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Old 02-19-2015, 01:02 AM
CharlesWilson's Avatar
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Default Tool Cabinet

The Uncommonly Cold Workshop has forced me to limit the duration of my woodworking activities to about 1/2 hour at a stretch, followed by at least a 1/2 hour warmup elsewhere to restore feeling to my hands and feet before returning. For that reason I am using the newly available time to create this thread detailing a tool cabinet I completed a couple of years ago. The use of this cabinet has dramatically increased my efficiency in the shop.

Here is the bare cabinet with doors mounted and partially open.


Cabinet doors now closed.


It is a utilitarian tool cabinet made from white oak and is intended for my small shop. The cabinet back is of oak veneered plywood. My most frequently used tools are mounted within the cabinet for easy access and secure storage. Metalworking is done in another portion of my basement, so tools for metalworking are not stored in this cabinet. The tool cabinet currently sits in the back right corner of my traditional style workbench, which is used for most hand tool woodworking operations. Power tool operations are generally performed elsewhere. When the doors are opened, they can fold back onto the cabinet sides, reducing the amount of real estate stolen from the workbench surface. Since the doors fold back, the tool cabinet could be situated atop a rolling tool chest, and not have the doors jut out into the shop when opened.

Before mounting these tools into the tool cabinet, they were randomly scattered about a corner of the shop in a mechanic's tool chest/cabinet and in storage shelving. The current arrangement should make for reduced steps in most situations.

Because of the dense arrangement of tools, wooden and plastic barriers have been used to reduce the likelihood of brushing my hands against razor sharp metal surfaces, and to prevent sharp edges from contacting other metal surfaces.. There is still a bit of space available on the right door, so there will be additions as their benefits become obvious. I may end up adding a little shelf or two there, and possibly some small drawers.

My focus has been on usability and early completon of this endeavor without much attention to appearance. I don't expect too many others to view it, but I will have to use it. The drawer pulls for the tool caddies are finger holes. The gripping surface for opening the drawer tops was made with a forstner bit halfway through the top. Screws covered by short sections of plastic or rubber hose were used to prevent damage to delicate tool surfaces.

After picking my first cut of tools for inclusion, I mounted the planes, and began filling the cabinet interior. The door dimensions were drawn out on paper, using the story stick, and clearance markings (so that the doors would close) were indicated. I haven't yet decided how I will use the totes. Although my original plan was to have a claw hammer hanging from one of the doors, I decided against it. I am sure that the arrangement will change over the course of time.

The cabinet has become a trusty 'friend' who helps me keep track of my everyday tools. No longer is there any need to go rifling through drawers and shelves to find them or to put them away.


Some of the tools intended for mounting into the cabinet.


More tools intended for mounting into cabinet.


Tools in center section, three views.






Possible arrangement for mounting on doors:


Arrangement as of Dec. 28, 2012:


Tool caddy is made of Poplar


Doors opened around the sides:




The following lists the tools now (2/18/15) residing in the cabinet:

