Moravian Workbench, Workbench, Workshop
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A Moroubian Tool Cabinet, Part 1

So, my workbench has a Moravian style base and a Roubo split top; I therefore now call this a Moroubian workbench. Because I need to build a clamp rack to hang all the new clamps I bought to build my Moroubian bench, I first need to get rid of my old tool cabinet, which is where my new clamp rack will go. I still have a few items in my old tool cabinet, so I need to build the Moroubian tool cabinet to gain the last bit of storage space needed prior to moving my old tool cabinet out of the shop. In short, I need to build this new workbench cabinet so I can organize all my new clamps.

The design for this tool cabinet has changed a lot over the years. The original design had 18 drawers (18!!!); there was a version which had eight doors and no drawers, and one design which had just six drawers. Now I have made up my mind and have nailed down the design, so to speak. The cabinet will have six drawers on the front and six more facing the back.

The final design.

Because this cabinet will sit on just the front and rear stretchers with no center support (lengthwise), I designed the cabinet to gain strength by making it like a big I beam with a center divider joining the top and bottom via dadoes. A rabbet joint at the top and bottom of the sides completes the rigid design. Even more, the individual drawer dividers fit into the center divider via long slots. Take a look…

The design; quarter-sawn oak and plywood.

Some drawers sized specifically to keep items like screws, nails and nuts close at hand.

I began construction by cutting the case components to size and added joinery…

The basic case on my assembly bench being checked for fit.

Precision panel cutting with my Norm style cross-cut sled.

Adding notches in the center divider.

Fitting the drawer dividers.

The tool cabinet beginning to take shape.

Note how the cabinet drawers will be accessible from both sides.

I could not be more pleased with a plywood cabinet. My panel cutting sled allowed me to make precision, square cuts taking off 1/32″ if need be (it helps that I have a new blade in my table saw). The fit with the notches for the central structure went very well and the case is very sturdy with just screws and no glue. So I’m off to a very good start. 🙂

Up next: I’ll add drawer slides and get final dimensions for the drawer boxes and begin making the 12 drawers which will include nice quarter-sawn white oak fronts.

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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).


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