Designing a Tool Cabinet – Initial Rough In

Yesterday I finished hooking up my duct collector and installed the “cross cut extension” on my table saw.  I made some test cuts on the saw, jointed a board and ran it through the planer.  The planer is leaving a funny mark on the board – at first I thought it was a nick in the blade, but it always happens in the same spot on the board regardless of where it’s run through the planer.  I’m going to assume it’s just something weird in the wood for now.  I’ll take some pictures later this morning once I clean up and haul yet another load of junk to the dump.

While I’m having coffee I started figuring out my tool cabinet.  I have an initial mock up, now I need to more closely measure my tools and refine this a little more.  Overall Dimensions are 48″ tall x 52″ wide x 14″ deep.  The depth is completly driven by fitting my Stanley #8 on a 60 degree ramped till. I’d like to have it be a little shallower, I’ll check my till layout to see if I can improve that.  I’d bet I can lose at least an inch in depth and be OK — but I need to make sure I have enough depth for the moulding and joinery planes.  I don’t think any of those are more than about 10″, but I’ll double check.

Ketchup Kabinet Model

Ketchup Kabinet Model

I also need to look at my tools and decide what I can put in the drawers.  Maybe a drawer with my most common layout tools?  Then I can take the whole drawer to the bench as a tool tray?  Maybe a drawer for my auger bits.  Should I store fasteners here?  Cut nails and screws?  Biscuits and dowels?  Lions and tigers and bears?  Oh My.

My thinking right now is that the doors will be about 2″ deep and have hangers to hold chisels, gouges, spokeshaves and larger layout tools.

More research and planning to do, but this looks workable and it should hold all of my hand tools with room to spare.

I need a few other bits of shop furniture too:

First off, I need some kind of out-feed support for the table saw.  I don’t want to waste a lot of floor space there, so probably a fold-down support will be the ticket.  If I can buy one that’s probably the best option.  I don’t want to waste a lot of time on that – I am so busy with work and family that I don’t get much time in the shop as it is.

I also need to build some storage for hand-held power tools and table saw accessories like extra blades and fixtures.  My current thinking is that I’ll put that under the side right side table extension.

Finally, I’ll need to set up some sort of router table.  I used to have a really fancy router cabinet setup based on the Jointech fence and their cabinet design.  It was pretty handy in that it had storage for bits and fixtures, everything had a home.  I bought the Jointech setup because at the time I couldn’t imagine making dovetails by hand.  The cabinet was a fun project, MDF screwed together with red formica and Oak banding (the picture isn’t the one I built, but mine looked just like this).  The problem is that it took up floor space and I was constantly moving it out of the way.  I don’t need (or want) anything this elaborate, but I do want a router table setup of some sort.  Mostly for pattern routing parts, but I’m sure I’ll use it to do some joinery or edge work too.

Router Cabinet

Router Cabinet

Ideally I’ll try to combine a couple of these needs together.  For example, the out-feed table could be on wheels and incorporate a router table and fence.  Or storage cabinet under the table saw extension could be on wheels and double as a router table.  Lots to think about.

Time for another cup of coffee and then I’ll get out to the shop.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Post navigation

4 thoughts on “Designing a Tool Cabinet – Initial Rough In

  1. Sounds like a lot on your plate there Joe. Is it going to be an open cabinet or have doors? As an aside, the lions and tigers don’t get along.

  2. Thanks for the heads-up about the lions and tigers, that could have been a problem!

    Definitely doors on the cabinet, deep doors to hold my chisels and spoke shaves.

  3. Bill

    I would vote against putting the router table in the outfield table. You’ll realize this the first time you are in the middle of a router operation and have to break it down to use the outfeed.

    • Yeah, good point. Hmmm, having it roll under the side extension would be another approach to getting it out of the way, but then it might be too short by time you allow for a fence on it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: