Tool Cabinet

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Project by Manitario posted 06-10-2012 08:31 PM 8557 views 53 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This has been my ongoing project for the past 4 months. It’s kind of nice to finally have enough hand tools to justify building a cabinet for them! The cabinet is a combination of several different plans/designs from ww magazines, and what I’ve seen some of my fellow LJ’s build. It was important to have enough room for my growing plane collection, but also room to grow my collection of “other” hand tools. The cabinet is solid walnut and cherry, with exception of the back which is 3/4 walnut ply. Initially the whole cabinet was going to be solid walnut, but partway through making the carcase I ran out of walnut and decided to use cherry as a contrast. I’m glad that I went with this combo; it is sure a pleasure using walnut and cherry! It was a difficult to decide what joint to use to attach the sides to the top and bottom of the carcase. Dovetails would have looked classy, however I don’t own a dovetail jig, nor possess the skills yet to attempt them by hand. I came very close to buying a dovetail jig, but I just couldn’t afford the jig I wanted (a Leigh jig), and didn’t want to buy something cheaper that I’d only use for this cabinet. As you can see, I went with box joints that I purposely made slightly proud and then beveled the edges. This was over 1000 edges to bevel! I realized that if I would have had any competency with dovetails, it would have been way quicker to cut them by hand than to do all of the box joints. Assembly was not fun. Dry fitting the carcase and the shelves was perfect; somehow though once the glue was applied the shelves decided not to fit properly…result was 4 square corners on the carcase but the sides bow out slightly where the shelves bind…in hindsight it would have been easier to glue up the carcase and then fit the shelves in after… Finish is several coats of danish oil with several coats of wipe on poly on top. Final comment is that it is a heavy SOB! My wife and I just barely were able to carry it from my bench to wall.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

42 comments so far

View JohnMeeley's profile


255 posts in 2812 days

#1 posted 06-10-2012 08:47 PM

Very nice wood combo. And you say you stumbled upon it because you ran out? Nice recovery.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View venicewoodworker's profile


100 posts in 3108 days

#2 posted 06-10-2012 08:51 PM

Very nice!!!

View Mauricio's profile


7163 posts in 3630 days

#3 posted 06-10-2012 08:56 PM

Wow very nice, made one similar but out of birch ply. I love your wood selection, the proud box joints, and the way you store your saws. Do you have a close up of the saw holder? How esay is it to reach the middle saw?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Don W's profile

Don W

19314 posts in 3046 days

#4 posted 06-10-2012 08:59 PM

great looking cabinet.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View dpow's profile


504 posts in 3323 days

#5 posted 06-10-2012 09:05 PM

Looks great, Rob. It appears you have a little bit of room left to grow the collection. You have a cabinet that will serve you well for a log time. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4458 days

#6 posted 06-10-2012 09:32 PM

Hi Rob;

You did an excellent job on this. It’s beautiful.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Manitario's profile


2778 posts in 3362 days

#7 posted 06-10-2012 10:06 PM

Thanks guys! Mauricio, I have your cabinet favourited, it was one of the cabinets I drew inspiration from. Here’s a few close up pics of the saw holder:

The saws slide out fairly easy. I made a few of the traditional saw holders that the handle fits around, but quickly realized that my small saw collection would take up the entire side of the cabinet. This holder uses the space more efficiently and allows me room to add a few more saws in the future.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View ShaneA's profile


7084 posts in 3077 days

#8 posted 06-10-2012 10:07 PM

Sweet looking cabinet and tool collection. Gotta feel good to have it done.

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 3081 days

#9 posted 06-10-2012 11:30 PM

Really nice cabinet! Awesome job on this, love the Walnut and Cherry contrast. Great looking collection as well, enjoy it!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View Skylark53's profile


2708 posts in 3539 days

#10 posted 06-10-2012 11:38 PM

Beautifully done. This should make you smile each time you step into your shop.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1094 posts in 3652 days

#11 posted 06-11-2012 12:45 AM

Nicely done. Something you can show off to anyone and be proud of it.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4152 days

#12 posted 06-11-2012 02:47 AM

Nice tool cabinet.

View Mauricio's profile


7163 posts in 3630 days

#13 posted 06-11-2012 02:55 AM

Thanks Manitorio, I like how you moved the open shelf from the top to the middle.

Is that saw holder as simple as it looks? Are there any magnets in there or anything holding them in or just friction?

I’ve been lazy on my tool holders, I need to get on that. I’m actuall thinking of removing my doors and shelves and putting in a vertical plane till. Mine are pocket hole screws in just in case I wanted to move them later.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View mafe's profile


12096 posts in 3568 days

#14 posted 06-11-2012 08:50 AM

Wauuuu, what a beautiful cabinet you have made.
I love it, the contrast is perfect and your work with the boxjoints worth the efford.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3345 days

#15 posted 06-11-2012 10:23 AM

Wow! You sure did build yourself a fine toolbox and I love the wood you have chosen. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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