Moravian Workbench
Comments 6

A Moroubian Tool Cabinet, Part 3

I want you guys to know that I have been doing some serious woodworking the past three weekends. No SketchUp (well, not much) – all woodworking. Except for cutting the grass and painting my garage doors; going to church. I guess it has been mostly woodworking on the weekends. Like most of the day woodworking; as in woodworking in the morning, eating lunch and then more woodworking after lunch (oh, and there is the all important weekend nap – I did that too). It has been a long time since I have had this much shop time. It felt good, like I was a woodworking spider monkey. And I’m getting to that phase of construction where the project gets exciting which is pretty cool.

I ended the last post in this series with the front drawers for my workbench tool cabinet installed minus what I call their drawer faces. In this post, I’ll simply repeat the same process for the drawers accessed from the opposite side of the workbench. And then add some handsome quarter-sawn white oak for the drawer faces.

As I went through the process for making the six additional drawer boxes, as you would expect, by the time I got to the final few drawers, I was getting pretty good at making tight drawer joints…

All the drawer parts for the second set of six drawers.

This is really fun when the joint comes together well the first try.

The drawer boxes completed less the drawer bottoms.

Adding the plywood drawer bottom.

With the drawer boxes completed, mounting them in the cabinet is next. I used spacers to get quick, repeatable locations for the drawer slides. Even so, this took a full evening to complete.

Mounting drawer slides.

It was fun making the drawer boxes, but the real fun began when I begin fabricating the quarter-sawn white oak drawer fronts. I bought the oak at City Hardwoods and some of it is full of ray flake like what you would see in English Arts and Crafts furniture. Like a riot of ray flake. I actually made two trips to City Hardwoods. What you will see below is from my first trip. The ray flake in these two boards was sort of mild, but still nice. I’ll be using it on the side which faces the back of the workbench. I’ll use the super wavy ray flake on the front. So that is what you see in this post: me working on the back of the tool cabinet.

Quarter-sawn white oak for the drawers on the back of the tool cabinet.

Fitting the drawer fronts.

Cutting away material for the hand pulls.

I’ll add a slight chamfer to the outer edge later, and yes there is a slight mistake in the cut-out which I filled in.

All day woodworking means a mess in my shop.

Once the drawer face is mounted to the drawer box, I use my jointer plane to get the proper reveal on the top and bottom edges.

Currently. One of the drawers is sticking out a little – need to adjust that.

Having two workbenches is nice. I am using my new bench to do fabrication and my assembly table to do just that; assemble the tool cabinet. I am finding that my inset vise is getting a lot of use. I used to work at the left end of my assembly table. I am using the right end of my new workbench because that is where the inset vise is. But, also having a hold fast has been a real plus, so my new workbench has been a big success so far.

Next up: I’ll add the best pieces of quarter-sawn oak to the front side of the cabinet drawers. And then it will be time to paint the cabinet and add a nice finish to the oak. I am thinking about not fuming the oak for this tool cabinet. I fumed and shellacked the front and back stretchers which will be in near to the oak in the tool cabinet. I’ll be thinking of a finish which will give me a similar color. And then, this project will be complete.

* * * * *

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: Moravian Workbench


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


  1. I tend to cringe whenever I see this kind of dadoed corner joint. It’s an industrial joint on every level. I’ve come across enough failed examples to know that there is no means to repair such a joint when all that short grain splits out along the full length of the side. Granted it’s speedy, but is speed your principal goal?

    • I used this same joinery on drawers for my bathroom vanity about 25 years ago and I just looked at them. The joints are nice and tight and these drawers get abused from time to time by a brush or some object that hits the face frame as the drawer is pulled out. So on occasion, they can be exposed to a lot of force and they have not failed yet. With my tool cabinet, I am using ball bearing drawer slides so my thinking is that as long as the drawers roll well, I’ll never encounter the amount of force needed to pull these joints open. I feel this joinery is more than adequate for its intended use.

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