Posts Tagged With: Sketchup

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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Dreaming About Hand Tool Cabinets

As I’m coming down the home stretch on getting my new shop space operational I’m thinking about projects I want to start, and details I want to improve to make my new space more efficient.

When you could buy a chest with tools

When you could buy a chest with tools

My current “system” for organizing my hand tools is a pair of roll-around utility carts.  It’s not ideal, but is a huge improvement over my previous “system”.  Which was, to have them piled on my welding bench, until I needed to weld something.  Then I would move them all onto my bandsaw, until I needed to cut something, when I would move them back.  Downsides of the roll-around carts are they waste floor space and catch dust.  It’s also just a glorified (albeit mobile) pile.

I had planned to build a Schrawzian tool chest to store my hand tools — and I probably will still build one just for fun.  There are two downsides, for me, to the Anarchist’s Tool Chest:  The first is that it takes up floor space which I never seem to have enough of — and I do have available wall space in the new shop.  The second downside to the traditional tool chest is self-inflicted.  I don’t think it will hold all of my tools.  It’s my fault because I have more tools than is perhaps necessary.  No one needs one of every size Stanley plane, but I like tools and don’t want to get rid of any just to fit everything into a tool chest.  My bad.

I’ve been doing my homework on designing a wall-mounted chest for storing my hand tools.  There are loads of designs floating around, here are the things that I need to think about to come up with a good solution:

First, I need to fit any design into my available wall space.  In particular, the cabinets need to be located near my workbench, which is going to be along the back wall where the generator and blacksmithing power hammer currently live.  I also need to build a doghouse for the generator so it can live outside, but that’s another story.  I have a good 50″ width to the right of the window — even allowing for trimming out the window — by 48″ tall (or more).  Just guessing, that’s way more space than I need for my planes.  In fact, I could probably fit my planes, saws and chisels all in that space.  I also have room to the left of the window for a 24″ wide cabinet, with space to spare, between the outlet and the dust collector.

Back Wall, The Workbench WIll Go Under The Window

Back Wall, The Workbench WIll Go Under The Window

Second, I need to make the design fit the tools I need to store.  I’ve looked at a number of tool cabinets that are beautiful, but when you open them the tools don’t really fit nicely.  Either it’s crammed, or sparsely filled or just inefficiently used.  To my eye a tool cabinet needs to look full and make good use of space.  The tools need to fit in neatly.  Here are the planes I’ve accumulated, I also have a dozen or so moulding planes.  And, this will surprise you, I plan to add more.  I’ve got a few odd hollow and round planes that I’ve picked up piecemeal.  They need to be sharpened (some need to be re-ground because the blade doesn’t match the profile).  I’d like to get a proper set (well, matched and ready to go half set).

Pile-o-planes

Pile-o-planes

Stack-o-Saws

Stack-o-Saws

Just eyeballing this, it looks like the planes and saws will fit comfortably in the space to the right of the window, even if all I do is a simple open till.  I need to als fit in my chisels, layout tools and other odds and ends.

Which brings me to design and construction.  Designs can range from (relatively) simple open tills like this.

Open TIll Example

Open TIll Example

To Fancy cabinets, which is my inclination.

Fancy Tool Cabinet c1900

Fancy Tool Cabinet c1900

I like the style on this one, but the way it’s set up for storage isn’t adequate.  I’m not sure having a lot of drawers is the right thing for me either.  Drawers tend to accumulate junk.

Fine Woodworking Tool Cabinet

Fine Woodworking Tool Cabinet

I like the “ramped” plane till in this one, as well as the galley for smaller planes below.  But look on top — tools that don’t fit.

Michael Pekovich' Tool Cabinet

Michael Pekovich’ Tool Cabinet

The last consideration is material and construction techniques.  I like the idea of a case with lots of nice had work details made out of solid wood.  But at the same time, I want to move on to other projects beyond setting up the shop.  Planks or Plywood?  I need to think on that one some more.

 

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