July 2, 2016

Storage: A Cabinet Under The ShopSmith, Part 3

Cabinet is FINISHED!
Another hot, hot day in shop today!  I wasn't planning to do a third installment of this project, but with the trials of getting this thing mounted up, I thought it deserved some discussion.

As you can see, all the doors are mounted (and they close all the way!), that wasn't particularly difficult, though I did need to do some measuring and marking to establish some symmetry between the double doors on the large side of the cabinet.  I also trimmed a bit off the small door and flipped the hinge around in order for it to close all the way.

Large side has doors front and back.
Once that was all done, I began the task of trying to get this beast mounted.  I once again ran into the issue of written measurements and real life not necessarily being the same, and were it not for my wife's help, I would have had a lot more difficulty.  And very likely a broken machine.

The hard part of mounting this cabinet is getting the bench tubes in between the ears on the end panels.  Turns out that the tubes on my machine are about 1/4" wider than what was listed as the dimensions for the cut out.  I don't know exactly how much wider, but we had to lift and shift the ShopSmith several times making test fits, then sanding material away, lather rinse repeat.  

Last bit of rasping!
Eventually we got the fit right, and could work on finishing up the mounting.  I first retracted the casters, so the ShopSmith was sitting at its lowest level, then I slid a couple of pieces of 1x under the cabinet ends to make sure that it will have good clearance then casters are deployed.


Positioning the cross ties
A backer board prevents blow-out
Carriage bolts and wing nuts finish the job
I was so excited when this was finished, that I had to start loading as much stuff in the cabinet as I could.  This is all preliminary, as there will be some better/additional customization, but I was able to store all my accessories (excluding the bandsaw) in or on the cabinet.

Box of assorted items to be stowed

The planer tucks nicely in the back.  Easy to access through rear doors.

First items in the small cabinet!

Lots of stuff, but lots of space!

Better organization on this side

Just about finished!

Found out what these holes are for! (Chuck key and Allen wrench!)
Now that this project is finished (finally!), it was time for a good clean up of the shop.  I cleaned up all my tools, extra hardware, took out a bunch of trash, and vacuumed everything.

Nice and clean!  Ready for the next job!
Final thoughts on this project:
  • Buy extra material to accommodate errors.
  • Relative dimensioning is your friend.  Real life always trumps theory.
  • It's okay for something to be "good enough", but don't leave it that way because you're tired of dealing with it.  I was inspired to take another shot at the small door, and because I did, it is now significantly better than "good enough"
  • Plywood often gets bowed.  Make temporary braces that hold case sides at the proper distance before cutting any partitions to final length.  As well as being a really beautiful project, there's a really good demonstration/explanation of this over here.
  • Getting ready to make a cut?  Check that measurement again!
  • When you're really excited/motivated to work on a project, not even a really hot shop can stop you!
That brings the Storage Cabinet project to a close.  Let me know what you think in the comments!  I'm still learning about EVERYTHING, including how little I actually know, and would appreciate any comments, criticisms, tips, etc.  Thanks for reading!

Check out part 1 and part 2 here!


  1. It is a nice cabinet and you will get it full. Learning occurred. Test fit parts...hmmmm. Why didn't you test fit the ends before assembly of the case ? If you get the lift assist--it is worth it--you will need to cut into the upper panel on the right end.. It is the storage you need for your shop. Hals Wood Shop ShopsSmith owner 21 years.

    1. Hi! Thanks for perusing my blog, and for your words of encouragement! In regards to test fitting, I didn't even think about it. This was my first cabinet project, and in fact my first real project that wasn't just some simple screwed together boards. I know better now, though!

  2. As a ShopSmith owner I've been trying to figure out if I can fit all my attachments in the cabinet. Looks like it will. I think I'll use your inspiration for my build. Bob in Florida

  3. Great You're happy

    I've got one myself since like 10 decades. I enjoy it also, not modded as yours nevertheless.

    Currently it does not work, it chokes when heat. Brought into a neigbour of mine and he'll find a deeper look at it.

    It seems as though a few have had difficulty with all the automatic decompression valve, so does yours have this?

    Enjoy an excellent day! How To Sharpen a Chainsaw