This is a project I have contemplated doing for more than two years: a new tool cabinet and wall surround. And it will be a major project; one broken up into three segments with an anticipated construction time of at least a year.
My new tool cabinet and wall surround is the next step in my workshop renovation. Step one was the construction of a new router table; step two was building a miter saw stand. I completed these projects first, so I could have these items in place to help with the tool cabinet and wall surround.
The goals associated with this project are:
- Improve the organization of my shop
- Improve tool storage
- Provide a more pleasing work environment
Because this project will include an upgrade to the stairs leading to my workshop, there is an improved safety element as well.
The Existing Set-up
First lets take a look at the before photos…
Even when cleaned up, my workshop looks like a mess. As I take photos of the things I am building, I have found myself trying to get camera angles which avoid the stuff behind my assembly table: my old tool cabinet with its aged, wild grained plywood; our water heater and our furnace to include the related pipes and tubing. I made reference above to the open area of my tool cabinet – various tools lay there open to the elements like sawdust; something to correct with my new cabinet.
You might ask why this is necessary? After all, what I have is in fact a basement workshop. Such things like a furnace are expected. True, but I want to add more photos to the woodworking plans I create and I want to do more guest blog posts elsewhere on the internet, and a nice backdrop for my photos is needed.
Plus, there is the benefit of simply having a better atmosphere in which to build things. I hope that building items in a nice environment will help me get my creative juices flowing as I begin a project.
The New Design
I have been working on the design for the past week and as you might expect, I created a SketchUp model for it. Having a model was especially helpful with the stair components. As you will see in an illustration below, I had to design the stair upgrades so that the stairway itself did not become too narrow.
The cabinet will be made of cherry and tiger maple. It will have two large drawers at the bottom, eight smaller ones in the middle (all graduated drawers) and then a separate area above with three drawers.
A future project will enable me to make the most of the available space under the stairs – two hidden drawers for even more storage space…
Segment One: I’ll have to frame the wall surround with 2 x 4s and then skin it with either 3/8 or 1/4 inch plywood. I’ll then add 3/4 plywood rails and stiles to create the panels. The panels will get trimmed out with 1/4 round molding and then I’ll add a nice base board to the wall.
Segment Two: The stair upgrades will be next – the design is based on my foyer renovation I completed many years ago…
Segment Three: The tool cabinet will be built, and it is very possible that the tool cabinet design will change a little between now and then. I don’t expect any major design changes.
There you have it – the vision for my next project. It is a big one!
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