Posts Tagged With: Hand Tool Cabinet

Hand Tool Cabinet, Case Almost Done

I got a little time in this afternoon on my tool cabinet.  I got the dividers in for the drawers and cut some separators for the plane cubbies and and got the plane till in.  It’s starting to look like something now.

Ramped Till and Drawer Dividers In Place

Ramped Till and Drawer Dividers In Place

With all of my “regular” planes put away I have a bit of room left over for a few more.

Plane Till Finished

Plane Till Finished

If I get a little time tomorrow I’ll put in the details for the saw till and start on the doors.  This isn’t the most beautifyl or elegant tool cabinet, but it should be plenty functional.  I’m eager to finish this so I can get back to my sconce project.

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Tool Cabinet Progress

I made some decent progress today on my tool cabinet.  I still need to add the dividers for the drawers, the ramp for the plane till and some sort of gizmo to hold my saws.  Then I can start on the drawers and doors.

Coming Together

Coming Together

There are a couple of problems, one of which is my fault and the other I can’t quite pin down.  Probably my fault too.

FIrst, I mis-read my own plans and cut a dado in the wrong place.  Two, actually, but only one will show and not much at that.  I’ve repaired this, it’s annoying but not the end of the world.  The other problem is that the sides of the case are bowed in slightly.  I haven’t figured out what’s causing that, but it’s got to be something I did.  Maybe some inaccuracy some where.  My first guess was the back was too narrow, but I checked that and it was OK.  The case is square corner-to-corner, which is good.  I’m concerned that the bow in the sides might make it tough to put doors on it.  One step at a time.  Given how big this case is, maybe I should have made it out of 1″ ply.

Here is my mistake.  I put this dado in the wrong spot and didn’t discover it until I had the case glued up.  So I glued in an off cut, and glued in a spacer to support the end of that shelf.  Most of the patch will be hidden by the plane ramp, but it’s embarrassing and annoying.

WHOOOPS!

WHOOOPS!

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Tool Cabinet Design Tweaks

Improved Tool Cabinet Design

I slightly updated my tool cabinet design.  I needed the measurements for the dados for the rest of the internal dividers so I can cut the rest of the parts to size and plow the dados.  Once this is done (and after I buy another sheet of 1/2″ ply to re-make the back panel) I should be able to assemble the main case.

I added cubby dividers, which will be a loose fit so they can be repositioned as necessary.  I settled on 2.5″ spacing on those after measuring my tools.  All of my joinery planes will fit in either a 2.5″ space or a 5″ space.  I may end up making s small horizontal sub-divider to fit two block planes in one slot.  

I’m only using these between the joinery planes, not the moulding planes, to keep them from knocking into each other and to keep them from getting tangled together.  The cubby dividers will be 1/8″ MDF or Masonite.

Next time I sit down with Sketchup I’ll start figuring out the doors in more detail, and probably add in the drawer details too.  If you want to get the current Sketchup model you can download it here.

Improved Tool Cabinet Design

Improved Tool Cabinet Design

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Tiny Progress on the Giant Tool Cabinet

Two steps forward, one step back.

I re-cut the dados for the tongues — the joint that holds the sides together.  I measured everything and the dados were about .035″ too shallow overall.  I test fit the sides together and it all closed up nicely.

Then I cut a piece of 1/2″ ply for the back.  Somehow I cut it out of square.  I’m not completely used to the sliding table, and the miter gauge was slightly off — and slightly loose.  I made a series of test cuts until I was sure it was dialed in properly, although I’m not 100% confident I have the table itself adjusted exactly right.  It seems like it’s off about .030″ over the entire travel (about 6′), which seems pretty close — but it’s not 100%.  I’m scratching my head about the best way to get that dialed in properly.

Anyway, I’ll have pick up another sheet of 1/2″ ply tomorrow and re-make the back.  Then I can start fitting in the dividers and cutting more dados for the other shelves and cubbies.  I think this will start coming together more quickly now.  At least, that’s my theory.

Test Assembly

Test Assembly

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Groovy, Man

I know, it’s a sad pun.  But I made the dados for the internal dividers in the case sides tonight.  I’m glad to be able to make progress on this during the week, but it’s like 30 minutes at a shot, then I have to make dinner and review homework with my son.

Success with the new router jig!

Success with the new router jig!

The jig worked flawlessly, and the dados are exactly the right size.  I re-checked the space I need for my planes and saws to ensure this would hold everything.  It will, with room for maybe one or two more saws and one or two more large planes.  Plenty of room for joinery and molding planes.

Dados Cut In Case Sides

Dados Cut In Case Sides

I need to re-cut the corner joints, the 1/4″ dado for the tongue ended up too shallow on a couple of the corners.  I’m not sure how that happened as the other corners are OK.  I suspect that I didn’t hold the board tightly enough against the router table.  It will be easy enough to correct in my fractional bit of shop time after work.

