Need Cabinet Building Guidance for my Workshop - Router Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Default Need Cabinet Building Guidance for my Workshop

Long story short, I've pretty much taken over the garage to be my workshop. I get some grief from my fiance about it, but it's always been a dream of mine to have a proper shop where I could do my woodworking and maybe work on the motorcycles in the winter.

So, I'm needing to build a few cabinets for the shop, and I've never built cabinets before and I'm not sure how to do this effectively and inexpensively. (I'll include photos of shop and tools later)

I need to build a cabinet to replace the bent up stand/legs for my 80's vintage Craftsman table saw.

I need to build a router cabinet out of my Incra router table that I picked up at an Estate Sale (it's one of the deep/long tables with the red aluminum frame).

And I need to build a long cabinet to hold my table top bandsaw, drill press, and miter saw, plus storage for all the other powered hand tools I have.

Are there any online guides or books that you could recommend to get me started? I don't like doing things more than once, so I'm not one to build a cabinet, realize it could be better, then rebuild it. I like to research, study, put a design together in my head, then build it right the first time. Since I'm on a budget, I'd prefer free/online information. I've already started hitting you tube and watching all the cabinet making videos, most of which are kitchen/bathroom cabinets. So I've got some basics down. I just want to get more study before I start designing. I'm honestly not even sure how to design drawers into the cabinet!

Any help and guidance is very much appreciated! I'll make sure to post my progress here in the forums!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 09:36 AM
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If you are willing to fork out a few bucks to gain some knowledge then I suggest you purchase this DVD and Book. It's for Kitchen Cabinets but once the theory is understood and the building process refined, you will be able to alter the designs to suit your specific needs.

I have the video and Greg really explains the process very well. For instance, instead of adding a mounting block/kick plate section, just add four castors and your cabinet is now a rolling shop cart.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 01:20 PM
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Just a few thoughts. I research also. Even doing this awhile, I like to see if there is someone else's ideas that might look attractive or have features I would like.

Looking at basic cabinet constructions will show you the basics of the joinery for something designed for storage. Equipment cabinets go a few steps further. You have to support the weight of a machine and add to the functionality of that machine...

For instance a table saw cabinet can support the table saw, direct the saw dust for dust control, extend the table infeed, outfeed and table extensions left and right. Then provide storage for blades, fences, arbor wrenches, TS jigs, etc. <-- That storage might also include other tools to conserve space in your garage.

Router tables, I would look here on this forum in the router table section. Again planning for dust control in that cabinet. Looking at the cabinet that you have, should give you basic ideas of construction.

Workbench? So many designs. Mine- I put against a wall so that I can slide my drill press (or other) to the edge to do what I need. Then slide back to the wall out of the way when through. That way I have more workable space.

On all my workbenches and equipment tables, I try to make them so the the work level is the same height. That way I can support work between tables...

You can never have enough shelves and cabinets in your garage/shop. Shelves are handy, quick, easy and cheap. But any dust is going to settle there. Cabinets are more work and cost, but whatever is in them stays cleaner. Whatever you can get off the floor and onto walls is going to give you more room.


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Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post
Long story short, I've pretty much taken over the garage to be my workshop. I get some grief from my fiance about it, but it's always been a dream of mine to have a proper shop where I could do my woodworking and maybe work on the motorcycles in the winter.

So, I'm needing to build a few cabinets for the shop, and I've never built cabinets before and I'm not sure how to do this effectively and inexpensively. (I'll include photos of shop and tools later)

I need to build a cabinet to replace the bent up stand/legs for my 80's vintage Craftsman table saw.

I need to build a router cabinet out of my Incra router table that I picked up at an Estate Sale (it's one of the deep/long tables with the red aluminum frame).

And I need to build a long cabinet to hold my table top bandsaw, drill press, and miter saw, plus storage for all the other powered hand tools I have.

Are there any online guides or books that you could recommend to get me started? I don't like doing things more than once, so I'm not one to build a cabinet, realize it could be better, then rebuild it. I like to research, study, put a design together in my head, then build it right the first time. Since I'm on a budget, I'd prefer free/online information. I've already started hitting you tube and watching all the cabinet making videos, most of which are kitchen/bathroom cabinets. So I've got some basics down. I just want to get more study before I start designing. I'm honestly not even sure how to design drawers into the cabinet!

Any help and guidance is very much appreciated! I'll make sure to post my progress here in the forums!

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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MAFoElffen, it sounds like you and I think a lot alike. You've pointed out some of the things that are rattling around inside my head.

I think I'm going to start with building up my router table first. Design the dust collection, the case, and figure out how to add drawers.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 03:05 AM
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This is cheap fast and stable make. A frame out of 2x4's using pocket holes. I did this for my small (14" x 24") craftsman table top. You can rout out frame for panels and bam you have a basic cabinet. Take a look at Steve's idea at woodworkingformeremortals.com for his take on a cabinet and make note of the drawer mistake he made for another take on frame and panel a bit more deluxe than my idea. I am a big fan of pocket hole joinery.

later, biloxi tom and remember " DO NOT have a good day, have a WILD and WONDERFUL ONE!"
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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AWESOME info! Thanks! Diving in now!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 08:02 AM
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First off get a pocket hole jig it will make your life a lot easier and your cabinets a lot better. As far as building them you want them to look good as well as function. The cheapest way to have them look good is to get a sheet or 3/4" melamine from Home Depot and use it to cover the framing. As mentioned 2x4's work fine but 2x3's would be my first choice. They can also be made by simply pocket screwing the sides and face frame together The drawers can be simple or complex but what I do (depending if the drawer is going to have a false front on it which is the easiest) is to cut a piece of wood the width of the drawer minus the thickness of the sides and use this for the front. Then I cut a grove the thickness of the bottom on all 4 pieces of wood The front,sides and back then I rabbit a grove keeping it up from the bottom edge about 1/2". I then tack the sides (with nails), front and bottom(the bottom simply slides in the groove) and measure how wide the back should be. Then take it apart and groove the back of the side pieces and cut the back board to fit into the grooves. I reassemble it and add a face to the whole thing and make it a little wider and higher to give it a nice smooth look. For the inside of the cabinet I simply put in a shelf either siting on a stringer or pocket screwed and add a piece of scrap wood on each side to keep the drawer straight when going in and out. If this is going to be a bottom drawer then I attach 2x4' underneath it and add wheels to the 2x4's.You could use slides but that only adds an extra expense. The drawer in the photo was made from scrap pine but the front could be made of the same melamine.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 03:32 PM
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The Woodsmith Book - The Home Workshop
Has a feature on making a table saw cabinet replacing the bare bones metal frame that the authors was on. Might be able to get the Woodsmith book from or through your library service. Can often can get the Woodsmith series of books 2nd hand at very good prices on Ebay, Abe Books and Amazon.
There are several other Woodsmith titles that might be of interest, The Small Shop is one several projects, benches and stuff.

Last edited by Gaia; 09-19-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaia View Post
The Woodsmith Book - The Home Workshop
Has a feature on making a table saw cabinet replacing the bare bones metal frame that the authors was on. Might be able to get the Woodsmith book from or through your library service. Can often can get the Woodsmith series of books 2nd hand at very good prices on Ebay, Abe Books and Amazon.
There are several other Woodsmith titles that might be of interest, The Small Shop.
Thanks. I found used copies of that on Amazon for under $5.
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