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70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A New Shop Cabinet

The last two months or so, the shop has been a mess. Partly this is due to not having a place to put all of my lumber but the bigger part is I have had no place to put the larger equipment. Recently in one of the woodworking magazines they built a shop cabinet that housed the same type equipment I was trying to organize. They built it with spruce and peg board. I had some left over melamine (melamine that just happened to match all of the other cabinets in the shop) so I went to work with a design. The biggest decision was how wide to make it. The widest piece that I planed on putting in the cabinet was my sander. It measured 30 inches. I did want it to be too tight so I added 2 inches. The depth is 24.5 inches and the height is 70 inches. With this out of the way, it was pretty easy to create a cut list.

Now how to put this all together? I just bought the Dadowiz at the Calgary Woodworking Show but decided to hold on using it. I could have used biscuits or pocket holes. Melamine does glue to itself so biscuits were out. Pocket holes would have worked but I thought dowels would be stronger. I have a few dowel jigs but the ones I considered for this project were the Dowelmax and the Veritas 32 Cabinet set. I must say that working with the Veritas 32 was a little frustrating in the last project but I thought I would give it another try. I did try to use the Dowelmax in this project but because the basic jig is an inch (I believe) and the melamine sheets were 5/8″ it was too frustrating to try and compensate.

Drilling Holes with the Veritas 32 System

If you get this jig aligned correctly, it works great but in the last project it took forever to get everything aligned. And in the worse case scenario, it wound up horribly off. This time instead of just relying on the gauge head I also used some Trim Gauges. I purchased these at the Calgary Woodworking Show as well. While in my mind they were a bit overpriced, they were extremely helpful in making sure I had the correct alignment throughout the piece. I would get a good measurement with the Veritas Head Gauge and then follow this up with the Brumley Trim Gauge. This sped up the process immensely. I still want to build some specific jigs to go along with this tool but the Trim Gauges worked really well until I get this done.

(Note: I was off about 1/8″ for the whole project which for shop equipment I can live with.)

Veritas Head Gauge and Brumley Trim Gauge

Drilling all of the holes took a couple of hours which I then followed up with ironing on the edge banding for the case. I should mention I used Pocket Holes for the foot boards. With the case upright you can't see them and they were easier to use then dowels would have been for the two bottom boards.


The Completed Cabinet

With the cabinet complete was I able to instantly improve the size of my shop. All of the large portable tools now have a place to live with easy access to the workbench when they are needed. There is really no artwork to making this but I did get better working with the Veritas 32 System which will serve me when I want to use it next.

· Registered
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Getting Organized

With the new equipment cabinet completed, I could go to work on getting the rest of the shop cleaned and organized. I moved a bunch of stuff to the shed or outside on the side of the house. I then proceeded to sweep, vacuum and dust. Since I don't have an air filtration system in the shop I routinely open up the garage doors and blow out the dust with the air compressor (a trick I saw at the Wood Whisperer).

A (Reasonably) Clean Shop

Next up on the list is to make another cabinet for under the workbench. I still have a bunch of small tools that I would like to organize and this cabinet should let get this done.

I can't tell you what a difference a clean shop makes to my mindset when I go out there. With a few more tweaks I am hopeful I will be able to keep it this way.

Happy Veteran's Day!

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