New shop cabinets

So, these aren’t ready to be built yet, but I needed to figure out some storage dimensions so I could then start looking at this project. I need a fairly small, lightweight cabinet so I could bring in finishes during the winter. It needs to be strong, because I’ll be carrying to and fro the shop at least twice a year. It needs to be compact, because I don’t want to bang it on any door frames. It also needs to look good, because it will be hanging in our house over each winter.

Now, the thing is, if I can find a size that works with the finish needs, plus works with other stuff in the shop, I could batch quite a few of them out at the same time, and all be the same size so they look good together. The should have doors, and the doors should be able to hold stuff on the inside if needed. I figure I’ll have adjustable shelves via the LR32 system, and raised panel (maybe) doors on cup hinges.

The first thing I need to figure out is what dimensions I need for the finishes. Each standard quart can is just under 4.5″ in diameter, and about 5″ high. So, interior width needs to be on multiples of 4.5″, to allow for them to slide out. Since I’ll be using a Euro design, the math will be simple. I was thinking a 9″ interior width, but that seems small. Either 13.5″ or 18″ wide. That’s where things get tricky: 18″ wide holds more cans, but more cans equals a heavier and wider cabinet. I’m leaning 13.5:, which with 3/4″ plywood equals a 15″ wide cabinet. Works for me. With the slight difference between listed and actual height of the plywood, I’ll gain a touch more room for maneuvering the cans around. I like it.

With a 15″ cabinet, I can fit three standard quarts across. Same for the ‘tall’ quarts, which are a rectangular design and are 7.5″ high with the cap. BLO and mineral spirits are among the cans I have in that variety. Those are right at or just over 4.5″ wide, so I’m not exactly sure that three will fit across. However, because they are thinner along the other dimension, I’d probably arrange those that way and it wouldn’t matter. Less digging behind for cans. For the depth, again we need to look at multiples of 4.5 or so. I don’t want a deep cabinet at all for these, so I’m thinking of around a 14″ depth.

Wait, that’s not a multiple of 4.5″, right? It’s close enough. Besides, I am not planning on stacking quarts three deep. I’ll go two deep, with room to keep a couple things mounted on the back of the door, plus the depth of the back panel. I figure 14″ total depth will be enough to mount the Gluebot on the door, plus perhaps the wood filler or something else. Glue needs to come in when it freezes, not sure about the filler. Never hurts to be safe, though. Back of the door would be a handy spot for the Gulf Wax, what I use for plane lubrication. 14″ might be cutting it a bit too close with a hidden French cleat attachment, so I reserve the right to bump that up to 14.5 or 15, whichever plays better with layout.

So, the last dimension to determine is height. I know I need one shelf that will hold 7.75″ for the tall quarts. I know I need at least one shelf for the standard quarts, which would be 5.25-5.5″. That puts me at only around 13″ high plus actual shelf height. Let’s go with one more standard height which puts it at about 18.5″. Add in an upper and lower cabinet side, and two shelves, and we are at 21.5″. Let’s go for an even 24″, which gives me just a little bit of wiggle room, plus some room to store some green scuff pads at the bottom, if I choose.

To summarize, the outer dimensions of the cabinet are 15×24, with a depth of probably 15″. I can’t think of much that wouldn’t fit in that size cabinet, including my turning shields. Now, the final dimensions aren’t exactly true, because we need to use the 32mm standard to work well with the LR32 system. For that, our height will actually be 606mm (divisible by 32) which is 23.85″, or close enough. The width and the depth aren’t as important to stick to the 32mm multiples. What you’re really doing is making sure the door hinges and adjustable shelf holes are right. Since we aren’t making holes go front to back, nor left to right, it’s irrelevant. Make it to the width that is best for you. The front holes will be 37mm back and the rear on another multiple of 32, so it would be ready for drawer slides if needed.

Construction will be butt joints with the Domino. No need to get real fancy with the dado stack. The weight of the cabinet will be carried on the sides and the back, which will be attached with multiple tenons. I haven’t decided if I’ll go easy with edge banding or hit the front with hardwood for a more upscale touch.

I’m not doing a Sketchup for this, as it’s a simple box cabinet. As for when this will take place, it will be soon – before the cold sets in, for sure. I have to see if I have the scrap plywood around to get it together, and if that will be suitable/obtainable for the remainder of the cabinets. I also need to perhaps make two at once to replace the big cabinet currently on the wall.

So, what other cabinets do I need? This one is for the finishes and glue that can be brought in. I also need one for safety gear. My respirators need a permanent home, along with my hearing protection. I measured the respirators and they will fit in this size cabinet absolutely no problem. I could even go down to about 10″ interior width. The safety glasses would be in here, along with my first aid kit on the backside of the door for easy access. There would be a bit more room available, so I’m not sure what else would go in.

I need a turning cabinet, so there’s another. The accessories, the shields would all fit just fine. I could embed magnets in the door to hold the wrenches. I could even make a cabinet to hold my saw blades, roll-out style. It would be plenty deep enough, even to hold the two 12″ blades I have. That one could be quite a bit thinner, but I have no immediate need for it. I’ll need one more cabinet at least to hold the remaining items from the huge cabinet. I’d have to see if one would be wide enough to store the planes in.

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