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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    Perth
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    Default Underbench cabinets

    I decided to add a cabinet to my work bench. There are just too many tools on the wall, and many would be better off stored in drawers where I can reach for them when needed.

    Please feel free to post your underbench cabinets here. I do not recall a thread on this topic.





    The cabinet will span as wide and high as it can go without being impeded by either hold downs or the sliding deadman.


    This tool cabinet is inspired by the North Bennet Street School version (a well-known woodworking school in Boston). The tool cabinet is one of their training pieces. One became an article by Tommy MacDonald in PW magazine.

    Tommy's tool cabinet ..




    Mine will be a little larger, more drawers, and a more complex construction involving mitred through dovetails ...




    Dimensions: 660mm x 400mm x 400mm (26" x 15 3/4" x 15 3/4").

    Small drawers: 205mm x 70mm (8" x 2 3/4")
    Large drawers: 305mm x 95" (12" x 3 3/4")


    Merbau case being dovetailed. This is definitely going to add some weight to the bench!






    Well, this is about the fourth mitred through dovetail case I've built in about 18 months. I must be getting the hang of it now, since this was straight off the saw. No tweaking needed. Merbau is hard and has no give at all ... did I tell you that I love that I can re-fresh my chisels on the power buffer? What a different it makes to chop and pare with really sharp chisels.







    The Merbau comes as a panel from Bunnings. This is shop furniture and I make no excuses for taking a shortcut. The 18mm thick panels are flat and ready to go. Literally all I have done is cut them to size.



    The penalty is that the wood is bloody hard!

    The drawer fronts will be Jarrah.

    Just to prove to myself that it was no fluke, it happened again ...







    Regards from Perth


    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

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  3. #2
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    lower eyre peninsular
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    Default

    fair crack of the whip batman, I bow to you Derek for your quality and dedication.

    I will not show pics but I went garage sale shopping bought a few bedside & kitchen cabinets, adjusted where needed, fitted them all into a work bench, I have added quarter dowelling under the MDF base so they dont fall out.

    To dress them up, I am cutting up a sheet of ply that will fix to each drawer front, hopefully, all matching.
    I would love to grow my own food, but I can not find bacon seeds

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast
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    67
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    Default

    Hi Derek,

    I use the chest I made for the 2015 pallet challenge as an underbench chest. It is also loosely based on the North Bennet St version, sized to fit what I could cut out of the pallet, but it also happened to fit almost perfectly under my bench. The only issue I had was the bottom drawer hit the deadman track when opening, fixed by sitting it on top of a reclaimed sheet of plywood from another pallet!
    IMG_20201130_121621.jpg

    Cheers,
    Franklin

  5. #4
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    Jun 2010
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    Bundaberg
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    51
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    2,624

    Default

    So where are you going to store your Moxon vise now?

    When I built my small-ish workbench a dozen or so years ago I incorporated drawers on full length HD runners about 2/3rds across the available space underneath. At the time I didn't consider hold-downs or even think of things like a deadman; their lack really annoyed me after moving more towards the Dark Side hence my outdoor bench build earlier this year. Saying that; the drawers have been incredibly useful and I couldn't be without them now. The top drawer contains mostly stationary, drawing equipment, refences and weird odds & sods. The 2nd one contains mainly drilling and screwing gear and three others house most of my bench planes, spokeshaves and chisels. Next to the bench are a pair of "temporarily" installed ex-kitchen drawer units; I'm giving serious consideration to replacing them with a single bespoke drawer unit!

    And those dovetails look great; I'm a long way off being able to make them anywhere near that neat straight off the saw. Loooooong way.....

    . Maestro!
    Nothing succeeds like a budgie without a beak.

  6. #5
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    Apr 2001
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    Perth
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    CT, the Moxon will be obviously need to go elsewhere!

    There are many tools on both the wall and also on work surfaces (such as where I keep the shooting board). The work surface is a better place for the Moxon, and the tools are better in drawers.

    My plan is to reduce the number of drawers by building in sliding trays. That will not only lessen the build time, but also lower the clutter and enable tools, such as chisels and marking, to be grouped together.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  7. #6
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    Apr 2001
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    Perth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzie View Post
    Hi Derek,

    I use the chest I made for the 2015 pallet challenge as an underbench chest. It is also loosely based on the North Bennet St version, sized to fit what I could cut out of the pallet, but it also happened to fit almost perfectly under my bench. The only issue I had was the bottom drawer hit the deadman track when opening, fixed by sitting it on top of a reclaimed sheet of plywood from another pallet!
    IMG_20201130_121621.jpg

    Cheers,
    Franklin, let's see more of this chest. It looks wonderful!

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast
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    Default

    Hi Derek,

    The build thread is here. Pictures intact!

    Cheers,
    Franklin
    Franklin

  9. #8
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    Feb 2003
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    used to live in Sydney, now it's Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    I decided to add a cabinet to my work bench. There are just too many tools on the wall, and many would be better off stored in drawers where I can reach for them when needed.



