Woodworking Tips:

Tool Cabinets

I have been converted from my disorganized, heathen ways. If there were a support group out there I’d have to say “hi, I have woodworking OCD.”

But somewhere between tripping over my own hand tools and sifting through boxes for one tool, I discovered you can kill two birds with one stone: organize your woodshop while doing a few projects at the same time. Maybe it was a lifetime of disorganization, or maybe I was bored, but one afternoon in my cramped garage changed everything.

Organizing Your Tools

Of all the woodworking tips I have heard one that really helps out on keeping things organized is a cabinet, but not just any old cabinet, a nice wooden one. The great thing about this project is the organization you can build into it, literally.

We all have gone through the hanging tools on the wall phase (aah roo roo) but the wife might think it’s tacky. Personally I just built a cabinet with no back and mounted it over the spot where the tools already hung. Still, my wife didn’t seem too happy when I showed my ingenious idea to her.  I couldn’t figure out what her problem was until my neighbor, Mr. “Woodworking Tips” (O’Neil) pointed out I didn’t have a cabinet so much as a box with doors on the front. When he wasn’t around I added a back and re-sanded and stained the whole cabinet and she thought I was the king poo-bah of chic. It is weird how that works.

The next thing I did was build a smaller floor cabinet with drawers by modifying some plans I had for a chest of drawers. I added some foam padding and a few slots to the inside of each draw and voila! All my small tools made it somewhere other than the garage work bench! Then something very strange happened, I got used to the whole thing and I could find what I needed right away. Suddenly my projects began to take shape faster and I began to hope my mother and wife didn’t notice or make a big deal out of me being organized. It was life changing.

Slide Out Baskets

After the drawers phase, I came up with an organization idea that seemed like one James Bond would be proud of. I saw in a kitchen remodel magazine where a company manufactures under cabinet, slide out organization baskets. I quickly hid this article somewhere where the wife wouldn’t find it and began to plan my next organization assault.

I found some plans for a three foot book shelf (third draw down on the left, just behind my copy of “OCD for Dummies”) and began to build. Just looking at the basket in the magazine it appeared to be on two tracks, one on the top and one on the bottom. After a few hours, several woodworking tips from my bride involving weight and two trips to the store I ended up with four sliding tracks instead of two. The end result was I had gained about 30% more tool space. But I still had a problem; my workbench was still small.

The Workbench

How did I over come my workbench deficiency and still please the wife? Read a few more woodworking tips in Easy Woodworking Projects for the OCD Converted.