Shop Cabinets/Storage

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Project by Greg posted 02-05-2011 06:58 AM 40152 views 144 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This past summer, I made these cabinets for my shop. My goal was to come up with a design that:
1. was Functional
2. Simple to construct
3. Inexpensive to construct
4. Looked good
5. Minimized material waste

Materials include 2×4 studs, 2×6s ripped in half, OSB, and 1/8” hardboard. The materials for the drawer boxes are all different (material selection evolved with each supplement to the overall project)...I settled on pine boards. This entire project can can be made with just a table saw and a drill. However, I started dovetailing my drawers with a jig and a router. I would consider this a beginner level project.
The general construction process was:
1. Make the top. Rabbet 2×4s to accept layers of OSB and a layer of hardboard (I used 2 layers of OSB). I assembled the top using 3 inch screws driven in like a pocket screw. If you cut the rabbets by making 2 cuts, you will end up with a nice collection of stickers or sticks to mark plants in your garden.

2. Make and attach legs. I cut dados in the legs to accept hardboard for the sides. I then cut top and bottom horizontal pieces also with dados to complete the side and back panel. I added a chamfer when I remembered to dress it up. All were attached to the top with the top upside down on a work surface (the floor for me).

3. Make the drawer boxes and drawer fronts. I made the drawer fronts by ripping a 2×4 into 3 pieces each with an actual dimension of 1×1.5”. I then added a 45 degree chamfer on the table saw to dress it up a bit. The frames are made with a rail and stile construction method. I used full extension drawer slides. Learn from my experience – 48” wide drawers are too wide, 36” or less works much better. For me, 30” was ideal.

4. Make the doors. I made the doors using the same method as the drawer fronts except that I used a 2×6 ripped in half for the frame.

For the rest, I just improvised using many of the same methods described above. I used screws and glue for most of the joinery. I tryed to place the screws in an inconspicuous location when I could (i.e. from the inside).

The last cabinet of this style that I made was one to hold my planer (not pictured). I tried to see how fast I could get it done. It is 40” wide, has 2 doors and no drawers. It took about 4 hours to complete.

-- Greg - For the benefit and enjoyment of the people

35 comments so far

View sgtq's profile


370 posts in 3926 days

#1 posted 02-05-2011 07:28 AM

What was the final project cost if you dont mind me asking

-- There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~William J. Clinton

View MayflowerDescendant's profile


414 posts in 4036 days

#2 posted 02-05-2011 07:40 AM

GREAT job! Very functional. Love the design, drawer dividers, and all the natural light pouring into your shop. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Thanks for sharing.

-- Glen - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View Greg's profile


52 posts in 3941 days

#3 posted 02-05-2011 07:43 AM

I didn’t keep good track of the costs. I would guess about $300 (minus cost of drawer slides) for all of the pieces that I’ve made:
8’ long gardening bench
4’ gardening upper cabinet
12’ woodworking cabinet
8’ mechanics tool cabinet
40” planner stand
2’ wide drill press stand

The drawer slides can change the cost of the project significantly depending of the quality you use. The knobs and pulls were a clearance item at the local big box lumber store…I offered $40 for all they had on display (~80 knobs and ~80 pulls) and they accepted.

-- Greg - For the benefit and enjoyment of the people

View TheBossQ's profile


115 posts in 3942 days

#4 posted 02-05-2011 07:47 AM

This is awesome. The funny thing is, when we first bought our house and we were desperate for garage storage, I just bought a bunch of 2×4s, OSB and hardboard and threw together ladder framed shelves. It’s worked up until this point, but now I am tired of the way it looks with everything exposed.

I would only need a sheet of hardboard , a few more 2×4s and some drawer box material and I could put together an 8’ version of this.

Thanks for the inspiration and ideas!

View RockyBlue's profile


273 posts in 3943 days

#5 posted 02-05-2011 07:49 AM

Looks very nice for being made out of constuction materials. Now you just have to duplicate it with some fancy hardwood and have some awesome storage inside the house. If I had the room I would build similar storage for my shop. Thanks for the detailed description.

-- I haven't had this much fun since hogs ate my little brother.

View Raskal's profile


37 posts in 3935 days

#6 posted 02-05-2011 08:12 AM

dang! I like the look.
well done! Cheap materials, but a quality looking end result!

View bvdon's profile


503 posts in 4264 days

#7 posted 02-05-2011 09:56 AM

Looks nice and functional. Mission accomplished.

View Chris Wainscott's profile

Chris Wainscott

24 posts in 3941 days

#8 posted 02-05-2011 10:14 AM

Very cool.
I’m in the middle of a shop re-do right now.
Kinda waiting on a new tablesaw to get here from grizzly and then put everything
back where it should go.
I do believe you just gave me an idea for some new storage… hope you don,t mind seeing it
in another shop lol


View scarpenter002's profile


619 posts in 5154 days

#9 posted 02-05-2011 11:49 AM

Very nice job. Looks very functional.

-- Scott in Texas

View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 5112 days

#10 posted 02-05-2011 12:13 PM

Great project and very well presented. I am inspired by your thrift and design and will ponder this at the mill today for my next long weekend shop adventure. Thanks.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View Woodbutcher3's profile


463 posts in 4136 days

#11 posted 02-05-2011 01:12 PM

Great add to the shop!
What are the over all dimensions?

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View woodman1962's profile


150 posts in 3938 days

#12 posted 02-05-2011 01:50 PM

great cabinets ,they turned out real nice you will have a lot of storage

-- [email protected]

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4714 days

#13 posted 02-05-2011 03:35 PM

nice! this is how i would do it too. dimensional lumber, osb, and hardboard are definitely the most economical way to go. Using hardboard for panels also minimizes weight – no need to use 3/4” ply for doors and drawer fronts.

nice garage btw, that floor looks so flat and nice to work on!

View CoolDavion's profile


480 posts in 5074 days

#14 posted 02-05-2011 04:20 PM

I’m going to have to favorite this.
My next couple of projects are a tool chest and assembly table and I was thinking something similar along these lines

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View Tom's profile


30 posts in 4669 days

#15 posted 02-05-2011 06:30 PM


-- Tom

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