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Like most people who spend time in the shop, I’m constantly trying to find good places to put my stuff.   Lately, I got fed up with everything in the shop being coated with a thick coat of sawdust, so I figured a cabinet was in order.

I checked the local big boxes and office supply places to see what they had in the way of cabinets, but most of their units were either too small or way too expensive.  So I decided a home-brew approach would be the way to go.

I wanted the cabinet to measure 8’ tall by 4’ wide and 2’ deep, and I settled for 2×4 frame construction with quarter-inch ply braced by three 2×4’s apiece for layout.  I cut a few half-inch blondewood panels from two sheets of 4×8 veneered ply, made a couple doors from the same — and the cabinet came together in the span of one day.

Just to add a little bit extra I screwed a pegboard panel into each door to hold some misc. gear.  A few levels fit snugly on one door, and I put in a few blocks on the other door to hang bar clamps.

A 1-1/8″ oak dowel cut in two serves as the handles, and because the doors kept coming slightly ajar I added a wooden latch — fashioned from scrap around the shop — to keep them shut.

Most of the budget went to the 2×4’s and blondewood — almost all the other materials were leftovers from other projects.  The bill came out to around $75 for the whole thing, which made me pretty pleased with myself since the cheapest cabinet at the big box was about the same price and had about half the volume and a third the load-bearing capacity.

Sidenote: The weekend ended before I could put the second coat of shellac on the outside, so the blotchy pattern you see is because I just finished sanding the first coat.


10 Responses to Projects: Shop Storage Cabinet

  1. John says:

    Very nice! Any more details or suggestions for someone hoping to copy your example?

  2. PeterP says:

    Very nice

  3. Adam says:

    Yea, give us a quick sketch. I need about a dozen of these in my garage.

  4. Old Coot says:

    What Adam said except I want a detailed sketch with materials list. And a pony, I also want a pony 🙂

  5. Tim B. says:

    @Old Coot —

    Sorry… could NOT resist! 🙂

    In the same boat with the others – would like to see a sketch! =) My workshop is in drastic need of some sorting like this….

  6. Michael W. says:

    Very nice. You might want to consider a dedicated paint/stain metal cabinet for safety, though.

  7. Dave B. says:

    Very nice, I too would love to see some sketches to duplicate your project.

  8. jim says:

    I’m a big fan of that sort of construction! I found a minor change that helps incrementally – use 2X3’s for shelf supports and other braces where it makes sense. They are a little cheaper, but more importantly it gives you more vertical storage space – in this case 5″ more! The shelves still end up plenty strong for the tools & paint cans I pile in.

  9. Brian collins says:


    Thanks for the pic.

    Please post a link to plan and material list, along with a list of required tools!


  10. Chad Daly says:

    This is what I have been looking for to build. I would like to put it on rollers. Anymore info? Any additional pictures? Looks easy but as a novice I need the readers digest version.

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