Building a Tool Cabinet




Wear safety glasses and hearing protection. Always use straight boards and check for square after each step. Wipe off excess glue with a moist wipe.

  • For the cabinet you'll need:
  • 5 pieces of 1x4 @14.5 "
  • 2 pieces of 1x4 @32 "
  • For the door you'll need:
  • 5 pieces of 1x2 @14.5"
  • 2 pieces of 1x2 @32 "
  • Also you'll need pegboard 14.5"by 30" (cut to fit ) for the cabinet and for your inside of the door compartment.1/4 " plywood 14.5" by 30.5 (cut to fit ) Small mirror. Construction adhesive, hinges, stain or varnish, pocket hole screws 1-1/4", small screws to attach pegboard. 2-3" screws to attach French Cleat to wall studs


Step 1: Cut Your Lumber to Size

  • Cut all your lumber to size.
  • Rip 3 pieces of 1x2 @14.5" to 1-1/4 " thickness.
  • Nail and glue together with 1x2 @14.5" ( original thickness) Keep flush to back.
  • Repeat for the bottom of the door frame.

Step 2: Drill Holes

Use a Kreg jig to drill holes for pocket hole screws on the 1x4's @ 14.5" and the 1x2's @ 14.5".

As well as the two boards for the French Cleats.

Step 3: Cut French Cleat

  • Cut a 45 ° angle on the bottom side of both French Cleats.
  • Screw and glue one of them in "L" shape to the short side of the cabinet. Make sure the French Cleat is facing the right direction during assembly !
  • Screw and glue one of the 1x4 @14.5" in "L" shape to the bottom of cabinet as well.

Step 4: Assemble Frame and Cabinet

  • Screw and glue with 1-1/4" screws the shorter of the 1x2 to the longer 1x2 together. Make sure its square. Repeat for the 1x4 of the cabinet.

Step 5: Support for Door

  • Add the last 1x2 with 1-1/4 " thickness to the middle of the door. Keep it flush to the back.
  • Round over outside edges with a router.

Step 6: Fitting of Doorpanel

  • Measure inside opening of door and cut plywood to fit it.
  • Draw outlines of pattern for mirror on the plywood and cut with either scroll saw or Jigsaw.
  • Sand rough edges on door and apply stain or Varnish, if wanted, to all pieces.
  • Apply mirror to the back of the cut outs with construction adhesive.
  • Drop in door panel and glue and brad nail it in place.
  • Measure inside cabinet and the door compartment and cut pegboard to fit.
  • Drop pegboard into cabinet and glue and screw into place.

Step 7: Door Hinges

  • Put your hinges in place on the cabinet and trace around. Put your door on top of your cabinet and transfer your marking to the door. Use a box cutter to score the outline.
  • Using a sharp chisel cut away the depth needed for the hinge.Mark the location of the screws and pre drill the holes.

Step 8: Door Compartment

  • Cut small wooden blocks and glue to the inside of door. Then glue and screw Pegboard into place.

Step 9: Final Assembly

  • Connect the cabinet to the door with the hinges.
  • Find studs in a wall where you wish to hang your cabinet
  • Level your French Cleat and attach with 2-3" screws to wall
  • Hang you cabinet. The French Cleats should just slide together and hold the Tool cabinet safely.



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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I love this. Something that can really dress up my new studio!


    3 years ago

    This looks so great! How did you get the mirror to stay in place in the door?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    You can use construction adhesive between the mirror and the door I weight it down a bit during glue up so it wouldn't move anymore.


    3 years ago

    Really nice. I love the female touch to the outer facing. I personally don't have room in my shop for this, but will build one for my daughter who wants to take after her Dad and had a few tools to start (and more than enough DYI "smarts" to surprise her male friends). Thanks for sharing.