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Saddle Cabinet

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by R. Stratenstein, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Okay, I started to open up a new thread NTD--New Tool Day, cuz I ordered one of these gidgets all the way from frozen Canuckistan.

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    It's a beauty, eh?

    I'm sure most of you will recognize it as a fret wire bender.

    Nicely machined, all brass and aluminum (hard steel wheels for the bendy parts), polished up and all shiny. Reasonably priced for nice work, I couldn't stop myself.

    The one I built gave me two guitars, then the rubber wheels started to deteriorate, the adjusting mechanism wasn't very precise, so it was time to step up. Fret wire is no fragile pansy-wansy stuff, it needs a stern, hard hand to force it into shape, and I think this tool is the one to do it.


    So I unpacked it, ooh-ed and ahh-ed over it, bored my wife pointing out the finer details of it while she was trying to make dinner

    And then took it to the basement to put it in my luthier's tool cabinet. I try to keep my luthier tools separated and organized in a separate place so I can find them.


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    Whoa! Wait a minute. Did I say "organized?" I could hear the poor little fret-bender quaking in the box whimpering "no, not in that mess, please!"

    Also, this was around the time John Nicholas started his shop-update and organizing thread, and suddenly, this mess made me kind of ashamed. This is nuts.


    So inspired by the need for a nice home for my new fret bender, John Nicholas' thread, and a YouTube video I'd recently seen by Jeremy Schmidt on his concrete-topped workbench with drawers, I decided to make a saddle cabinet for this cabinet--lots of drawers to organize and have a place for everything. Here's a link to the inspiration for the construction details of the cabinet. The bench top part is interesting, but I'm not looking to do anything like that for now. There are links for his intro to the project, which pretty much explains it, then a longer build thread where you can see how he actually did it. Pretty interesting project, and one of the best features is it eliminates the need to buy metal ball bearing slides, and the drawers are scalable, from (in my case, 2" deep) to just about any multiple of 2" needed.





    So, following are some photos and end results of my build.
     
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  2. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I was looking forward to using a new dado set I bought at a shop close-out a while ago, and found it easy to set up and use, but the results were disappointing.

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    The chipout was horrendous. I did cut the dados cross-grain to the top layer of the plywood, but I have done this many times before without results like this.

    I'm pretty sure it's the cheapo Home Depot "Sandeply" plywood, whatever the hell that is, because it also splintered on the main cuts, which were made with my expensive Freud blade that cuts everything else like butter. I think this outer ply is too damn thin, and not glued on very well. What crap.


    I mean, have you ever seen plywood held together with strings?

    WTF?? What's this?

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    Strings all through the stuff. What crappola. I won't be using this again, birch ply is a bit more expensive, but I don't need this. I was able to glue several of the chunks back down, but what a waste of time.


    Anyway, got the carcasse cut and assembled, and the drawer bottoms, too. Which are also the slides on which the drawers slip in and out on.

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    Here the bottoms are inserted into the carcasse, and the parts for the drawers are piled in the foreground.

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    Back is a major structural member, keeping the thing square so I took my time with it.

    Assembled drawer subassemblies:
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    Painted the carcasse, drawer fronts, and handles. Red and Black of course. Go Dawgs!

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    and started assembling drawers, and attaching handles to the drawers.

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    I did make a template so I could mount the 13 handles more quickly, this is just the first one from which the template was made.

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    Countersunk screw heads inside.

    Bolted the saddle cabinet to the end of the tool cabinet through pre-drilled holes. I used the assembly holes for the cabinet parts, with slightly longer bolts, countersunk from the inside.


    And voila! Put the drawers in and I got a new cabinet for the goodies.

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    Paint's a perfect match, too, don'cha think?

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    There are 9- 2" deep drawers, and 2- 4" deep drawers. There is also a hole at the bottom of the carcasse for an 8' drawer that will run on steel full extension drawer slides, because I mis-measured and did not put a groove where I needed one at the very bottom !! But I got the wood and all the parts for it.

    I've only started stocking it, and moving stuff into it, but I can't wait to get it organized!

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    But Mr. Fret-Bender is happy in his new home, and wants this drawer all to himself. So far, he's got it, but I have a few other fretting tools he's going to have to share with it.

    I hope to build several more of these kinds of units to help get the mess under control in my shop, and I'm pretty pleased with it so far.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    Awesome! Always feels good to get the shop organized.
     
  4. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

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    I like it I like it alot

    Did you make the handles Rick?


    I need about 40ft of organization.:eek:

    When I built this shop 35 yrs ago I built 40 ft of counter on brackets with no bottom cabinets. Am I regretting it now.
     
  5. Revv23

    Revv23 Friend of Leo's

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    Wow! Great!
     
  6. Larkins

    Larkins Tele-Meister

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    I keep saying before I start my next project, I have to get organized.
    But then I start my next project...
     
