The Saw Blade Cabinet





Introduction: The Saw Blade Cabinet

It's been established that I have some OCD when it comes to cleanliness and organizational matters. I have a relatively small/narrow shop (9'x25') and when everything has its place, it stays uncluttered and improves my work flow and efficiency.

This space (for me) started as a musical rehearsal area with a few tools for house projects. I had one blade in the miter saw and one combination blade in the table saw - easy. Time has passed .. I've grown wiser ... at least older ... the shop took over and I've accumulated a larger variety of blades. 80 and 90 tooth fine cutting blades for drum shells, acrylic blades for other drum shells and plexi, 40-60 tooth blades for other projects, cutoff wheels, circular saw blades, etc.

I needed/wanted a storage solution other than a few nails on the wall with the blades knocking against each other in some random fashion. I wanted them all in one case, organized, separated, and mobile. I had an idea .. I also had plywood, poplar, and hardboard ... weird right?

Step 1: The Parts

Plywood for the carcass. Hardboard for the back and drawers. Poplar cut offs for the drawer fronts. I used more than this, but this picture was my attempt at being arsty and informative ... we all can't be good at everything I guess.

Step 2: The Milling/Carcass Assembly

I don't have a dado blade (yet), so this process took some time. I cut my plywood longer and wider than necessary .. because that's just my method (the method of screwing up so leave yourself some leeway). The dados would serve as drawer runners for 3/16" hardboard, so I cut them 1/4" wide ... spaced 3/4" apart (bottom to bottom). Each dado took three passes in an attempt to make relatively flat bottoms. At each end I made 3/4" rabbets to accept the top and bottom panels ... then cut off any extra material.

The newly dado ridden panel was cut into two sides, which are 11" wide by 13" tall. Tops and bottoms cut to 11" x 11" and all panels got a rabbet in the back to accept a piece of 3/16" hardboard.

I assembled the carcass with glue, brads and clamps.

Step 3: Additional Milling/Assembly

While the carcass assembly was drying, I milled drawer fronts out of poplar cut offs. 3/4" x 1/2 at random lengths .. then added a rabbet on one face to accept the 3/16" hardboard drawer.

Hardboard panels were cut at 11" x 11" for the drawers and an additional hardboard panel was set into the back with glue and brads (just snuck up on the cut until it fit).

I then added a cleat, which I made from 3/4" scrap plywood.

Step 4: Drawer Fabrication

Using a shop made marking gauge, I found the center point of each 11" x 11" panel and then drilled a 5/8" recess with a Forstner bit (about 5/16" deep). I then cut short sections of 5/8" dowel, which I then glued and pin nailed into these recesses.

To attach the drawer fronts, I used glue and pin nails with an on the fly spacing gauge. Unfortunately, the gauge was at a 3/4" spacing instead of the 1/2" spacing I actually needed because sometimes I space off.

Step 5: Finishing

To cut the drawer sides flush with the carcass, I taped all the drawers shut and used a crosscut sled.

After a bit of sanding, I finished all the plywood and poplar surfaces with 50/50 boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits and then branded the back hardboard panel.

Step 6: Complete

Final dimensions are 12" wide x 13" high x 11" deep. Storage capacity is 15 blades.

All my blades have a home with room for expansion and the entire case can be moved if necessary.



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    Very nice. I too like being organised. Everything has it's place, everything in it's place. Best way to get things done.

    P.S. You don't have OCD, it'll be OCPD. Yes there is a difference :-)

    Neat. I especially like the diagonal finder you have in step 4. dimple and so effective

    Thanks! I use that marking tool all the time.

    Thinking how it might be painful on the fingers to lift out sharp blades... maybe drill a 3/4" hole between the dowel and the drawer front, so you can poke a finger through and lift the blade off the dowel.

    I take the tray to the tool in question, palm it, and flip it upside down ... think Jello mold or bunt cake .. I don't like Jello mind you ... long story involving my Father never covering it, which allows a thick skin to form (I guess it really wasn't that long). Anyway .. Your hole suggestion is a clever and I like it ... can't say the same for Jello.

    That's one way to keep your blades from getting nicked...Nice!

    I have seen a blade cabinet made by a guy who was obsessive about saving space. His cabinet is similar to yours, but the drawers are only 1/4" thick, and 1/16" apart. He cut a number of hardboard square blanks, half of which he made holes the size of his blades. He bonded two blanks together, one holed, and one holeless. Then, he trimmed an edge on alternating drawers for a finger grip, and used sheet metal as drawer slides. Same concept as yours but more stingy with space.

    Found it. Sorry for small images but I am on Dial-up. Click Ctrl-+ to blow it up on your screen!