The top .. after the first coat.

This top and it’s quarter sawn wood gave me fits with, as you can imagine, tear out.  I can’t say that I’m really very happy with it, but it’ll have to do.

I’m sure you know the situation.  As a maker of the top, all you tend to see is the mistakes.  There’s tear out, a tiny gap I had to fill and some plane tracks.  And after a lot of attempts to fit all of that, I wasn’t able to get them all out.

I wet sanded this first coat of Pro Fin and the top looks better than I thought it would, but I can still see the imperfections.  Chalk it up to a good learning experience.

If I had to do it over again, I’d use some nice old cherry or just oil the 1/4 sawn instead of trying to finish it.

Chocolate walnut and maple inside with a cherry outside ..

So the tool cabinet is finally finished.  Outside dimensions:  35″ high by 29″ wide by 15″ deep.Glamor shots:


Doors have book matched white oak panels with cherry frame.  I picked the panels up from Bell Forest.  Handles are oil rubbed bronze.

Yes, I have gotten a few comments that this is too nice for a tool cabinet, but hey, at least now I know I can do the cabinets for the inside of the house.

The panels were run through a power planer because I was having trouble with the knots and the significant cup.  Since then I’ve learned a few lessons from Joe and how to plane knots.  I’ll try that next time.

Inside with Tools
Cubbies were sized for specific tools.  Shelves are cherry with walnut dividers.  The back panels are left over from another project tongue and groove fir boards that I purchased from a local lumber yard.
This is my entire arsenal of planes and I have a little room to expand but I’m hoping I’m done with major hand plane acquisitions. (9 planes, right?) Some of these will hang on the interior of the doors.

Cabinet Side and Door Grain Matching.  I glued up the panels for the sides including the door width and then ripped out the door sides to make sure I had an appealing grain pattern.

Dove tail drawers – Maple and Walnut  with a small bead on the top and bottom.  These will hold my chisels and drill bits which I store in rolls. This allows me to pick up the whole roll at once and take it to the bench.

I still need to hang many of my tools.  The brace, egg beater drill, spoke shave, etc.  will be mounted later on the inside of the doors.

The Finish – I tried something new for this cabinet and really loved it.  The pores on the doors needed to be filled (white oak) to get a smooth exterior finish.  This wood filler worked wonders and dried clear.  Then I added the wipe on, wipe off satin finish.. in my garage.  No nibs and I couldn’t be happier with the results.I got the idea to use a transparent filler from Rob Bois’ butternut cabinet project.
From the Doh! Files
(a little reminders that I’m still learning not to make stupid mistakes)

1. Measure before you cut .. Doh!

2. Don’t drop your work on the concrete floor because even with a little water and a hot iron, you might not be able to decompress the fibers … Doh!

3. Pair up you tail board to make sure you don’t cut your tail board upside down .. Doh!

The Parting Shot

Links to other posts for this project: Tool Cabinet Project Page