Tool Cabinet – More Dovetails

I now have the main carcase done and can now have the official measures for the rest of the components of the tool cabinet and one main component that I wanted to address was the 2 main doors.

They are composed of 2 boxes with a frame and panel top that goes on top of the frame.  The joints for the boxe portion are through dovetails at the 4 corners.

Although I like to report on the progress of the build, I want to the the opportunity to discuss other relating topics to the build itself.


Well to cut proper joints, having the cutting portion sharp is pretty much essential and less dangerous.  This means that sharpening needs to become a habit for hand tools that are being used.

I Can only say to make it a habit to sharpen often, really.  To me, it makes it some much more enjoyable to work with sharp tools.  If you even doubt, go and hit whatever the media you use to sharpen and make it convenient to sharpen.

Same goes to the blades for power tools…  Although sharpening might be not convenient, make sure that you have sharp blades and can replace them when possible.

Dovetails Tutorial

I did follow a woodworking class a little while ago at the Rosewood Studio and we did touch cutting dovetail within the hand tool class, it’s always been a little bit of a challenge, for whatever the reason.  This is not the fault of the class that was taken, just not enough time practicing and making the muscle memory….

I lately looked at the online class at Finewoodworking about building the North Bennett street School in Boston and although I am still catching up, cutting the main carcase dovetails were pretty instructive and I believe I might pickup a few tricks. As with many things, stick with a method and keep at it for a while before changing anything.

So the case is progressing, not as fast as I would prefer, but still moving forward and I am woodworking.  And learning to practice and slow down from the fast pace of the other life.


Tool Cabinet – Tool Cabinet Carcase building

So I started the building process of my new tool cabinet.  First tasks to start looking into was the tool cabinet carcase or frame of the cabinet itself

Outer Shell

The outer shell of the carcase is a dovetailed frame of the four parts and a shelf around 2/3rd of the cabinet to stiffen the case.  The frame is built using Cherry that I was able to resaw to get pretty close to the 7/8 tackiness but not quite the width so I had to glue a small strip to make it large enough.  I wanted to keep the depth of the cabinet and was willing to glue enough to get the this dimension right.

For the shelf, I had a nice wide piece of maple, but with an edge that had seen some damage.  I was able to get most of it removed by trimming it’s.  Because of it’s placement, the not so nice edge will be towards the back of the cabinet and be covered with the plane till, so I don’t feel to guilty about it.

I will just adapt the placement of the joinery as it might change the distance from what the plan calls from.


The joinery between the sides and top/bottom is dovetails so the first order of things was to start cutting dovetails.  To save time, I ganged the 2 sides to cut the tails and to be similar.  I cut the dovetails using my dovetail saw following the layout that was done on both boards.

Dovetail Joinery Multiple boards

Dovetail joinery on multiple boards that are symetric

Once one end was cut, I flipped the 2 boards and tackled the other end.  I then removed the waste between the tails and cleaned with a chisel.  Once all done and was satisfied, I laid out the pins on the bottom and top of the cabinet.

It is now time for fitting the 2 sides and top/bottom together.  One thing to remember, get your tools sharp and I really need to practice sawing straight.  This should cut the amount I need to do with the chisels and should have better joint fitting off the saw kerf.

Tool Cabinet – A fresh new start

Few years back, I built a tool cabinet out of Fine woodworking which got me going for a good while.  Well up until now.  I never properly evolved the tool cabinet and never built the doors and hung them to offer storage.

Here is what it looks like now

Tool Cabinet

Tool Cabinet Pre Rework


I was able to adapt it to different variance of tool inventory, but as I mentioned, I am now in a phase to better organise my tool with a new tool cabinet.  Came an article from again Fine woodworking from Mike Pekovich on his take of his new hand tool cabinet for his shop, having outgrown his own.

I have the privilege of being an online member and was able to follow the video series of the build of the cabinet and followed some of the advise as to planing for the tools at hand and then some.

I have a pretty good idea of the organisation that I plan to put into the cabinet and the tools that will go into which part of the cabinet.  Which plane I have and where they go with also some plane that I know I have my eyes on.

Also some other tools that I will plan for appropriate storage and follow the advise to plan for future tools.  I already know of some of them that will eventually come and know the dimension from the toolmaker website so planning the tool holding around those dimensions will make it a breeze to store in due time.


I will be using a variety of material to build the tool cabinet.  All of the carcase will be of hardwood and the dimensions will be adapted based on the material that I have.  Most cases, the hardwood will be a little bit thinner then what the plan states.

I will also use relative dimensioning of the different parts.  The casing is pretty much with the dimensions stated in the plan but for the rest, it will be based on the real build and not exactly what the plan states.  Parts have been rough out to approximate dimensions and will be adjusted as the build progresses.

So stay tuned for the next update for the tool cabinet

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