Problem Joint

Problem Joint

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Hand Tool Cabinet Design Additions

Drawing stuff is easier than making stuff.

I needed to print out the layouts for the dados I need to cut into the plywood pieces for my hand tool cabinet, which is a real no-brainer compared to to getting the layout and cuts done accurately in real life.  With the new dado jig I made last night this should be pretty simple to do, and with a little luck and a decent tail wind I’ll get home from work with enough time to start cutting these.

Dado Layout

Dado Layout

While I had Sketchup fired up, I mocked up some dividers for drawers.  I think something like this would work OK.  Which means more dados of course.  I’m not sure what I’ll put in the drawers, but I’ll cross that bridge later.

Drawer Mockup

Drawer Mockup

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Quickie Dado Jig for My Router

I had an hour before I had to make dinner tonight, so I ducked into the shop to make a simple jig to help me cut the dados in the plywood case sides for my tool cabinet.  Nothing fancy.  I’m using a Freud undersized router bit made for this sort of thing.  But guess what?  It’s a tiny bit too undersized apparently as my 3/4″ plywood is a very tight fit into the groove.  Should I get a regular 3/4″ bit?  Maybe sand the face of the plywood along the edges?

I need a pair of side rabbit planes, but I’d be afraid to use them on plywood I suspect.

Simple Router Jig

Simple Router Jig

Just need a couple of clamps...

Just need a couple of clamps…

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Tool Cabinet, Baby Steps

I cut out the sides, top and bottom for my tool cabinet today, and started cutting the plethora of grooves that are required.

First off, I’m not impressed with the material.  I passed on the Home Depot plywood and bought some slightly more expensive birch ply at the lumber  yard.  It’s got voids.  Just not what I’d expected for $55 a sheet.  On the other hand, the stuff that was a notch up from this was $130 a sheet.

I used the scoring blade on my table saw for the first time.  It’s on a separate crank to raise it, and it has its own motor (and switch) so when I don’t need it I just lower it out of the way and leave it off.  It did a great job of cutting the plywood without any feathering or tear out.

First Use of the Scoring Blade

First Use of the Scoring Blade

I cut a 48″ long section off of each sheet and then cut two sides, a top and a bottom from those.  They all came out square and even.

Loaded and Ready to Cut

Loaded and Ready to Cut

I used the router table to cut the tongues on the top and bottom, and the receiving grooves in the sides.  I had to use a shoulder plane to tune up the fit, but they came out nice.  I also cut a dado for the back in all four parts.  I need to lay out the dados for the shelves and dividers, and needed to step back and think that through.  I’m still waiting for the dado insert for the saw to arrive from General Canada.  If it doesn’t come soonish I have an idea for a simple jig to make it easier to cut these with a router.

I’ll pick up some 1/8″ hardboard for the jig tomorrow just to be safe, and some more Mahogany for the sconce too.  I think I’ll have plenty of kindling next winter.

Tongue and Dados Cut

Tongue and Dados Cut

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Tool Cabinet – Main Cabinet Designed

Last night I re-modeled the hand tool cabinet idea I was playing with a few weeks ago.  It ended up looking pretty much the same, but I’ve adjusted the dimensions so that everything should fit properly.  The original Sketchup model was done as a single monolithic model — no components.  So I couldn’t easily figure out materials needs and the layout for parts.  This version is done properly, as a set of components with grooves for dados.  I did it all with nominal dimensions, not actual material thicknesses.  Don’t get me started, how hard would it be to make 3/4″ plywood actually be 3/4″ thick?  I tried to explain why wood is never the actual size that you buy to my 12 year old, and finally gave up.

The Sketchup model for this version is on the 3D Warehouse site here: Download Model Here

Everything here is made from 3/4″ ply except for the case back, which is 1/2″ ply.  The back will set in a groove offset 1/2″ from the rear of the case so there is room for a french cleat to hand this.  I need to add two doors, which will be 2″ deep plywood boxes to hang chisels and other small tools.  The drawer box will be a separate piece that will fit into the bottom space.  I thought about trying to layout grooves for the drawer dividers now, but I’m concerned about getting everything accurately lined up as it is.

Sketchup Model V2

Sketchup Model V2

The case corners are a tongue and dado joint.  THe tongue is 1/4″ x 1/4″.  Nothing fancy in the case, but I’d bet the glue up will be interesting given all of the parts that need to be lined up and clamped.

Tongue and Dado Corner Joint

Tongue and Dado Corner Joint

This looks like just the main box will use the better part of three sheets of plywood, two sheets of 3/4″ and one sheet of 1/2″.  I did a quick mockup of the doors, I’ll need to leave at least 1/8″ gap between them, maybe more, to allow them to swing open.   It’s not particularly fancy, but it will get my tools organized and put away.  Time to go cut some plywood.

Mockup With Doors

Mockup With Doors

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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.

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