Tool Cabinet and Surround
Comments 9

New Tool Cabinet: Final Design

After some extensive SketchUp work this weekend, I have the final design of the new tool cabinet completed. There is always the chance that some minor changes will be made in the future, but I don’t expect many changes.

I was able to use the full size drawing seen in my last post to help zero in on an accurate representation in SketchUp, then I went to work creating all the case structure and drawers and drawer guides. Take a look…

The tool cabinet minus the wall surround.

The tool cabinet minus the wall surround.

Remember that I want the ability to roll the tool cabinet out-of-the-way to do work on our mechanical systems (like the water heater) which are located adjacent to where the tool cabinet will be.

The face frame will actually extend beyond what you see above to give me the ability to lock the cabinet in place with screws. If I need to remove the tool cabinet, I’ll just back out the screws which will enable me to move the tool cabinet.

The tool cabinet without the drawers and back.

The tool cabinet without the drawers and back.

In the image above you can see the extensive SketchUp work completed to get all the web frames and plywood cross members in place. I’ll be using a combination of dadoes and screws to attach the cross members.

I'll use metal drawer slides for the bottom two drawers (I did not create the metal slides; got those from the 3D Warehouse).

I’ll use metal drawer slides for the bottom two drawers (I did not create the metal slides or the casters; got those from the 3D Warehouse).

Note the drawer runners.

Note the drawer runners.

A view from the back showing the use of web frames.

A view from the back showing the use of web frames.

Another view without drawer runners and drawer slides showing the structure of the cabinet.

Another view without drawer runners, slides and face frame showing the structure of the cabinet.

If you look closely, I have plywood for the top and bottom and also two cross members which will be dadoed into the sides. The web frames will be screwed in place.

Now I can confidently go out and start buying plywood for the case. I have a lot on my schedule today, but my hope is to do at least a little woodworking today.

* * * * *

Have a question or comment about this post? Leave me a comment below; but I also like email. Use my contact form to send me an email (click here).

This entry was posted in: Tool Cabinet and Surround


During the week, I sell flooring products for The Dixie Group. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.


  1. Hi Jeff,

    This tool cabinet looks awesome! Is it your plan to (a) make yours stationary within the staircase, or (b) allow the moulding around the staircase to open to remove the cabinet occassionally?

    Great work in Sketchup!


    • Brian, thanks for the SketchUp compliment. This was a lot of work, but making such a detailed model helps me work out construction ideas.

      What the model does not show is the face frame will be two inches wider on the left side and across the bottom. I don’t have as much room on the top or right side. I’ll use this extra space to drive screws through the back of the face frame and into the green boards on the left side. I have a 2 x 4 in the way on the right side, so I’ll add some boards to the right side of the cabinet side to provide a way to attach the right side to the 2 x 4. Also, the opposite side of the stair case is open so I can gain access to do all of this.

      So the answer is that 99% of the time the tool cabinet will be stationary. But I have already had to dis-assemble the wall surround twice to facilitate maintenence on our furnace, so I am planning mobility on this cabinet just in case I need to move it.

      To see the wall surround and how it was designed to be removable, see this photo:

      Thanks for the comment.


  2. I have embarked upon a cupboard and decided to make a very detailed drawing. The time it takes seems inordinately long, however the errors that one can see is quite remarkable. The next issue is to stick to that drawing and dimensions, that is the task, because there is always a discrepancy whether it be thickness of a handy pieces of wood or sequencing, access or “Oh you are doing it that way are you?” that stuffs ups best laid plans.
    I saw a very good Sketchup YouTube by a Jeff Bates woodworker as to how he quickly draws and sets up his cutting layout very good, though his drawings were not as complex as your’s or mine

    Where did you get the detail of the runners?

    • Mark,

      Yes, I worked on this SketchUp model for quite a while yesterday, but by doing so, I was able to contemplate which joinery method would be best, etc. So as you say, errors will be minimized.

      Jay Bates is a very good SketchUp user. I take my models to a higher level of detail, but Jay has some very good tips which make SketchUp easier. I watch just about all of his SketchUp videos.

      The drawer slides and casters were downloaded from SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse. For more, go here:

      Thanks for the comment.


  3. Manuel Driggs says

    I love this project! Thank you Mr. Branch for sharing your designing process. This is priceless!!! = )

  4. Awesome design, Jeff!

    I love that it is customized to be built in and to fit into a specific location. I also love how you designed it to be “permanent”, but removable. Wonderful.


  5. tychoandmarie says

    Clever design! I can’t wait to see how this turns out. I’m thinking of doing something similar in my kitchen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s