by Glen D. Huey
As I look around my shop, or most woodworking shops, I see cabinets built with plywood and screws. But there are other options. I decided to change things up and make a shop cabinet using hardwoods, and to use the project to experiment with a couple of different techniques.
I consider a router an essential woodworking tool. And because I have router bits and accessories stored in small boxes, stuck in drawers and in tool boxes (and hanging in less-than-ideal locations), a cabinet for all things router seemed the perfect project.
The first order of business is to select and mill wood for the sides, top, shelves and center divider. Cut the top and sides to size, but leave the shelves and center divider 1⁄4″ overwide and 1″ overlong.
Dovetails are perfect to join the cabinet sides to the top; the joint – tails in the sides – holds up extremely well under the stress of heavy use and weight.
The dovetails are hidden by an applied moulding – and if I’m hiding the work, I don’t wish to see any indication of the joinery. To pull off the disappearing act, cut 1⁄8″-deep rabbets on the inside face of the ends of the top. This reduces the apparent thickness of the top as seen from the ends, but doesn’t give up any actual meat. Plus, the small shoulder helps hold the cabinet square during assembly.
Lay out the pin board (the top) with a wide pin at the back. Make your saw cuts, remove the waste, then transfer the layout to the sides. Remember to set your marking gauge to match the remaining thickness on the top’s end before scribing any lines. I use a band saw to define the tails, then clear away the waste with chisels and fit the dovetails. Because the joints are covered by moulding, they don’t need to be perfect.
Free Plan: Download a SketchUp model of this router cabinet.
Article: Discover how Glen spaces the holes for his router bits
Blog: Build Glen’s cheap and simple router jig that a workhorse in his shop.
Blog: Discover five frequently asked router questions and learn the answers.
In Our Store: Download a copy of “Getting Started with Routers,” by David Thiel.
To Buy: Learn what router bits Glen recommends for woodworkers new to routers.
From the December 2014 issue, #215