Tool Cabinet and Surround
Comments 20

New Tool Cabinet: 99% Complete

Our washer and dryer are located in the basement. Today, my wife asked me to take a load of clothes downstairs and put them in the washer, a job she despises. “OK, I’ll do it” was my reply. I take the basket of clothes downstairs and get the washer going and then I walk over to my workshop area and admire my new tool cabinet. The task my wife hates is no big deal for me because I can take in the view of my shop and my current project, a new tool cabinet, nearing completion in all it’s cherry and curly maple glory.

These last couple of weeks has been exciting; it always is as a project nears completion. And that is where I am; nearly there, nearly complete. The tool cabinet itself is finished, but I have a few more things related to the cabinet which I want to finish before I can officially move on.

Since my last update on the tool cabinet, I have completed the following…

FIRST – There was a small gap between the top of the tool cabinet and the stairs. Small, but I knew it was there and it bugged me.

I added shims between the casters and the cabinet case, effectively raising the cabinet and closing the gap, but I purposely added larger shims than need be. I wanted the cabinet too tall so I could roll it in place and scribe a line creating a perfect match with the slope of the stair case.

Making a track for my DW621 plunge router.

Making a track for my DW621 plunge router.

Almost perfect fit.

Almost perfect fit.

I grabbed a few pieces of scrap plywood and created a track which would allow me to line up the track edge (and router bit cutting edge) with my scribe line and after multiple passes with my router, I got the perfect angle which matches the stairs. This worked really well, even though working with the cabinet on my shop floor is not ideal. I have two sets of Becksvoort designed saw horses. I need the last in the set he designed which is about 1 1/2′ tall; would have been perfect.

SECOND – Create the little cove moulding needed to separate the upper and lower cabinet drawers. See the SketchUp images below…

Note the little cove moulding creating a shadow between the upper and lower sets of drawers.

Note the little cove moulding creating a shadow between the upper and lower sets of drawers.

Cove moulding close-up.

Cove moulding close-up.

This little piece of moulding is meant to visually break the symmetrical look of the lower drawers with the upper off-center drawers. I make this cove moulding at the router table.

I need to use this router table more. Love it.

I need to use this router table more. Love it.

Cove moulding complete with burn marks.

Cove moulding complete with burn marks.

This operation went well except for the burn marks. I’m using an old bit. Never tried to sharpen a router bit before. This moulding was added to the cabinet using glue and clamps.

THIRD – The drawers need a guide to keep them from tipping down when being pulled out. This is easy in theory, but getting them attached properly was a challenge.

Upper drawer guides notched to fit into web frames.

Upper drawer guides notched to fit into web frames.

FOURTH – The only thing left to do: add the top, attach the back and start sanding. Sanding is a little no fun. I do like the look of wood sanded to a dull, dusty look. Once I added the top and back, I started sanding at 150 grit, moved to 180 and 220.

The top in place.

The top in place.

Using my orbital sander on the face frame.

Using my orbital sander on the face frame.

I power sanded using 150 grit and everything else was accomplished by hand. I removed dust using a tac cloth and then applied finish.

Waiting game - waiting for the finish to dry.

Waiting game – waiting for the finish to dry.

I colored some shellac with golden brown TransTint and used that as a first coat of finish on the drawer fronts. I then sanded most of this away allowing the curl in the maple to maintain some of the color (popping the grain). I then began a process of adding satin wipe-on Minwax polyurethane. I got three coats on the drawer fronts and the face frame sanding with 320 grit paper between coats.

THE RESULT…

Love the curly maple and cherry color.

Love the curly maple and cherry color.

The depth of the curl in the cherry is not to be believed.

The depth of the curl in the maple is not to be believed.

Drawers all turned out well, solid construction all around.

Drawers all turned out well, solid construction all around.

Wow!

Wow!

I am totally humbled by how well this project turned out. I have some more work to do like finish the false wall to the right of the cabinet which I’ll do before I move to my next project. I need to add some organizers to the drawers; I envision some slender strips of wood to do this. I suspect all this work will take a couple more weeks or so.

* * * * *

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).

20 Comments

    • What he said! 🙂
      Fabulous job – very impressive (also, your stamina is amazing, it’s been a long time in the making and you’ve kept at it, seemingly without losing interest.. how do you do that?!)

      • Well, I sort of did loose interest over the summer, but I am just a slow woodworker. This past year saw several major events happen to our family, all of which are OK, but woodworking had to take a back seat for much of the year. Thanks for the compliment and the comment.

  1. Stevie Stutts says

    Nice job Jeff. I’m glad to see you used shellac sealer followed with wipe-on poly. This has been my favorite finish for several years. Have you used Enviro-Var water based varnish. I am thinking of using it on my cherry Craftsman Style Rocking Chair that I have almost completed. Great project, that curly maple really POPS!!!

    • No on the Enviro-Var. I’ll read up on it. I am a fan of wipe on poly due to the ease of application and results. Plus I had a left over can from a previous project. 🙂

  2. Ray Dunn says

    What a fine job…great idea for space savinh and utility..also glad you help the wife

  3. Bob Christenson says

    Can you show the details on your guides to stop the drawers from tipping when pulled out?

    • Let’s see if I can do this from my cell phone.

      In this image, you can see the slender pieces of wood attached near top of the drawer openings. These slender strips of wood limit the up and down movement of the drawer backs. Does that help? I should have included this photo in the blog post, but I did not like how it turned out.

  4. Pingback: Designing the Modern Kitchen Cupboard | Jeff Branch Woodworking

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