Tool Cabinet 1 thumb

I’ve now had this cabinet in use for 3 to 4 years and have it mounted on the wall just to right of the tail stock end of my lathe. It has been by far one of the best solutions I have come up with for holding the majority of my turning tools. In addition to this cabinet, I also built a rolling tool cart, with full width drawers that holds a myriad of other lathe tools and accessories as well as my grinder and belt sharpener on the top surface.

For the construction of the wall cabinet all of the plywood used is 5/8” as that is what I had on hand. You could use a ¾” ply but I would definitely not go less than the 5/8”.

Total depth of cabinet including the front panel doors is 10 ¾”. If I was to build the cabinet again I would add at least ½” or more to the depth of the first portion of the cabinet that is secured to the wall.  I made the mistake of forgetting about the loss of depth of the inside by recessing the back panel into this section. Overall dimensions of the cabinet are 32”h x 37”w and is what I came up with as this is what fit in the space where I intended to mount the cabinet. If you so choose, you could alter this size though I would be hesitant in going much wider as the doors tend to get pretty heavy once loaded up with tools, but you probably could get away with a total width of 40” or so. Hinges used, as you can see, are full length piano hinges.

Tool Cabinet 2 thumb

The back section of the cabinet is at a total depth of 4 ½”, however, after inserting the back panel which is 5/8” ply, my inside depth is only at 3 7/8”. This is where I screwed up and should have had at least ½” – ¾” more depth.  The way it is, the tools are pretty secure, especially considering that the doors will most often be shut, but the extra depth would have worked better for holding the scroll chucks. On the bottom shelf you can see that I added a small strip of wood. This helps to keep the chucks etc. from sliding off. I should also mention that to hold the doors in the closed position I inset rare earth magnets.

Tool Cabinet 3 thumb Tool Cabinet 4 thumb

--  The two side doors  --

As stated above, the cabinet as built consists of a full back section which is screwed to the wall. To this section, two doors are attached with the outer framework of these doors being 5 1/2" thick.  Obviously they would each be half the width of the total cabinet less just a slight bit (when closed, approximately an 1/8” gap). In order to have an inner and outer face on these doors for mounting the tools, I inset a plywood panel into a grove cut into the door framework centering it at 2 5/8" on the inner side, which holds the captured turning tools, and 2 1/4" on the side that faces out which holds the calipers, etc.  Add up the dimensions (2 1/4" + 2 5/8" + 5/8"), the 5/8" is for the thickness of the inner plywood panel, it should come to 5 1/2".

Tool Cabinet 5 thumb Tool Cabinet 6 thumb

With the above pics it’s pretty obvious how the tools are held in place. For the butt ends of the chisels, I first used a forstner bit to drill the holes, then rounded the edges of these holes on the router table.

Tool Cabinet 7 thumb Tool Cabinet 8 thumb

I figure it’s best not to give dimensions as to the placement of the upper scalloped tool support strip as everyone’s tools may be of differing lengths and you will need to determine what placement works best for you.

Tool Cabinet 9 thumb

The above pic shows the front doors open, and again, pretty much tells the story with no need to give measurements. The center dividing panel is 5/8” ply. I drilled holes at a slight angle and inserted wood dowels to hold the tools but you could do as you choose here and come up with your own holding methods. I still need to add more dowels to these panels for the additional tools I have.

Now, go have some fun and build your own.

John thumb


We have 111 guests and no members online

Saturday the 20th. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.