Lathe Tool/Accessory Cabinet.

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Project by Owlcroft posted 01-22-2014 08:43 PM 2426 views 6 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The cabinet is 37 1/2” x 24 1/2” x 26 1/4”. It has four drawers 31 1/2” x 22 1/4” inside measurement; top drawer is 3 1/2” deep, middle drawers are 4 1/4” deep and the bottom drawer is 5” deep. It is mounted on 3” casters with a replaceable top consisting of a 3/16 hardboard and a 1/4” rubber mat. There is a 3/4” inch deep edge on top to insure the tools and and accessories I am using stay put on my sloped garage floor. The cabinet easily rolls under the lathe bed to save floor space when I am not using the lathe.

I have been turning about a year now and one of the problems that has steadily been getting worse is a place to consolidate and keep track of my lathe tools and accessories. I did a couple Bing image searches for ideas and found several ideas that were close to meeting my needs.

I have two major problems. The first, I have a small garage workshop with limited space and sloping floor. Second, I need a work table while turning to keep the tools and accessories I am using handy. The solution was a mobile cabinet that doubled as a work table that could be stored under the lathe when not in use.

Now that I had the idea all that remained was to start building. A while back I built a table for my router with built in storage and a set of storage cabinets I mounted on the wall using the Kreg system. I took a few measurements to determine the basic length, width, and height of the cabinet. I then subtracted the height of the 3” wheels and a 3/4” raised border on the work area to keep the tools from rolling or falling off. The 3/4” border took care of the other problem I had to over come, a sloped garage floor.

Making the base cabinet could not have been easier using the Kreg system. All I had to do was cut the top bottom and sides out of 3/4” cabinet grade plywood; run a 1/2” dato on the back edge of each piece for the 1/2” plywood back; and screw them together using the Kreg system, no glue required. Next I cut and glued the 1/2” plywood back into place. Final step in building the basic cabinet was two pieces of 3/4” plywood I glued on both inner sides of the cabinet walls to hid the Kreg screws and give the cabinet a little more weight and stability.

Next step involved building the cabinet face frame out of 1” select pine. The face frame had to be flush with the bottom and sides of the inside of the base cabinet. The sides needed to be flush because of the type drawer slides I use. The bottom is flush to make it easy to keep it clean. Again I used the Kreg system to assemble the face frame. Note: use a screw drive when using pine for the face frame; you will probable tighten it too tight and split the frame with a power screw driver. Lesson learned on a previous project. Once the face frame was assembled I used biscuits to attach it to the base cabinet. Advantage is no nail holes to fill in and a much stronger bond.

Next step involved building the 1” frame for the top. The face frame took care of the 1” lip on the front. So all I had to do was build the back and side frame. I decoded to use biscuits to hold the corners together and glue the assembly on as a single piece with glue. process was the same for the top and bottom frame.

Note: The reason I needed the 1/4” lip and 3/4” rim was to prevent tools and/or accessories from rolling off the top. A sloped garage floor is a pain.

Last step was building the drawers and mounting them. The great thing about the drawer slides I use is they are exactly 1” wide (1/2” on both sides of the drawers). so all I had to do was measure the width of the opening in the base cabinet and subtract 1”. The length of the drawer is the depth of the cabinet minus 1/4”. That resulted in 4 drawers 32”wide and 23” deep. plenty of room for all my lathe tools and accessories.

Final step was to build 4 drawer fronts out of 1/2” select pine and mount them.

Note: I use an unconventional way to attach my drawer fronts to my drawers. I attach them with double-sided carpet tape instead of glue. Once the knobs are attached you will never know they were attached using carpet tape. If anyone else has used this method to attach drawer fronts let me know how it worked for you.

Final step was to paint the cabinet to match my lathe.

-- Owlcroft

5 comments so far

View Brett's profile


951 posts in 3567 days

#1 posted 01-22-2014 08:55 PM

Nice job all the way around! I like that you can store it under the lathe when not turning something.
Color match was a good idea too!

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 4097 days

#2 posted 01-22-2014 09:52 PM

Great job, now all items used on lathe will be at hand. I think I need one, lost time looking for something is a big problem.

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

View davidmackv's profile


317 posts in 2456 days

#3 posted 01-22-2014 11:10 PM

Great job, but I would rather have your lathe. Maybe someday. It is a great cabinet, looks very professional. Looks like it was made my the company as an accessory for the lathe.

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3865 days

#4 posted 01-23-2014 01:30 AM

I guess I will remove the shelf from the bottom of my 3520 and build a matching carbines. Very nice.

-- Glen

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3612 days

#5 posted 01-23-2014 01:55 AM

That is really nice. It’s amazing how many tools are needed around a lathe. Gr8 storage idea.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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