The painted workshop library. A.K.A. a simple painted box hanging on the wall...

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Project by dbhost posted 11-22-2011 05:27 AM 2682 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

You guys have read the painful tale so far. Sorry I took so long in this build. It is ever so basic. Just a divided box, butt joints glue and screws. Lots of primer and paint to insure that this doesn’t contribute to any sort of dungeon feeling (I am starting to get Claustrophobic in my shop these days!).

You can see from the shot of the end panel, I went to some effort to conceal the screw recesses by use of abundant wood filler. I figured since it was a painted project, who really cares right?

I need to apply the shelf liner material still, but there it is, in its uh, glory. I know it’s a far cry from what most of you guys do. And honestly, even kind of basic for one of my projects, but it was something so necessary shop organization The cabinet is painted Glidden high gloss latex white, the wall is a Semi Gloss bright white. The idea here is to eliminate shadows / dark spots as much as possible… My next shop project has GOT to be a dust hood for the SCMS… That thing just vomits dust everywhere!

Okay now for the details…

Total size is 73.5” wide x 16” tall x 13.5” deep (including the cleat). Material is 23/32” Aracuo plywood from Home Depot (I’m cheap), with the dividers being 1/2” sheathing grade plywood from hurricane Ike. (Some of the last of the usable material that was in my yard after the storm). I used a mixture of 1.5 and 2.5” coated deck screws and glue for the butt joints, and filled the screw countersinks on all visible areas with Minwax stainable wood filler. And no, I was not about to stain it…

Since my initial post last night, I have cut to size, and installed the shelf liner material. Even with my tallest, and deepest books, there is plenty of room. There is some concern from my wife about premature aging / yellowing of my books as the shop isn’t really climate controlled all that well. I figure I’ll be dead before that matters much anyway, and hopefully the technology, and techniques for electrical work, home improvement, and woodworking will have advanced beyond my books by then…

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18 comments so far

View rmac's profile


224 posts in 3567 days

#1 posted 11-22-2011 06:10 AM

I have that same paint!


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4084 days

#2 posted 11-22-2011 06:13 AM

Simple is as simple does. That will do the job. Nothing wrong with simple.

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3739 days

#3 posted 11-22-2011 06:16 AM

Thanks. I got antsy and got the shelf liner cut and placed in. I still need to hit it with some Super 77, but LOML was in the shop at the time. Couldn’t talk her into a respirator…

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View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3608 days

#4 posted 11-22-2011 07:55 AM

Very usefull. I have seen a few of those dungeon like shops. They can creep a guy out….......

-- mike...............

View Viking's profile


881 posts in 3702 days

#5 posted 11-22-2011 08:00 AM


Great use of a french cleat and will be easy to move your book shelf if your shop is as fluid as mine.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Ken90712's profile


17741 posts in 3695 days

#6 posted 11-22-2011 12:04 PM

Nice work.

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

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 3486 days

#7 posted 11-22-2011 02:32 PM

Very practical and bespoke for your needs.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Rick  Dennington's profile (online now)

Rick Dennington

6649 posts in 3701 days

#8 posted 11-22-2011 04:57 PM

You finally got ‘er done…... I’ve been waiting on you to get them up so I could see exactly what you came up with…..Stellar job on the build, and good idea on the French cleats…..nice touch. You should be able to get quite a few books and magazines in there, and make a good library for your reading material….Are you gonna put doors on it to keep out the dust, or just leave it open for easy accessability? Nothing like having plenty of storage for our “shop accessories ” (sp)!!!!!!

-- " The secret to staying young looking.....hang around old people.." R.D.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4267 posts in 3671 days

#9 posted 11-22-2011 05:14 PM

Whew…........done. I almost feel like I did this project with you…........(-:

Looks great, and the paint job on the wall and the library are what I need in my shop. You might put in some holes for adjustable shelves in one of the bays, unless you got tall stuff to fill the whole thing.

I have gotten the wood together to build a mobile cutoff unit. The cutoffs are really getting impossible.

My furnace blew a couple of pumps while I was on vacation, and a friend of mine got the plumbers over. I note that my friend organized my cutoffs while he was waiting and monitoring the work. Now I just have to get mobile unit built…......

Needless to say, that friend of mine never sits still, except to watch a movie.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4155 days

#10 posted 11-22-2011 05:19 PM

nice paintjob. looks like a very handy storage solution

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3739 days

#11 posted 11-22-2011 05:21 PM

My plan was to leave it open. I didn’t want to mount it too high up, and doors would interfere with the mortiser handle…

As far as shelves, not gonna happen… I have more than enough books / magazines to come close to filling this thing, a couple more years of Wood Magazine and Shop notes and there won’t be any space…

Believe it or not, I am considering a heavy clear vinyl flap sort of arrangement for dust control there. Like what you see in commercial freezers. Just not sure how to not make it bug ugly…

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View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16190 posts in 3125 days

#12 posted 11-23-2011 12:42 AM

db – A very nice build. Neat and clean in appearance and totally functional. I like it, well done!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3798 days

#13 posted 11-23-2011 01:42 AM

Actually, I kind of liked that Arauco ply. It was the flattest of the cheap grades, and it at least comes from the Americas (South, to be precise). My HD seems to have stopped stocking it.

I hear you on the dust collection. I finally got a leaf blower, and it sure makes cleaning the shop easier. Now that it’s finally clean again, I’ve become recommitted to finishing up my dust collection, starting with something for the top of the table saw, then I’ll use that to build a hood for the miter saw.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4267 posts in 3671 days

#14 posted 11-23-2011 06:10 PM

I made a fold down front for a case that at one time held my ham transceiver, and more recently my portable computer. the keyboard rests on the door when it is folded down. I used a bullet catch and continuous piano hinge.

I bet you could make a light weight door from reinforced hardboard, with the reinforcements displayed on the front as a design element, kind of like an A&C bookcase side. If necessary you could reinforce the bottom lip of the library to hold the hinge. Bet that could be done cheap and quick, using almost any material you have around. The continuous hinge keeps the door from warping longitudinally. It could also be broken up into three doors to control the tendency to warp.

Acrylic could also be worked into the design if you wanted to display the contents. A light weight pine would be my choice for the reinforcing wood.

You could do this at your leisure, and have a little fun with it. Could even make scrolled cutouts in the hardboard backed by acrylic. can detect I drank too much coffee this morning, and got adequate sleep, in spite of having a patient labor in labor all night…......(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3739 days

#15 posted 11-23-2011 06:59 PM

I have been mulling over the doors thing. The biggest issue is clearance to the mortiser handle. The mortiser handle, as can be seen in the 2nd pic, just barely allows my hand to get around it before it hits the cabinet carcass. I could slide the cabinet to the left by about 3/4” to allow a door to open to 90 degrees, but then the handle gets in the way… I could also slide the bench to the right just a hair, just so the drawers in the tool box still open no problem to get that clearance.

I have LOTS of PT fence pickets that are doing nothing. I have considered something similar to what you are talking about. Jointing / planing the pickets down to 1/2” and using them for stock to build reinforced barn door style cabinet doors. Painted to match the cab mind you… It’s tempting. I have a huge bag of pull off cabinet hinges from various projects past sitting in one of my totes…

I’d have to figure out door pulls, but that’s not a huge concern… Probably spin up some knobs on the lathe, or maybe just some simple leather strap pulls for the rustic look…

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