Now boarding

My mantra for the shop right now is that it’s organization or nothing. I can’t spend any money or undertake any projects right now that don’t lead to better organization or finding more room. I spent a little money the last few days picking up some router bit storage units. As the router table pretty much is gone for the time being, I utilized an empty drawer under the miter saw to store them temporarily.

The other thing that caught my eye was a book of shop storage solutions, because it contained an image of a cabinet I saw earlier that same day. It was part of a modular cabinet system, and what drew my attention in particular was a very simple looking set of angled shelves to hold planes and chisels. I liked the simplicity of the entire system, and thought I would finally give my planes a permanent home.

It’s a simple box, put together with butt joints and screws, and the two shelves sit on angled cleats. The shelves themselves have top and bottom lips. I was able to put this together in a day with 3/4″ plywood I had lying around, so this project, minus the cost of the book, was completely free aside from my time. I even went a step further and banded the exposed plywood edges on the front, which is something I don’t normally bother with. I think this one is a keeper. I drilled some holes for magnets to register the planes, and glued them in with what I had, Titebond II. Epoxy is usually recommended. If the glue isn’t strong enough the magnets will come out, I’ll clean them and the hole up and do it with the epoxy. I’m going to cover the plywood on the shelf with felt, and if the magnets come out immediately I may consider a 1/4″ plywood cover as well. However I don’t want to diminish the holding capability of the magnets too much. I think I will also add hardwood dividers to separate the planes.

For the top shelf, I’m not exactly sure what I’ll store there. I could put measuring tools there like a square, but that stuff could easily go in a chisel rack. The shelf is too short to store chisels. I suppose I could put shoulder planes or spokeshaves there once I acquire them.

What I really like about this build is that I could replace the shelves at any time should I outgrow it’s intended purpose and use a pure plane till. I know I will be buying more planes in the future, particularly I need a #6 or #7 which will be too big for this.

I think next up will be to see if I have enough scrap to make a saw till to accompany this. It’s not extremely fancy, but it was easy and cheap. Right now that’s two high priorities.


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