The Fine Woodworking Hanging Tool Cabinet – Part I

This is a project I have had my eye on for ages. In fact, I’ve had the DVD on how to do this for a few years, but I can’t exactly remember when or where I purchased. It predates all my Festool gear, I believe. Well, I finally got started on it, but it is taking quite a while.

I don’t think I planned on this starting at the beginning of a month, but on September first I drove to my nearest Woodcraft and found some big Ash boards that would fit my needs. This cost a tad over $100 for all three boards. I also figured out for perhaps the second time in the 16 years we have had this car that the back seats slightly recline if needed.

I decided that I would take this project as an opportunity to work on my hand tool skills, a decision I actually made all that time ago. Which probably explains why it took years to try and do. The first step was to mark all the pieces out for the case, and mill them up. This is just after that process. I tried to select the straightest grains and I matched where the doors and cabinet match up.

Next it was time to start working on the dovetails which hold everything together. I bought a set of dovetail markers to lay them out, but after that it was all manual work. (also had a bit of a bow in one of the door pieces that I was trying to get out)

This was done with my Veritas dovetail saw, and chisels. Next it was time to work on the pins, and I used my small router to take care of most of the waste. This unfortunately had some errors. It also made a right mess, which I saved a lot of for the inevitable filling I would need to do.

The fit was pretty decent, just a bit of finessing to get those in. The square tenons for the shelf were a different story. Or should I say the error manifested on the mortises. I blew out the back sides a bit, which unfortunately were on the show faces.

I got one end it to make it look like this and it sat this way for about a month while I worked on the set project and other things. I recently got the other side mortised out, and was able to get the cabinet together for a dry fit. There was a bit of racking that I had to get out with a couple of clamps when I was fitting the panel.

The back panel is two pieces of 1/2″ plywood, cut on an angle to form a French cleat. I was able to glue everything together and use a bit of the scrap/dust to get the dovetails and through tenons looking better. First two pics are before/after. I might can still do a bit better on the tenons.

Where I’m at now is that I’ve gotten the cabinet hung on the wall, and I’m starting to get the inside sorted out to begin with. I will also still have to make the doors, which will wait until my next trip to Rockler to get more quality plywood.

I’ve done some moving around since I don’t need the old plane till anymore, it is now going to be used for general storage and the finish cabinet that was above the miter saw traded places.

To be continued. I will have to sort out how all these chisels are going to fit as well.


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