As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.  

Tool Cabinet


Once upon a time there was a Wooden Wagon. . .

After it "died", I was left with the wagon box. I had thought about building a hanging tool cabinet for some time now. I'd looked at various books and magazine articles; considered various plans and options, and decided that a wall-mounted cabinet was the best approach for me. The box from this wagon was close enough in size to what I had in mind, so I decided to adapt it for this new purpose.

First, I built a door. A scrap of 3/4" plywood, with some other shop scraps provided that. The result is a fairly shallow (about 2" deep) door. I decided that with this nice ash box, I should have something nicer on the front than a sheet of ugly plywood. So I laminated a bunch of 1/4" pine strips onto the front face. They're so light they add almost nothing to the weight, and it makes it look just so much better.

The door was finished on the outside with a coat of Tried-N-True danish oil (From Lee Valley). It was mounted with a piano hinge (check the weight rating when purchasing!). Then the whole thing was ready to be mounted on the wall.

I screwed a board to the wall to help support the base of the cabinet. Then I mounted the cabinet and fastened it to two studs with around six 2" long screws through the back.

If you look at the larger closeup photo's you should be able to just see the two rare-earth magnets that I inserted into the body of the cabinet. A couple of screws were mounted in the corresponding place on the door. This does a splendid job of holding the door gently closed.

Now the fun began: fitting in my tools.

I decided to focus on measuiring and marking tools for the door. The largest and most unweildy item is the framing square, so that had to be placed first. Next came my 2' level. And after that it was whatever idea popped into my head next. The coping saw is a bit out of place on the door, but there was an opening, and it fit. So there.

The saw holder came next. It's just a set of small boards, placed on an angle, with a small gap (about 1/16") between them to hold the saws. A couple of my larger hand saws wouldn't fit, so they're relegated to other wall storage. But that is also fine, since they're rarely used. I don't mind having rarely used tools packed away in the corners of the shop. The purpose of the tool cabinet is to organize my most frequently used tools together, so they all have a place, and so they are all close at hand.

This page is entitled "A Work In Progress", as I expect that to be true of this project. I'll likely be adjusting and tweaking the layout of this for some time to come.

One final word about hand planes. Most tool cabinets that I have seen have a large amount of space dedicated to hand planes. I already had a place for my planes (see the photo's) and so I decided to leave them out of this project. They would have filled up the cabinet in no time. As it is, I still have room to fit in screwdrivers, pliers, and a few other odds and sods.


Thanks for reading!