Tool cabinet – and finding studs

I have been storing my tools in a scrap-booking tote I got from Craigslist for $20. It worked really well as it had a large capacity, rolled around easily and even had compartments for smaller things like Allen keys and sandpaper. It even had little elastic holders for pencils and screwdrivers. It was a very good toolbox for apartment living that I would recommend to anyone. The only downside is that it is low on the ground and not easy to rummage through when something had made its way to the bottom of the tote. Also, It no longer holds all of my tools now I have a No. 8 plane, some longer saws and a draw-knife.

So I built a tool cabinet over the course of a few evenings the other week. I wish I had photographed and documented the process for this blog, but I got carried away. Regardless, a much better job was done by the Wood Whisperer, and so it would be better to refer you there for thorough instruction!

My cabinet is basically two 2′ -by- 4-1/2′ plywood in a 1″-by-8″ pine frame. The frame was dovetailed for strength and the doors are hinged with a piano hinge that I cut in half with a hack saw. I carved out the handles by hand but I will need much more practice to get anything Krenov would have approved of!


The cabinet is attached to the wall with a french cleat. I thought I needed a stud-finder to find where I could screw the lower part of the cleat into the wall – but it turns out some loose magnets do the job just as well! I just moved them around on the wall until I found a nail in a stud and then checked vertically for others. Parallel studs are easily found as they are at regular intervals in the wall.

One thought on “Tool cabinet – and finding studs

  1. Magnets are a good substitute for a stud finder, in fact, most entry level stud finders use them to detect studs, or rather the metal screws and nails that are anchored in them. Just remember, magnets detect metal not wood. When you are hanging heavy objects, like a mirror or television, might be worth investing in an internal capacitor stud finder, as they detect changes in density, and tend to be more accurate in pinpointing the exact location of studs.

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