Hanging Wall Tool Cabinet

finished hanging wall cabinet


When I first saw this tool cabinet I thought I'm going to make this. Several years later I've seen a lot of different tool cabinets but still decided to make this one. I purchased the plans from www.finewoodworking.com after seeing a four page article about it in their magazine. The plans provided the dimensions but not the steps to make it.









Here goes. I first went to the local plywood store and purchased Baltic birch plywood.
1 - 3/4”
1 - 5/8”
2 –1/2”
1 –1/4” (actually 2 boards are needed but I'm going to use a little cheaper 1/4” for one area)
The total for this was $155.00 out the door. All the sheets of plywood were 5 X 5 which is standard for Baltic Birch.

Note: Now that I've finished the project I didn't use the 1/4" plywood pieces. I decided not to create the back part of the project that holds the right angle and several saws. The way I'm setting up my shop doesn't make it feasible to easily access the back of the tool cabinet.

The first step is to start with a box. The 2 sides, top and bottom are made from ¾” plywood. I started by cutting 2 boards 13 1/4" X 48" and another 2 boards 13 1/4" X 32. After the boards are cut to size ½” finger joints need to be cut. I used the Woodsmith Box Joint Jig for making the finger joints. I've seen numerous articles about making your own jig but I really like this store purchased one. It's very easy to used and can be set up in a couple of minutes to cut any size finger joint up to 3/4". Woodsmith also offers plans for a homemade jig if someone would prefer to make their own - Woodsmith.

finger cutting jig  It worked great but I would advise cutting a few finger joints first before trying it for this project.

I'm not going to go into how to cut finger joints since there’s plenty of information about this on the Internet. After the finger joints are cut, the pieces are glued together.

Note: Now that I have completed this project I would have done this part different. I followed their instructions which advised to glue the box together and then much later cut the dado. I'm not sure why they did it this way so I went a head and did it as the recommended. If I was making this again I was certainly cut the dados for the top shelf and the two gallery shelves first.


After the sides and top have been glued together, I used my hand router and routed 1/2” deep by 3/8” wide rabbit cut around the inside edge of both sides of the box.
tool cabinet

It was at this time that I realized I really needed an extension and out feed table for my table saw. So I actually set the box aside and went to work on improving my table saw. See out feed table saw table and/or see right-side extension table.

After expanding my table saw’s cutting ability, my table saw broke. It took weeks, and a letter to their headquarters, to deal with the Grizzly tool company. Although this was a frustrating time, I learned a lot about table saw and the companies that sell them. Since it was taking so long to fix the problem and receive new parts in the mail, I decided to use a circular saw to continue with this project.


Note: After I have completed this project I would have waited and cut each piece when it was needed. This way I could cut each piece to fit perfectly. I did this for the back piece and ended up cutting it larger then their recommended size. Also I just finished reading a great article from Fine Woodworking Magazine about Building in the right order. One thing they recommended was to cut the pieces to fit as you go. I learned this is true. Also they recommend to start by building the box but they also mention to cut the dados first. Something else I wish I had done.

One reason that it was recommended to cut the dados after the box is made is so the drawer will fit perfectly. It was advised to create the six drawers prior to cutting the dado then using the drawers the determine the height of the dado. I didn't want the drawers in this cabinet because I wanted to use that space to store my tool chargers. If you would like additional information about building the drawers click here.


cutting plywood with a circular saw

To cut a full sheet of plywood I use several 2 X 4 placed under the sheet of plywood. I use a very long level as a straight edge and a special saw blade designed for plywood. I recently purchased a Freud Thin Ultimate Plywood and Melamine Saw Blade. I can't say enough good things about this blade. If you want to get clean plywood cuts with a circular saw, this is the blade.




installing panels

I cut 2 pieces of 1/2" plywood 31 1/4" X 47 1/4". The corners need to be rounded to fit in the box.


I used glue and brad nails to secure the front piece to the box.


Do Not Glue The Back Piece!




mark edges for screws



For the back panel I drew a line to show where the inside edge of the wood was to make sure I place the screws in the wood.








coutersink screws


I used #6 1" screws, which is what I had on hand, for the back piece. I pre-drilled the holes using a 1/16" drill bit. I also countersunk each hole so the screws were flush with the wood.