November update to Hanging Tool Cabinet

  • Posted on: 30 November 2012
  • By: Jay Oyster
Parent Project: 

So, I'm back with another installment in my ongoing series: Adventures in Amateur Woodworking Mediocrity.  It's been a while.  

As a dad of two young boys, and a basement workshop in which anything louder than a pin-drop will wake up the younger one from his nap or sleep faster than you can say, "Honey, can you come here, I need some help!" . . . grabbing time to complete anything is a challenge.

Recently, I had mentioned some projects I've done attempting to improve my capabilities in the shop . . . an outfeed table for the table saw, a chop saw station, that sort of thing.  I swore I wasn't going to be the kind of woodworker who spends all of his time working on his shop, rather than building things for other uses . . . yet, here I am, smack dab in the middle of a project list filled with shop improvement projects. It's frustrating, but that's where I am. It drives my wife a bit crazy, since she loses me for hours on end, but isn't getting any nice new furniture out of it.  I hope she can be patient for just a bit longer.

You see, I have this list.   I'm sure I'm not the only one. My woodworking projects list is currently 55 items long. And up until recently, I had 12 projects going at once. So for the past month or so, I've just been trying to complete the things I've already started. 

Last night, I finished (I'll call it finished) a project I started 853 days ago.     (The effort to organize my shop has been going on for awhile.) I decided back then to build a wall-mounted tool cabinet, based on the one described in Fine Woodworking issue #188. The article was by Jan Zoltowski, and it described a large plywood box with finger joints at the corners and french cleats on the back. I got the box built and the basics of the inside done in only a few weeks. But then I got sidetracked. And I became amazed at how much time it takes to build all of the little tool holders inside one of these beasts. So I've split it into two projects: the cabinet, and the tool fixtures. I finally finished the cabinet last night.  The fixtures is an ongoing effort that will likely continue for years, knowing me.

The Finishment? (my word, TM)  Just adding facing doors to cover the ugly plywood that made up the front of the cabinet, and painted the inside doors so that adding tool fixtures to the inside of the doors can continue. Part of the problem was that I couldn't figure out how to cover up these big swaths of plywood without adding lots of weight to the doors, and I didn't want to try to veneer in situ. The cabinet was up and being used, so I needed a bolt-on solution. So I built a pair of mortise-and tenon door panels, with a 1/4" (less, really) thick birch plywood panel installed in a rabbet at the rear. This, I then screwed to the door from the back. It's nice to finally have handles, I have to say.

I did manage to add a few tool fixtures for my combination squares, my good rule, and a cute little folding rule my Dad left me.  Knowing where my combination squares are is a-MAZINGly useful.  So, the outside of the cabinet is done. Project #60, check. finshed, initially started on August 1st, 2010.  And now I only have 8 projects open. I'm gettin' there.