Shop cabinets and utility benches


Juicegoose
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So this weekend in between coats of paint on the wifes utility room cabinets I looked around the shop at wasted space. You see the wife and I just moved and so I've slowly been setting up shop. I'm all about best use for space and filling a need and the one need that has always been on my mind is my jointer. I own a ridgid jointer and although it doesn't have a use footprint it's oddly shaped enough that it's wasting a lot of space. So as I stared at the jointer in hopes it might magically transform I had an idea, put it under the bench! A couple weekends ago the local Habitat for humanity had about 30 solid door doors(80x36) malamine covered for 25 bucks a pop, 4 came home with me. I have been needing to make a general use bench to mix paint or finish or put my grinder or just do general work on and thought wow it would be great to put two 16" cabinets on either side of a 48" opening and be able to slide my jointer up under the countertop BRILLIANT!!!!

So my question is this. Naturally my garage floor is not the most level so my thought was to put the lower cabinets on a french cleat on the wall. Would this be strong enough for general use or would the gneral masses say to put both cabinets on the floor and level to each other?

Also what are some things you you guys have done with your general shop benches that you wish you hadn't done or wish you had done?

I'm thinking the 16" wide cabinets on either side will have some deep drawers on both sides for general use stuff. My only concern is that the counter top will be 36" deep and I don't think a 36" 16" wide drawer would be feaseble. Don't even know if I can get drawer slides that long.

Start the discussion boys

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The last set of shop shelving I made I intended to turn into cabinets, but did not finish it before I moved. And the one thing that I did not take into consideration is that the shelving unit was too large to make it up the stairs, and come with me during the move. If you plan on moving these cabinets at all, make them modular. You can attach them together, but smaller cabinets stacked together can still provide support. (especially if you have a knock-down framework for them to reside in.)

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Looks like woodworkers hardware has some generic full extension slides (27 3/4") length for 8 bucks a set. I've bought these generic slides before in the 18" length and have no trouble. I really think say a 30" deep by say 10-12" tall drawer would work a lot better then just putting shelving in the lower cabinet. With a length of 30" a pullout drawer could house all the parts for say router or things like that.

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I'd rather have the end cabinets on the floor than hanging on the walls. I would build them individually and use shims to level them and make them even, then bolt them to the wall to keep them in place. If I wanted to cover up the gap on the bottoms I'd nail on some molding in contact with the floor. If I ever had to move them, they could be unscrewed and transported.

I would also rethink the 36" depth. This depth makes the back wall hard to reach if you wanted to hang tools. I have always used a depth of 24-26" for my utility bench and hung tool cabinets and shallow shelves on the back wall. You should be able to rip the doors down to width as long as they are solid core. The cut edge can go against the wall.

I also second the use of the WW Hardware economy 100# drawer slides. I have used several 10-packs on various projects in my shop, office, kitchen and wife's sewing room and never had a problem with them.

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Here I was gonna sit down and right a long post abou tmy cabinets, but Mike did it for me. This is the same thing that I did with mine. They are all individual and screwed to the wall. Then I built a work sureface that is 26" deep. I find that this is more than enough room to do a number of common tasks for the shop. And I can still reach up and get the upper tools without having to jump on the counter first. It was constructed out of 3/4 MDF with a harboard replaceable top. I use jointed and planed 2x4 on edge to cover the span of open areas under my bench. I then trimmed it out with Oak. Turned out really nice. Good luck with your project and make sure to post pics.

DSC00168.jpg

I'd rather have the end cabinets on the floor than hanging on the walls. I would build them individually and use shims to level them and make them even, then bolt them to the wall to keep them in place. If I wanted to cover up the gap on the bottoms I'd nail on some molding in contact with the floor. If I ever had to move them, they could be unscrewed and transported.

I would also rethink the 36" depth. This depth makes the back wall hard to reach if you wanted to hang tools. I have always used a depth of 24-26" for my utility bench and hung tool cabinets and shallow shelves on the back wall. You should be able to rip the doors down to width as long as they are solid core. The cut edge can go against the wall.

I also second the use of the WW Hardware economy 100# drawer slides. I have used several 10-packs on various projects in my shop, office, kitchen and wife's sewing room and never had a problem with them.

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Sac

Those cabinets are aw inspiring for shop furniture. Exactly what I am needing to do. I'll for sure cut down the door and make it 26" deep. Right now I've got plans in my head and space in the garage but I've got a honeydo on the bench thats impeeding my creativity. Thanks again for the ideas. Keep them coming guys.

I also see That it looks like you used a lot of drawers on the bottom cabinets over shelves. Are you happy with them and did you use 1/2" ply or 3/4" ply for their construction? Anything on your cabinets you wish you had done differently?

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I also have drawers under my benches. I use 1/2" baltic birch ply for the sides, backs and fronts and 1/4" for the bottoms, unless I'm making a deep drawer for heavy power tools. In that case I use 3/8" BB ply for the bottoms. I also add a drawer face to the front using washer head screws and oversize holes. This gives me some leeway in aligning the fronts to the case for a nice fit.

Mike

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Here I was gonna sit down and right a long post abou tmy cabinets, but Mike did it for me. This is the same thing that I did with mine. They are all individual and screwed to the wall. Then I built a work sureface that is 26" deep. I find that this is more than enough room to do a number of common tasks for the shop. And I can still reach up and get the upper tools without having to jump on the counter first. It was constructed out of 3/4 MDF with a harboard replaceable top. I use jointed and planed 2x4 on edge to cover the span of open areas under my bench. I then trimmed it out with Oak. Turned out really nice. Good luck with your project and make sure to post pics.

DSC00168.jpg

Dang Sac!!! And you guys drool over MY shop!?! That's crazy..your's is much nicer than mine. All my cabinets are just A/C plywood

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Are you sure about french cleats?

If you had two cabinets each on french cleats and the door, and everything you put on it... I could see the weight adding up quickly. A grinder... a project you're finishing... you might lean on it a bit to get that little corner stained.

An unlevel floor is one thing... that's what shims are for.

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(when Pantera is on, you gots to stage-dive).

I always preferred Metallica and Crystal Method... :)

I've gone the sectional approach recently, with the individual levelers. It's a pain in the patuka, so I appreciate this topic. (planning the next shop, you know?)

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Sac

Those cabinets are aw inspiring for shop furniture. Exactly what I am needing to do. I'll for sure cut down the door and make it 26" deep. Right now I've got plans in my head and space in the garage but I've got a honeydo on the bench thats impeeding my creativity. Thanks again for the ideas. Keep them coming guys.

I also see That it looks like you used a lot of drawers on the bottom cabinets over shelves. Are you happy with them and did you use 1/2" ply or 3/4" ply for their construction? Anything on your cabinets you wish you had done differently?

I built these like Norm did. I didnt really use a plan, just watched how he did it in the Kitchen Cabinet serioes he did. They are all built out 3/4 red oak ply. the drawers were made out of 1/2" baltic birch with 1/4 MDF bottoms. The bottom is the one thing that I would change. I would use at least 1/2". One cause it is stronger, thincker and meatier, and two, because I used bottom mount slides, and the 1/4" is too thin. I do like the drawers. I probably could use some shelves but I dont have any. I am going to probably put some slide out shelves in the double cabinets eventually. But they are working for what they need to now. If you have any questions just let me know. Good luck.

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