In my first shop lay-out, my bench was positioned along a wall under a small window, with my tool chest at one end. I had and pegs and racks on the wall above for various tools, all within easy reach. This particular set-up sufficed for a number of years. As time went on, I grew tired of constantly have to remove sawdust and shavings from inside my tool chest, and decided to move the workbench to the middle of the shop for 360° access, and build a tool wall in a corner of the shop. This left the now unused pegs and racks, naked and quite the eyesore above my sharpening station.
Inspired by a wonderful little Nail/Screw Cabinet depicted on Lumberjocks.com, I decided to build a combination hardware and hand plane cabinet, not only to clean-up the ugly area, but to hold my ever-growing molding plane collection, and to find a better storage solution for my 100 plus year old jack plane; besides, I was tired of having a blue Dollar Store ice tray as my hardware bin!
After careful consideration, I determined this cabinet should project 11-3/16 inches at the top and 6-1/2 inches at the bottom. It needed to be 22-1/2 inches wide and 30 inches high, with a top cubby at least 8 inches high. I also needed a second cubby at 4 inches high to store my jack plane. That left the remainder of the height to be divided into drawers. Given that I was going to paint the cabinet, I decided to purchase some one-by-twelves from one of the big box stores. Having an ample supply of Ambrosia maple, I thought it would be nice for the drawer fronts.
I got carried away with the drawers and ended up with twenty of them!
In about 20 hours, using a variety of hand tools including hand saws, chisels, hand planes, and files, I ended up with a twenty drawer hardware/plane cabinet, constructed of dimensional pine lumber and Ambrosia maple.
The case is painted white. All drawers are half-blind dovetailed with 3/4 inch fronts, 1/4 inch sides and back, and 1/8 inch drawer bottoms, finished with boiled linseed oil and shellac. I think it has somewhat of a Bavarian vibe! Don’t you agree?