”)
Large drawers: 305mm x 95” (12” x 3 3/4”)

The case is Merbau stained to match the Jarrah drawer fronts. The drawer secondary wood is Tasmanian Oak.

The full build is to be found on my website. Scan down this Index page:

Here are some of the highlights:

Drawers are traditional half-blind dovetails at the front, through dovetails at the rear, and drawer bottoms reinforced with slips. The piston fit allows about 95% extension without metal drawer slides (just wood-on-wood) ...

French fitting the drawers:

Slide the upper tray in …

Another drawer holds my prized sets of Kiyohisa slicks and bench chisels …

I used this “skeleton” drawer for the sets of Veritas PM-V11 bench chisels (in Ebony) ...

... and Blue Spruce dovetail chisels in African Blackwood …

Wooden cutting gauges (Kinshiro, Colen Clenton, and my own builds) ...

... and wheel gauges …

Lastly, some more squares …

and below …

A way to store rules …

I hope some of these ideas help you.

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

17 comments so far

View CL810's profile


4139 posts in 4106 days

#1 posted 06-11-2021 05:20 PM

Beautiful work as always Derek! I always learn something looking at your work.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Thedustydutchman's profile


22 posts in 25 days

#2 posted 06-11-2021 06:06 PM

That is some top notch organization! Absolutely beautiful solution to tool storage. Seeing all these beautiful roubo benches makes me want to build one!

-- Jerry H - Holland Michigan

View oldrivers's profile


2588 posts in 2684 days

#3 posted 06-11-2021 06:25 PM

Wow that is beautiful table job well done.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View therealSteveN's profile


8009 posts in 1692 days

#4 posted 06-11-2021 07:04 PM

Excellence. Nice work Derek.

-- Think safe, be safe

View EarlS's profile


4550 posts in 3466 days

#5 posted 06-11-2021 07:33 PM

That’s quite an impressive collection and you gave them a fine home. You rally should warn us that there is gratuitous tool porn in those pictures though. I’d say the cabinet definitely matches up to the quality of the tools being stored in it.

I’m planning to build an under bench cabinet for my tools once I finish the main roubo bench build so I’ll be looking back at your build quite a lot as I’m designing it.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


9572 posts in 3527 days

#6 posted 06-11-2021 09:14 PM


-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View controlfreak's profile


2234 posts in 719 days

#7 posted 06-11-2021 09:31 PM

That looks incredible! Lots of great ideas in there.

View Brodan's profile


317 posts in 2420 days

#8 posted 06-11-2021 09:53 PM

Fantastic work and great use of space.

-- Dan, TN

View swirt's profile


6275 posts in 4090 days

#9 posted 06-12-2021 02:13 AM

Beautiful and efficient storage. Well done. I like the sliding layers in the drawers.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Peteybadboy's profile


3499 posts in 3067 days

#10 posted 06-12-2021 12:11 PM

Outstanding in every way!

-- Petey

View JimInNM's profile


334 posts in 2334 days

#11 posted 06-12-2021 03:25 PM

Your craftsmanship is beyond definition. I hope you have children/grandchildren to will this to as it will last generations. If not, I’m available for adoption. Thank God for people like you so future generations can see what real craftsmanship was like in our generation. Thank you for sharing

-- JimInNM........Space Case

View BurlyBob's profile


9006 posts in 3383 days

#12 posted 06-12-2021 04:25 PM

That is out of this world gorgeous! What fantastic workmanship and beautiful woods!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26299 posts in 4223 days

#13 posted 06-12-2021 10:17 PM

I love it!!!!!!! Very well thought out!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View icemanhank's profile


540 posts in 3274 days

#14 posted 06-13-2021 12:09 AM

Very very nice mate.

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View WhattheChuck's profile


463 posts in 4678 days

#15 posted 06-13-2021 01:07 AM

Crazy awesome! You must have pretty stable humidity levels in Perth, no?

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

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