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  7. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    I love those super shallow drawers but another route to this is just local free ad sites generally have someone dumping a chest of drawers

    My garage looks all incoherent but it is effective. Mostly shelving because if I can't see it I won't know where it is
     
  8. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yes, I built the handles--another cost savings I gleaned from the videos I linked at the start of this thread. Made by ripping a piece of 3/4 plywood about 5-3/4 wide, and about as long in inches as the number of handles you'll need (I.e. 10" if you need 10 handles) Glue 1" wide strips of 3/4 plywood along both edges of the 5-3/4 board, when dry, true up edges on tablesaw, then cut 45 degree bevels along top edges. Slice off the handles in 3/4" thicknesses, and round over the edges of handles with router and round over bit.

    I've probably not explained it very clearly, but the build video shows it very clearly, if you're interested.

    I've got some counters, too that have room underneath for cabs, and better use of shop space.
     
  9. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I know exactly what you mean, out of sight, out of mind. But Having everything where I can see it creates such clutter in my shop (and most of it is my own fault, I don't have enough shelf-storage space either) and my shop is all but unusable due to "horizontal surface syndrome"--every horizontal surface collects layer upon layer of crap that should be stored properly in its own place. This project is a start on providing a place for everything.

    I do like my pegboards, and they are good for many things, but I've realized that in a woodshop, anything out in the open is going to get a coating of sawdust, no matter how good a dust collection system you have. Cabinets and drawers protect from dust, make it easier to clean up the dust, and the color-coded handles that Jeremy explains in his build videos helps identify drawer contents. I'm also hoping to put labels on the drawers to make it easier to find things.
     
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  10. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Thanks Revv!
     
  11. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    Holy crap Rick! That's awesome!!

    So glad that in some way my thread inspired you! My shop is the same way, every flat spot has piles on it. And this is after I started cleaning, straightening and organizing!!

    This looks so cool that I'm going to copy your design.

    So now it's time to pepper you with questions.

    What's the deal with the dado/plywood disaster?? Holy cannoli that plywood is horrible. Do you think the birch HD plywood would be better?

    Did you still use the stringy plywood?

    Next, did you mount this on the side of your tool box? If so, that's genius!!

    Using these type of storage cabinets under the work benches would help tremendously.

    It gave me another cool idea... what if you made the drawers wider. Like wide enough to store templates?? Hmmmm...

    It looks like you matched the paint perfectly! Great job! ;)
     
  12. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    Very cool! Now I feel even more guilty about the disaster in my garage…
    I was thinking you could use clear acrylic for the front piece to let you see what was inside.
     
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  13. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    Come on, man. Any shop rat worth his salt should not only be able to tell someone else where to find something in his shop, but also what else is next to that something. :lol:
     
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  14. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    I agree, but I've found that when you tell someone you know exactly where your left-handed fizzbang is, and open up the drawer, it's never there.
     
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  15. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    Nice work Rick !
     
  16. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    'String grade' ply seems to come from Mexico, or South America, from my experience.
     
  17. BAW4742

    BAW4742 Tele-Afflicted

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    That ain't me!! A few days ago I spent a half hour looking for a template, 45 minutes making a new one and found the old one the next day. It was in my template cabinet that I looked in three times and couldn't find it!

    Nice job on the cabinet there RS. I hope you'll be able to find the fret bender when you need it.
     
  18. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

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    Great work Rick!

    I'm fast outgrowing my pegboard storage too. I think something like this is what I need.
     
  19. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    IMG_0434.JPG


    LOL! My wife just shakes her head at my color abilities!

    Thanks for the kind comments, John. Yes, I did use the chippy, stringy plywood, all the damage is on the inside, so it's barely seen, and it's only the top layer that chipped. I was able to find, and glue down quite a few of the chips that pulled off. I used offcuts for drawer pieces, and tried to orient cuts with the grain on the tablesaw, and cut offs on the mitersaw, so cross-grain cuts were cut into the face, and that strategy worked fairly well to minimize chipping.

    I'm fairly certain HD birch ply would work much better, the outer plies are thicker, and the birch wood is more robust.

    Yes, I did mount it to the side of the tool chest, actually a Harbor Freight 5-drawer tool cart. It is very well made and high quality. I wish I could claim the idea, but even the concept of a "saddle tool chest" is an accessory you can get for most larger tool cabinets, including HF. The saddle name is kinda like saddle bags on a horse, mounted on the sides. The tool cart is amazingly heavy, and is on really heavy duty casters, so even though it's not intended to have a saddle chest, I'm sure it can handle it just fine.

    As you can see above, the drawers aren't wide enough for templates . . . But they are long enough! That's 3 each 3/4 in, mdf Tele-templates in there.
     
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  20. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's absolutely true. In my shop, for example, everything in my shop is right next that big ole pile of crap. :eek:o_O
     
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