Projects in progress or in planning...

Wall Mounted Tool Cabinets

I've taken over the upper foyer, as we call it. That is the area that was the second story of the two-story foyer we had. It is now called the upper foyer, or tool room two. There is a bookcase, window seat, and the second of the two Hamacher Schlemmer work bench/tool boxes up there now. The tool box sits on an otherwise blank wall. I wanted something to go on the wall, around the tool box, but something that would allow the tool box to open properly. I've decided on a pair of wall hung tool boxes. Here's the basic plan. They will be walnut frames similar to the HS tool box, with birdseye maple veneered panels. Uses up some more of my recent yard sale veneer purchase. The veneer looks pretty bad at first blush. Cleaned up a little and properly flattened out, it looks pretty good when glued up in panels. These panels are for the doors and the sides.

October 30, 2017
I haven't done much on the cabinet project. All I have done is go through my lumber stash and cut boards up into rough dimensions. Most of the pieces for the cabinets will be 2-inches wide when finished. Cutting these to rough dimensions and letting them sit is advantageous as it allows the wood to stabilize after tensions in the boards are released. Makes the wood less prone to movement during planing. The pile...

November 22, 2017
I finally got back to doing a little work on the cabinets. I completed assembly of the side panels. The sides are frame and panel. The panels are MDF with veneer. The outside veneer is birdseye maple and the inside is just maple.. I think. I made what I call a lamb's tongue on the edge. It's the same detail I used on the HS tool box and the same detail I've seen on other early cabinets. It is made with a router, 45-degree cutter, and a little ramp for end stops. Pic 1, Pic 2. I use a horizontal router to make the grooves in the parts that carry the panels and floating tenons I use to assemble everything. I don't think I've talked about my horizontal router gadget. I made one years ago out of the Robland parts I had previously and I made this one using the mortising table from my MiniMax jointer/planer. I had thought about the design for quite a while and was reluctant to spend money on the amount of metal needed to support the 100# mortising table. I finally settled on a Harbor Freight 20 Ton H-Frame Industrial Heavy Duty Press for the frame. Here's the back. It provides a lot of metal to hold the mortising attachment for only a little money. I modified the base to shift the position of the legs. I added a cross piece to the front of the frame, added wheels to the back, and some teflon slides in the front to be able to move it around. The frame carries a vertical melamine panel mounted to the press frame and some additional angle iron. The router is mounted in the melamine with the existing holes in the router. A melamine panel is mounted to the top of the mortising attachment and a T-track is let into the melamine allowing the use of a miter square from my old Delta stuff. When you take a piece of quarter inch MDF, actual dimension unknown, add various yard-sale veneers to either side, you end up with a panel of indeterminate thickness. Using a smaller straight cutter in the router, it is pretty easy to make two passes and get the dimension needed and very precisely. A dial indicator mounted below the table allows very tiny and precise table movement to facilitate routing any size groove needed. Here's the set-up and some of the completed parts. All this to say I completed the side panels. Still need to cut off the tenon ends and sand them.

December 22, 2017
I've made a little more progress, but I've been remiss in my picture taking. I made the top and bottom for the cabinets. Nothing fancy, just a couple boards with an ogee pattern cut into the edge. I'm using biscuits to join them to the sides. I punched in the biscuit slots. Here is my first fit-check for the sides and top ogee pattern edge. I glued up the pices for the two shelves that will carry the drawers. They are 3/8ths inch thick and are just butt jointed scrap wood; seem to work OK. I cut the mortises for the shelves into the side panels. I used a router and a clamp board as a guide to route a pair of sides at one time. All but one of the shelves require stopped mortises. I just marked the end with a piece of masking tape, ran the router to the tape, and then finished the mortise with a chisel. Here's what the sides look like now, and the mortises near the one end. I'm working on the hanger boards. The completed wall cabinets will be held on the wall with molley bolts through what I'm calling hanger boards on the top and bottom of the cabinets. I've started making them. They will be glued to the top and bottom boards with biscuits. Sometimes the wood I use has only one good side! I'm hoping to finish gluing up the main carcass frame this weekend. I still need to make the two main interior shelves, install threaded sleeves to hold the removable shelving system, glue up the top and bottom hanger boards and then glue up the whole shebang.

December 23, 2017
That didn't take too long. Gluing these things up is always exciting. Once the glue is added shifting parts for alignment is always more difficult than without the glue. I glued the hanger boards to the top and bottom. I drilled the holes for the molley bolts in the hanger boards, then glued the hanger boards to the top and bottom boards. At this point, any clean area in the shop becomes a work surface for glue up. I installed the threaded inserts on the inside of the top board and the upper shelf inside the cabinet. I started the carcass glue up by gluing the two main shelves into the sides, then the other side, then I pounded in the drawer shelves and finally added the top and bottom boards. All's well that ends well. Here's the finished frames.

January 4, 2018
Back to working on the wall cabinets for a little bit. I'm working on the backs of the cabinets. I want the backs to be removable. It will make the spray finishing easier. Spraying into a closed box produces tremendous bounce back and poor finish results. With the back removed the problem is eliminated. I used a piloted router bit to make a 3/4-inch deep dado in the sides, top and shelves to carry the removable back. The dado is a little rough in places but I can probably fix it or live with it. I finished making the frame pieces for the back; I had made up the veneered panels a while ago. I used my made-up horizontal router. Notice I made up a better-working dust collector for it. It is an improvement and catches 90% but it still makes a mess. Gluing up the frames was uneventful, floating tenons again. This is what the inside will look like. The backs will be screwed in. I'll need to be careful in placing the screws as there is not lot of room for error in the placement and angle. The backs are not pretty, but they don't need to be. I rounded off the corners of the back panels rather than chisel out the cabinet to make the recess square. Easier? Yes.