Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wall Hanging Tool Cabinet

A Home for My Tools

I spent all that money on nice quality hand tools, and they're sitting on a shelf in my basement. The problem here is that dust sits on them. Dust contains salt which attracts water which rusts tools. So I need to build a cabinet to keep them cozy.

I had decided to make a wall hanging tool cabinet before I ever read The Anarchist's Tool Chest, and Schwarz's words in favor of floor chests didn't sway me. Even my wife agrees with me. Besides, it's a cramped space and I need all the floor space I can get. Wall space is in abundance.

I'm making the cabinet out of cherry and poplar (for the drawer sides, backs, and drawer webs). I milled it to width and thickness using power tools and I'm going to attempt to do the rest by hand -- wish me luck.

So far I've done a little smoothing with the hand planes (and it isn't going super great, but I'm learning).

There's a glue seam where I joined these boards together and all I wanted to do was flatten it out.  It turned into a 2 hour long aerobic workout.  This particular board ended up looking pretty good, though it's a little thinner than the original 3/4" I had planned.  The second board I tried had a few knots in it and I've since learned a few tricks to deal with grain tear out (again, credit goes to Schwarz).

Dealing with Tear Out

  1. pick wood that's easier to plane
  2. use a freshly sharpened plane blade
  3. increase the blade angle
  4. tighten the mouth opening
  5. take lighter cuts
  6. and don't skew the blade

I've been following She Works Wood as she builds her own hanging tool cabinet, and our cabinets are almost identical, with very few exceptions.  It's been really interesting to see how this project is going to play out by watching someone else do it first.

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