This spacesaving underbench cabinet not only increases your storage capacity but when full of tools its weight also adds extra strength and stability to the workbench

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Maple Workbench

nee the last coat of tung oil was dry on the Maple Workbench shown on page 27, I started building my first project on it: a storage cabinet that could fit underneath.

This underbench cabinet actually serves two purposes. Of course it keeps tools within reach and easy to put away. The other benefit is sort of a windfall. When the cabinet is filled with tools, it adds weight and stability to the bench.

plywood box. The cabinet is an open-front plywood box that's divided into two compartments. The left compartment is for storing bulky items like portable power tools. These are con cealed behind a flip-up door. The right compartment has five drawers for hand tools or hardware.

box joints. One of my favorite parts of this cabinet is the box joints on these drawers. First of all, they just plain look good. They complement the larger box joints on the corners of the bench top as well as "show off' a little bit of my woodworking skill.

But they're also strong joints. And for a cabinet that's designed to hold heavy tools, that's important. When you're opening and closing the drawers all the time, the tools are constantly banging into the fronts and backs of the drawers. A strong interlocking joint with a lot of glue surface (such as a box joint) is what I'd recommend.

But there's something to keep in mind with these box joints: since they're built in increments (you don't want half a finger), the overall height of each drawer is set. So we had to design the final height of the cabinet by starting with the drawers and working out.

another option. If you're not interested in drawers, and want larger storage areas, take a look at the Designer's Notebook on page 49. There you'll see a simpler door system that takes on a completely different look.

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