Hanging in Upper Cabinet:
*Left Side:
* 18" ruler
* 12" ruler
* 12" square
* 6" square
* Stanley No. 18 T Bevel
* Veritas circle drawing tool
*Center:
* Veritas edge rounding tools
* Wood River spokeshave
* Veritas Scraper Plane
* Drawing Compass
* Thickness guage, spark plug tool
* Vernier Caliper, steel
* Vernier Caliper, plastic
* Dial Caliper
* Protractor
* Jigsaw (hand tool)
* Jewelers Saw
* Block Plane, Craftsman
* Block Plane, Stanley
* Smooth Plane, Stanley No. 3
* Wood River No. 5 Plane
* Veritas 1" Shoulder Plane
* Scissors
* Shinto rasp
* Microplane rasp
* 4 way rasp/file
* Bahco ProfCut dovetail saw
*On shelf in middle:
* Buck miniature Plane
* Jar with assorted writing implements
* Small plastic container with items for quick sharpening
* Folding ruler
* Mirror/Light combo unit in case
* Open wooden box containing:
* *Card scrapers
* *Wixey digital angle guage and spare battery
* *General digital protractor
* *WoodworkersEdge dovetail marking device
* *Eye loupe
* *Candle
* *Compact flashlight(s)
* *Drywall knife
* *Magnifying glass
*Right side:
* Veritas flush cut saw
* Veritas dovetail saw
* 9" Precision square
* In top pouch:
* *Three 6" rules
* *Craftsman ignition file
* *Tweezers
* In bottom pouch:
* *Sheffield utility knife
* *Stanley marking knife
* *Craftsman Ignition File
*Top:
* Mallet
* Brad Hammer
*Bottom:
* Two, still empty, totes
Hanging on inside of left door:
*Top, Bench Chisels:
* 1.5"
* 1.25"
* 1"
* 3/4"
* 1/2"
* 1/4"
* 1/8"
* 1/16"
*Middle:
* Four philips screwdrivers
* Four flat blade screwdrivers
* Palm sized bit driver
* Awl
* LutzBitz holder(s) for add'l bits
*Bottom:
* Pencils, pens
* Glue brushes
* Glue spreaders
* Dental picks, mirror
* Small files
* Scribes, hardened and carbide tipped
* Finger operated drill for small diameters
* Exacto knife
* Spring loaded center punch
Hanging on inside of right door:
* Brass thickness blocks in holder
* Pullsaw- crosscut and rip, spare blade
* Festool toolie
* Garlick dovetail saw
* Veritas marking gage
* Marking knife
* Assorted sculpting tools/picks
* Magnifying Glass
* Wooster Tapered Angle Brush, 2-1/2 inch
* Beaver Hair Brushes (1 and 3 inch)
Sitting on top of cabinet:
*Plastic container with drawing tools and misc. supplies
*Ridgid trim router
*

Additional photos can be found in my Tool Cabinet set at:

www.flickr.com/photos/charles_wilson/sets

Note: I don't know why, but cut and paste seemed to produce a slew of asterisks in the above list. I hope it is all readable.

Charles
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Tools I Have Made: 3 Mallets, Layout Knife, a 1/8 inch Skew Chisel, a 1/4 inch Skew Chisel, Miter Box, 1/8 inch chisel, 3/32 inch chisel (from 3/32 Champion punch), Tool Cabinet
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Tool Cabinet

Nice work, nicely documented. Thanks, Charles.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Tool Cabinet

I have nothing to add (looks like you better not add any tools or you'll have to build another cabinet), except to say - beautiful work and amazing organization! Something for any shop to envy.
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Old 02-22-2015, 02:31 AM
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Default Re: Tool Cabinet

Thanks for the comments.

The cabinet took only a couple of weeks to build.

It took over six months to decide what to put in it, and how to arrange everything. I still haven't figured out what I want to keep in the two tool caddies in the lower section. That lower area may end up being remodeled. I am certainly open to suggestions.

Charles
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Tools I Have Made: 3 Mallets, Layout Knife, a 1/8 inch Skew Chisel, a 1/4 inch Skew Chisel, Miter Box, 1/8 inch chisel, 3/32 inch chisel (from 3/32 Champion punch), Tool Cabinet
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: Tool Cabinet

Hi Charles,

That's beautiful work, nicely finished.

Regards,

Rob
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I don't have as many tools as most people here...but Gee I've got some pretty hardwoods!
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Tool Cabinet

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesWilson View Post
Thanks for the comments.

I still haven't figured out what I want to keep in the two tool caddies in the lower section. That lower area may end up being remodeled. I am certainly open to suggestions.

Charles
Not to worry; I'm sure Lee Valley, Lie Nielsen, Woodpeckers & Bridge City Tool Works have a plethora of suggestions....
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Tool Cabinet

I really like tool caddies. I have four in each of my two cabinets. I put a task specific collection in each, e.g. dovetail layout tools, inlay tools, files, etc. That way I can just pull out the caddy appropriate to the task and not have to remember (hard at my age) what I need and where they are.
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Tool Cabinet

Nice work, Charles!

Your cabinet reminds me a little of the one we saw in Sam Maloof's shop:



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