Tool cabinets – Ideas (part 2)

I feel wholly inadequate. When you look at this cabinet you will as well:

Awesome tool chest

That’s just incredible. Seamless integration of hand and power tools in the same space. It’s just…astonishing the level of detail. Museum piece, if I must confess. Chisels, mallets, router bits, cordless drills, sanding sheets, planes, glues…it really is art.

Unfortunately I don’t have that skill as to this point. And more to the point, I don’t have a space for something like that. I certainly don’t have the ceiling height. But we don’t cry over what we don’t have here at the 144, we work with what we have.

What we have is some hand tools that need to find a permanent, and organized home. I touched on this a very short time ago, but sometimes I feel the need to repeat myself to make sense of it. I have five planes currently, three regular smoother planes, a jack plane, and a block plane. I plan to add a jointer plane, and some smaller planes like a rabbet and a shoulder. What we need to plan around is the bigger planes. A #7 is 22″ long, so we work based on that for our longest dimension. I think the widest planes are 3″ wide or less. That’s 15-17″ for the long planes, given spacers. I’ll get that down to a more exact number the next time I’m in the shop. I’ll be slightly guessing at the dimensions for the jointer plane, but as long as I don’t permanently attach the spacer right next to it, I’ll have a few eighths to work with. If it happens to be the same width as my other ones, all the bonus for me. Grabbing the plane totes shouldn’t be a big deal even with a small divider.

The angle of the backer board needs to be figured out, and I’m not entirely sure what that will be at this point. I’ll have to mock something up and see what kind of depth we are looking at for the totes. Off the top of my head I don’t think I’ll need anything more than about 10-15º. The only thing I don’t want is my cabinet being a foot deep, or having a huge amount of wasted space behind it. I want that space not to be missed. The smaller planes will be easily accommodated around the bigger ones. I’m not concerned about that. Only concern would be how to attach any short shelves. A sliding dovetail wouldn’t work because I wouldn’t be able to slide it in if it was truly stopped.

All of this is in the main body of the cabinet. I would have to mock things up before I know what other room I have left in the body for stuff like squares, gauges, and other stuff like that. I think I want two sets of chisels on one door, and my files and carving tools on the other.


I know that this won’t be the last tool cabinet I ever build, because I’ll eventually pick up more tools like braces that I won’t be able to plan for right now. But that’s okay. The main thing is to find a good home for my planes, primarily, before the Holtzapffel build begins. Can’t build something that big with stuff lying around.

I took some pictures yesterday of current problem areas that I’ll hit upon either in the next entry, or the one after that if I share some preliminary saw till ideas.

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