Hand Tool Cabinet – Mostly Done

I just got the tool cabinet up on the wall, it took my wife, my son and met all together to lift it up high enough.  But I’m getting ahead of the story.

I sanded the outside of the cabinet with 220 then brushed on three coats of amber shellac.  It’s not fancy, but it will give it a bit of protection from dirt.  By the time I’d done three coats on all the exterior surfaces I was pretty comfortable with brushing shellac.

Three coats of amber shellac

Three coats of amber shellac

First door drying

First door drying

I also slathered the inside of the cabinet with a coat of Tried & True Oil/Wax finish, except for where the drawers will go.

One coat of oil/wax mix inside

One coat of oil/wax mix inside

Then I had to hang the doors.  I made some little stands to hold them at exactly the right height, which made getting the hinges on a piece of cake.  The #4 screws that came with the piano hinges were pretty short (1/2″) so I picked up some longer 1″ screws.

Installing Hinges

Installing Hinges

Then I screwed the french cleat to the wall, I drove 3″ deck screws into 3 studs that I was able to span.  Below that I have another strip of plywood that I’ll screw into through the back of the cabinet (behind the drawers) to help support the weight.

Wall Brackets

Wall Brackets

(off camera, heavy lifting noises)

Tool Cabinet!

Tool Cabinet!

No ominous creaking sounds.  I drove in the support screws and started loading in tools.  I still need to make the drawers and hang tools on the inside of the doors.  I’ll work on that this week.  It feels pretty good to have this much finished.  Something about the perspective in this picture make the cabinet look smaller than it is.  It’s big, and heavy.  It’s about 48″ square by almost 18″ deep with the doors.



Tools Moved In

Tools Moved In

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Hand Tool Cabinet – Mostly Done

  1. NICE!!!! Nice Vanna White impersonation too! Love it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jose Santiago

    Very nice.

  3. Nice work!

  4. Thanks everyone, I’m pleased with how it came out.

    Hopefully tonight I’ll clean up the mess in the shop and start making holders for the tools to go on the inside of the doors.

    • A friend once recommended opening the doors,plugging in the leaf blower and blowing the dust out . I’ve found it to be a very effective option.

  5. Absolutely, I use my air compressor for that. If only that would put the tools away too.

  6. Eric Bushèe

    That looks great, Joe. Although I must admit, I have usually reversed the finishing with the few boxes and cabinets I’ve done. Shellac on the inside, and oil on the outside. Oil tends to off-gas forever, and will linger in an enclosed space. But if you keep the doors open long enough, it might not be a problem.

    And do you really need all those planes? (kidding)


  7. Thanks Eric. I’ve finished box/cabinet insides with oil before, it will be ok after a few weeks of use in the shop. I wouldn’t do it if anything other than tool were going inside (fine linens, for example, would be tragic)

    I’m resisting getting any more planes for now. I could probably get by with just my #8 if I had to.

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