Tool Cabinet Upgrade
By: Woodsmith staff
Add a few extras to get more from a rolling tool cart.
Rolling tools cabinets are usually thought of as mechanics’ toolboxes. They’re home to socket sets and wrenches, and they seem to belong in a garage rather than a woodworking shop. With a few simple upgrades, though, a rolling tool cabinet can be a much more useful fi xture in your shop. In fact, thanks to these changes, this cabinet has become kind of a “secondary workbench” in the shop when work spills over from my main workbench. Here’s a quick look at all of the upgrades.
At a local home center, I purchased a 1"- thick glued-up panel that was made from pine boards. The panel was a little larger than what I needed to make the top of this cabinet, so I crosscut it to length on the table saw. Then you can rip it to width and use the waste portion to make a backstop for the cabinet. Just glue and clamp the backstop piece in place. (Of course, you can also glue up your own panels for the top if desired.)
You can always use an extra vise around the shop. A light-duty vise from Lee Valley is an easy, inexpensive addition. The vise just clamps to the edge of the worksurface when you need an extra hand. The large, wide drawers of a tool cabinet can get cluttered, so I bought Inexpensive bins from Akro-Mils. They fit inside the drawers to easily contain smaller tools and hardware. To keep the bins from sliding around, I cut strips of 1⁄4" hardboard to fit inside the drawers and attached them with double-sided tape.
I added a couple of handy storage solutions to the sides of the cabinet, as well. On one side, just slap on a magnetic tool bar. (You’ll also notice a longer magnetic tool bar on the backstop, too.) A power strip added to the underside of the top is great for plugging in power tools. The other side of the cabinet is a perfect place to install pegboard for more tool storage. Just attach a couple wood cleats to the side of the cabinet with construction adhesive and sheet metal screws. That creates a space behind the pegboard for inserting hooks.