The finish cabinet

When I looked at project to do a few weeks ago, right at the top of my list was making a series of smaller cabinets to replace the large cabinet I have over my workbench. Why? Well, it’s pretty hard to handle putting up on the wall, it has a hardboard back, and takes up quite a bit of room.

The big reason though was I needed a better way to store my finish supplies. The big cabinet swallows them up on the top shelf, and more importantly I have no way of bringing the finishes inside once the temperature gets down to around freezing.

That’s right, the inside of my shop does get below freezing from time to time.

I decided on a 32mm system cabinet, and it would serve as the template to create others along all the walls in my shop. I have almost everything I need to create the cabinets, aside from a 35mm bit to make the door cup hinges. Calculating the length of the components is easy – just multiples of 32mm. I knew I wanted the cabinet to be about two feet tall, and the closest 32x length was 608mm. The depth of the cabinet in total is right about 15″, and the width is right at the same. These numbers would create very repeatable cabinets that are easily measured. I’m thinking of having one over the miter saw that is flipped on it’s side, which will require slightly different measurements for the side of the cabinet to fit 32mm. It’s a one-off, though. Or at least it should be.

Back to the cabinet at hand. I had expected to have to buy sheets of plywood to start these, but I had enough scrap on hand to get started. The sides of the cabinet are sides of an old cabinet, the old miter saw/series of drawers stand I had ages ago. I was saving these large cutoffs for a good reason, and this is as good as any. The top and bottom came from scraps that were under the miter saw – double bonus. The rear came from plywood scrap located under the workbench. While I most likely don’t have enough long pieces now to make another cabinet right now, this one is time-sensitive.

I ripped down the plywood scraps on the table saw, because the pieces were too big to do on the MFT. I ripped a clean edge, then turned it around and got the opposite side. Once they were down to the about 15″ depth, they could be trimmed top and bottom on the MFT. Same thing went for the top, bottom and back. I actually forgot I needed the back until later, but it didn’t hurt. I was going to then rout the 5mm shelf holes, but decided I wanted to try something different. I had that 5/4 cherry that had been languishing on the wall rack since spring, so I decided to use one of the boards that hasn’t been planed down to 4/4 depth yet. I used the table saw again to rip 1/2″ thick strips that I then used to edge all four pieces of the box. The minor blade marks still left on the cherry I will clean up with the sander and card scraper or plane. I’ll get it flush with the sides with the plane or the router.IMG_20151114_143119761

That’s where the project is right now. Tomorrow I hope to get the edging all cleaned up, some edge banding applied to the top and bottom edges of the sides. Then it will be time to rout the 32mm holes, Dominos to put it all together, and fit the back properly.

I don’t know if I’ll get shelves done tomorrow, or the door, but those aren’t quite as important. On the back I will attach a french cleat so that it can easily come off the shop wall and onto a wall inside my house. There, the finish can reside in comfort at a minimum of 60°. I have an idea for the door, which I’ll explain next time.


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