Tool Cabinet and Surround
Comments 4

New Project: Tool Cabinet and Surround

Curb appeal for my workshop - the proposed tool cabinet.

Curb appeal for my workshop – the proposed tool cabinet.

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…

Note the lower storage area of my tool cabinet.

Note the lower storage area of my tool cabinet.

My tool cabinet, water heater and furnace behind my assembly table.

My tool cabinet, water heater and furnace behind my assembly table.

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.

Much better!

Much better!

Not shown are the cut outs needed for my furnace duct work.

Not shown are the cut outs needed for my furnace ducting.

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…

A future addition: hidden drawers.

A future addition: hidden drawers.

The Plan
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…

Upgraded with panelling and new stair parts.

Upgraded with panelling and new stair parts.

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!

Go to my next post in this series by clicking here.

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4 Comments

  1. Jane Branch Bell says

    Very exciting and as big as a project as this may seem, I can see you knocking it out. Love the Sketchup renderings!

    • Thanks Jane – I want to really tackle this project, get after it, be aggressive (can you tell football season has started?).

      This project was 100% designed using SketchUp, so that means at one point I had five different versions of it. The design took about a week to complete. I used Adobe’s Kuler site to come up with the green color. Very cool that SketchUp can create very specific colors.

  2. Jeff, this will be a great project, and I know you’ll really enjoy having an attractive workspace. Can’t wait to see it progress.

    • Joe, thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes, it will be much more attractive. I bought some supplies yesterday to get started on it. I’ll have a brief update next weekend.

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