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A Multidrawer Wall Cabinet for the Workshop

“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
Michaelangelo Buonarrroti
1474-1564, Italian Renaissance Painter and Sculptor

A few years ago Fine Woodworking magazine and offered a woodworking article titled “Build a Multidrawer Wall Cabinet” presented by woodworker, Chris Gochnour. It’s a great magazine article as Chris goes into the details of building a 12-drawer Shaker style wall cabinet and the eleven part woodworking video allows for an even greater depth of coverage. The construction of the cabinet requires one’s focus and commitment to accuracy.

Multidrawer wall cabinet

12 drawer Shaker style wall mount apothecary

Sometime after reading the article I was in my woodworking shop and feeling a need for better organization. (Have you ever had this thought cross your mind while in your shop?) So, when thinking of woodworking ideas for a project I decided that I could improve the organization of my hardware by building this multi-drawer wall cabinet. I did not feel a need to make it out of cherry or any other hardwood because this was to be simply a wall mount cabinet for the shop. However, it needed to be built to last and so I chose to use 1/2″ Baltic Birch plywood for the carcase and also for the cabinet drawer sides and back. Hard maple was used for the drawer front along with a Shaker style cabinet knob with 1/4′ diameter tenons. The drawer bottom is made of simple hardboard that was conveniently available in the shop.

My attitude towards taking on this project was twofold. The cabinet would serve a direct purpose in the woodworking shop by housing hardware and the wood project would also present a challenge to me and therefore make for good practice. And so it was “Game On.”

While the finished Shaker cabinet has a simple look about it there certainly can be complexities to it if you are not careful. The reason the cabinet and drawers appear simple is due to the fact of careful layout and careful construction. The dimensions of the carcase directly relate to the sizing of the drawers. If you are right on then there is no problem. On the other hand, if you get off a little with your dimensions you could create new challenges.

Drawer from Multidrawer wall cabinet

Apothecary Shaker style drawer with maple turned knob..

In my previous post titled The Practice of Woodworking we discussed the importance of our dedication to our woodworking craft and of the improvement of our skill levels through practicing. Here, we can learn through our mistakes and we can learn how to correct our mistakes. Perhaps there is no better teacher!

Especially, for those of you who are The Apprentice (beginning woodworkers), remember to visualize your finished project as you desire it to appear. Have this mental image before you even pick up the material or your tools. Then start your project and maintain this image throughout the building stage. Hold this image until completion. Enjoy the process!

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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  1. John says

    I saw the video and the article and I am tempted to build it for the same reasons you did. You can build it as large as you like and as I recall he has a bigger one in his workshop. I am building some upper and lower cabinets for my shop using the Sommerfeld method in preparation for building additional cabinets for my home – practice makes perfect – a tenant you subscribe to.

    I built a cabinet for my Kreg Klamp table – you still have to clamp the s out the rails and styles because of the high angle of the Kreg pocket – but it seems to work better then freewheeling clamps. The cabinet came out great – birch ply with oak fronts and has held up so far.

    Keep us informed as to the pitfalls for building the shaker cabinet.

  2. John…
    As I recall Chris Gochnour, who presented the video has a 64 drawer Shaker style cabinet. If my memory is correct the drawers are 8 across and 8 down. That’s a pretty significant challenge!

    It sounds like you are getting in some pretty good practice in cabinet building. Perhaps you can share with us the Sommerfield method. Also, it seems as though the Kreg system is catching on with a lot of people. How effective is their system?

    Let us know how your cabinets turn out.

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