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Underbench Cabinet

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.

The cabinet is deep - too deep for drawers. The plan is that the drawers will not be full length deep internally, but have full length sides through to the rear to create a full extension when siding out. Internally, it has been my plan to use siding trays within the drawers ... fewer drawers externally, but more drawer space internally.

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

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 ...

The Merbau comes as a panel from Bunnings, a local hardware store. 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. I intend staining the Merbau case to match the drawer fronts.

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

I continued on until all four sides were 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.

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

Inside the bench ...

Regards from Perth


December 2020