After setting up shop with your workbench and tool chest (or cabinet), the next project to build for your shop is a nail cabinet – a traditional way to hold fasteners and all the little bits of hardware woodworkers accumulate.
Nail cabinets were a common feature of early shops, whether you built furniture or shod horses. And this year I got to reproduce the cabinet from Roy Underhill’s “The Woodwright’s Shop” show.
Roy had purchased the cabinet years ago at a Washington, D.C., yard sale and it has hung out behind him in every program since the beginning of the show. It’s chock full of nails, slotted screws and other shop detritus. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is that Underhill’s nail cabinet is made from an old crate from the Ohio Match Co.
So when I reproduced the cabinet, I got to first build a crate, and then transform it into a nail cabinet with 21 drawers. While the cabinet looks like a lot of work with all the little drawers, it actually is quick to build. The drawers are built using nails and glue.
You can build one for yourself with a plan in the February 2014 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. And here’s the great news: Popular Woodworking is giving away a digital copy of this issue for free. It’s not some sneaky trial offer. You don’t have to give up your e-mail or swab the inside of your mouth to get the issue. Just go here and click to download it.
There’s some other cool stuff in the issue, including an article by Chuck Bender on the wacky but cool Mercer Museum.
— Christopher Schwarz
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