Tool Cabinet Storage

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Project by paratrooper34 posted 01-12-2013 09:45 PM 10213 views 36 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I posted my finished tool cabinet last week and decided to post how it finished out with the tools. This in itself was a project which took work every day of the past week to get it finished.

It went from this:

To this:

One of my main concerns after I finished the cabinet was the plywood back panel; it just didn’t fit with the rest of the cabinet. I thought of covering it with some pine boards. But I got a couple of suggestions by some people who said not to worry about it, once it is covered with tools, it will not be an issue. They were absolutely correct. The eyes focus on the tools and not the plywood.

I used the interior cabinet space to mount the tools that I use the most. The doors got the big saws with the smaller ones on a cabinet wall. The rest is filled with planes, marking gauges, spokeshaves, etc. I used drawer space for chisels, measuring tools, and miscellaneous tools. While fitting everything in there, I came to really enjoy the plane till. As I pointed out in the cabinet project, I used to hang my planes on hooks with some cord. I found that using the planes with the plane till is much more convenient. They easy to remove and put back in place. I tend to return tools after every use and all of the tools are mounted and placed in a manner that they are easily accessible and easy to return.

Additionally, the cabinet gave me the opportunity to mass my most frequently used tools all in one place. Previously, I had the same tools in different locations, which was frustrating at times. I had chisels located in three different places. I had saws in two places. Marking and measuring tools all over the shop. Planes also all over the place. Now I have all the workhorses in one place. The tools I only use every now and then, will move into the places left open from the rest. This cabinet opened the door for me to organize and work more efficiently.

Here are some more pics.

The chisel drawer has all of my chisels. This makes it easy when I need one. Underneath the blue handled chisels (my so called “beaters”) are some gouges and specialty chisels that don’t see a lot of use. The beaters sit in a tray that slides forward for access to the others below. Making the rack for the users was a challenge. The dividers sit in grooves (ten total) that were all cut with my Stanley 45. As you can see, the far right Japanese chisel slot was too small for the handle. Not sure how that happened, but I made it fit by removing some of the inside of the drawer. Oops.

Here is the grooving process for the chisel drawer.

I put all of my measuring tools in one drawer and made a tray for the ones that I use a lot. Here it is:

The chisels and measuring tools are in the top two drawers. The bottom two have misc. tools in one and the other has my mortise chisels. I am going to organize these somewhat better. But for now, they will suffice.

This has been a project that was a lot of fun and it serves a need that I had in my shop. If you have been thinking of making something similar, I say go for it. My shop now has a cabinet that holds the hardest working tools and is directly behind my workbench. Working in my shop just got a little bit easier!

-- Mike

33 comments so far

View CL810's profile


4240 posts in 4319 days

#1 posted 01-12-2013 09:54 PM

Very nice.

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

View a1Jim's profile


118308 posts in 4908 days

#2 posted 01-12-2013 10:22 PM

Great looking tool cabinet and very fine organisation.


View mariva57's profile


666 posts in 3335 days

#3 posted 01-12-2013 10:32 PM

Hello Mike.
Perfect organization for the tools, great job.

-- The common man thinks. The wise man is silent. The stupid man discusses.

View paratrooper34's profile


916 posts in 4282 days

#4 posted 01-12-2013 11:22 PM

Thanks guys!

Mariva, grazie mille!

-- Mike

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3929 days

#5 posted 01-13-2013 12:17 AM

Really nice. Lots of inspiration here.

View ArtSmith's profile


5 posts in 3291 days

#6 posted 01-13-2013 12:25 AM

Very nice!

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 3707 days

#7 posted 01-13-2013 12:54 AM

Big Kudos to ya. very nicely done.
Any particular reason for the windows on the doors instead of more hanging storage space?

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View paratrooper34's profile


916 posts in 4282 days

#8 posted 01-13-2013 01:18 AM

OnlyJustME, the windows were for aesthetics and skill building. Thanks for the kudos, much appreciated!

-- Mike

View WhoMe's profile


1568 posts in 4574 days

#9 posted 01-13-2013 01:51 AM

wow, so many great ideas and some of them so different from many of the other tool cabinets out there. great job.
by the way…. what plywood….
this is bookmarked as i will use yours as anspiration for when i eventually get around to making mine.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3521 days

#10 posted 01-13-2013 02:20 AM

NICE.a very nice tool collection you have.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View JuanGatico's profile


72 posts in 3517 days

#11 posted 01-13-2013 04:00 AM

Paratrooper, please can you tell me what kind of felt you used for the bottom drawers?


View EzJack's profile


458 posts in 4501 days

#12 posted 01-13-2013 11:32 AM

Man, all my tools are worn out. Yours look great.

-- Ain't better or worse than any other woodpecker in the woods.

View brucethecontrarian's profile


37 posts in 3316 days

#13 posted 01-13-2013 11:40 AM

Very nice indeed.
Juan, I use non slip shelf liner and it looks like para 34 has used the same – hope this helps.

-- Bruce, UK

View paratrooper34's profile


916 posts in 4282 days

#14 posted 01-13-2013 12:04 PM

Juan, Bruce is correct. It is a non slip shelf liner. That stuff is pretty inexpensive and works very well to keep tools from sliding. If you have a Walmart around, they have it. Places that sell automotive tools carry it also.

Good Luck.

-- Mike

View lysdexic's profile


5349 posts in 3953 days

#15 posted 01-13-2013 03:23 PM

I really like the doors with the glass.

There is still room in there for expansion. The arrangement to your planes is quite efficient. I would be too tempted to arrange them straight across biggest to smallest.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

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