Wall mounted hand tool cabinet

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Project by nwbusa posted 10-02-2012 09:21 PM 16367 views 45 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Continuing my tradition of building with a “function over form” philosophy, this is hardly an example of fine woodworking. Nonetheless, I am fairly happy with the way it turned out, as it solves a problem I had in my shop—sorely needed storage space for my hand tools.

This cabinet is built mostly with 3/4” Baltic birch plywood. I used various scraps to make the shelves and tool holders. The center cabinet is 40” wide by 30” tall, making each of the doors 20” x 30”. The center section is 8” deep with the doors open, and 12” deep with the doors closed (doors are 4” deep). I didn’t want the tool cabinet extending too far over the top of the workbench, even with it mounted a bit higher on the wall.

The pegboard “wings” are the same size as the doors. When the doors are open, the entire cabinet measures 80” wide by 30” tall, and 8” deep. Everything hangs on one massive French cleat, with ten 5” lag bolts sunk into five 2×6 studs behind the drywall:

I counterbored some flush mount magnets to keep the door opened and closed:

The cabinet door faces are made from 1/2” Baltic birch and trimmed with some store-bought poplar (I got lazy).

My goal here was to make something fairly modular, so that I could change things around as needed and as tool acquisitions necessitate. All of the shelves and tool holders are screwed in and can be relocated as needed. For example, I want to redo the plane shelves with a vertical plane till, and I want to get the panel saws out of there and into a separate saw till.

Someday, I will replace this with something a little nicer, but for now it serves its purpose and I expect it will last me for several years.

-- John, BC, Canada

21 comments so far

View Bricofleur's profile


1462 posts in 3553 days

#1 posted 10-02-2012 09:41 PM

What do you mean by nicer? This is a nice cabinet and you also got a nice tool collection, John. I’m still simmering my own design and I like to be inspired by others. I also like the idea of building modules to be re-organized as needed. By the way, do you know that if you make a kerf with a hacksaw on the side of the cup that holds a rare-earth magnet before installation you can slip a scratch awl in to remore the magnet?

Once again, great work and thanks for posting.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2550 days

#2 posted 10-03-2012 12:26 AM

great cabinet and the work bench looks nice to.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View robdem's profile


381 posts in 2966 days

#3 posted 10-03-2012 12:30 AM

Great looking cabinet nice hand tool collection also

View bhog's profile


2238 posts in 3050 days

#4 posted 10-03-2012 01:56 AM

That first pic is pretty close to filthy tool porn.Thanks for posting.Nice cabinet also,for things like this I agree -form over function.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3679 days

#5 posted 10-03-2012 02:19 AM

Hey, did you get your plans from the Woodsmith Shop? I plan on making the one I got from them when I get my new shop built. I love these big wall mounted unit. Nice job!

And Brandon, I agree. Too Porn. The evil cousin of Wood Porn! Someone call a cop! ;)

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View ShaneA's profile


7081 posts in 2958 days

#6 posted 10-03-2012 02:21 AM

Looks great, all nice and neat. Tools looking pretty good too. One thing…where will all the new ones go? : ) A sister till, or an addition?

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2646 days

#7 posted 10-03-2012 03:43 AM

Thanks guys for the all the kind comments.

Serge, by “nicer” I mean something made out of nicer material, with a better finish, etc. And yes, good tip on the magnets, thanks!

Milo, no plans for this… Came up with the design on my own, for better or worse :)

Shane, that’s the problem! Probably a separate saw till when the need arises. After that, who knows…

-- John, BC, Canada

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2584 days

#8 posted 10-03-2012 01:31 PM

Oh, good magnet hint Serge!

John – I think this is an absolutely lovely cabinet and part of the beauty is suitability for the task at hand. I want this cabinet. Better lock your shop at night. :)

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View DHS's profile


132 posts in 3584 days

#9 posted 10-03-2012 03:33 PM

Nicely organized cabinet. And, I like those double-duty doors. Now, could you please tell us about the wild looking half-back saw on the far right? I want a cabinet like this so I can store a saw just like that.

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2561 days

#10 posted 10-03-2012 03:40 PM

Yea I know what you mean it should have been nicer, and hey one day you will have some nice tools to put in it as well, but at least you got some good magnets….seriously though, nice cabinet. This is your most used current tools cabinet. It will serve you well and will outlast all of us…

As you stated….
I want to get the panel saws out of there and into a separate saw till. Well being a fellow LJ let me say I am here for you….. You can send them to me…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2636 days

#11 posted 10-03-2012 04:08 PM

Great job on the tool cabinet! Keep up the good work!

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2608 days

#12 posted 10-03-2012 05:14 PM

Nice work! All my shop stuff looks slapped together haphazardly out of scraps… mainly because it is.


View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3824 days

#13 posted 10-03-2012 05:34 PM

Great work and wonderful collection.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2646 days

#14 posted 10-03-2012 06:41 PM

Thanks everyone!

Dave S, the saw is a Wenzloff—here’s a link to LV:,42884,57152 It cuts like a dream!

-- John, BC, Canada

View MJliz's profile


29 posts in 2423 days

#15 posted 10-05-2012 05:01 PM

WOW! Very organized!

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

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