    The cabinet will span as wide and high as it can go without being impeded by either hold downs or the sliding deadman.


    This tool cabinet is inspired by the North Bennet Street School version (a well-known woodworking school in Boston). The tool cabinet is one of their training pieces. One became an article by Tommy MacDonald in PW magazine.

    Tommy's tool cabinet ..




    Mine will be a little larger, more drawers, and a more complex construction involving mitred through dovetails ...




    Dimensions: 660mm x 400mm x 400mm (26" x 15 3/4" x 15 3/4").

    Small drawers: 205mm x 70mm (8" x 2 3/4")
    Large drawers: 305mm x 95" (12" x 3 3/4")
    Derek
    Your only mention of what you intend placing in the under bench cabinet is "the tools on the wall" and while you seem to have already determined how big each drawer will be, I will nevertheless recommend that each drawer should really only hold a single layer of tools.
    And where possible, each drawer should be sized to fit a "set" eg the plough plane and its associated cutters.

    etc
    regards from Canada

    ian

  10. #9
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    Perth
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    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    Derek
    Your only mention of what you intend placing in the under bench cabinet is "the tools on the wall" and while you seem to have already determined how big each drawer will be, I will nevertheless recommend that each drawer should really only hold a single layer of tools.
    And where possible, each drawer should be sized to fit a "set" eg the plough plane and its associated cutters.

    etc
    Ian, I should have mentioned the boxes of chisels and other similar tools which inhabit the work surfaces, which could be better used, or the specialist planes (block planes, shoulder planes, side rebate planes) which would be nicer to have closer to hand, rather than crowded together on a shelf ...

    I will examine the use of drawers. I just did not want to have to make more drawers if this could be avoided.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  11. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    Ian, I should have mentioned the boxes of chisels and other similar tools which inhabit the work surfaces, which could be better used, or the specialist planes (block planes, shoulder planes, side rebate planes) which would be nicer to have closer to hand, rather than crowded together on a shelf ...

    I will examine the use of drawers. I just did not want to have to make more drawers if this could be avoided.
    Derek
    in some respects I hear you, in others I'm going


    Only you can decide what best suits your work flow but at 70 mm deep, even your small drawers are, to my way of thinking, too deep for many of the tools you mention as needing more convenient [for you] homes.
    Whilst I understand your desire to limit the number of dovetails you need to cut, drawers at around 20 - 25 mm deep will allow you to store many more tools in the "workshop furniture" without resorting to the use of tills.
    Most of the drawers in my own [under construction] tool box are 25 to 30 mm deep -- with plywood bottoms. This depth is ideal for flat things like layout squares, rules, etc.
    regards from Canada

    ian

  12. #11
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    Ian, I agree with your argument for drawers with less depth. The reason for the depth of these drawers is deliberate. They will not be full length deep internally, but have runners at the rear to create a full extension when siding out. Internally, it has been my plan to use siding trays, which will then take the internal height to something similar to yours. In many respects, our plan overlaps, and it is just that the fewer drawers and overall case dimensions make it look so different.

    EDIT TO ADD

    Ian, there is another motive for building this cabinet. I shall retire in 4 years, and this will involve selling our present house (and workshop/garage), where we have lived for 30+ years, and downsize to a slightly smaller property - one without the garden and pool to maintain. Part of the plan for the bench is to create future storage for tools, as well as storage for travel to a new workshop. We have another house, not far from where we are at present, but will need to build a workshop there. Something to look forward to, but also there is the awareness that I need to conserve space.


    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  13. #12
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    A little update.

    All four sides are dovetailed. Through dovetails with mitres at each corner. And every one went together off the saw ... well, almost - one mitre required a smidgeon of a mm pared away to close tightly. All tight and square. I am quite chuffed.



    This is the difficult part - to get the mitres to close along with the sockets ...






    Inside the bench ...






    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    EDIT TO ADD

    Ian, there is another motive for building this cabinet. I shall retire in 4 years, and this will involve selling our present house (and workshop/garage), where we have lived for 30+ years, and downsize to a slightly smaller property - one without the garden and pool to maintain. Part of the plan for the bench is to create future storage for tools, as well as storage for travel to a new workshop. We have another house, not far from where we are at present, but will need to build a workshop there. Something to look forward to, but also there is the awareness that I need to conserve space.


    regards from Canada

    ian

  15. #14
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    Helensburgh
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    I know that under bench storage drawers/shelves etc seem like a good idea and if you are prepared to accept the problems then go for it but my experience has been that sooner or later they collect debris in them from working on the bench which annoyed me so much I abandoned the idea.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Parks View Post
    I know that under bench storage drawers/shelves etc seem like a good idea and if you are prepared to accept the problems then go for it but my experience has been that sooner or later they collect debris in them from working on the bench which annoyed me so much I abandoned the idea.
    Once fitted, just stop using the bench! No more debris.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

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