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Thread: Shop cabinets............

  1. #1

    Shop cabinets............

    I'm finally at the point of designing and building the cabinets in my shop.I'm 6'2 ....broke my back 7 years ago and lost a lot of flexibility. What height would you recommend for base cabinets.I'm considering 24 inches between bottom of the wall cabinets and the countertops on the base cabinets.I don't think I want the wall cabinets going all the way to the ceiling.I want to hang the wall cabinets by using french cleats.What say you?
    I'll be making the cabinets out of 3/4 inch A-C plywood for the sides, tops, bottoms and shelves. I've got a bunch of scrap 1/2 inch CDX plywood that I'm planning on using for the backs.I'm planning on using 1x4 for the face frames.Any suggestions, changes or advice?
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 04-15-2008 at 03:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Tokiwadai, Japan

    As far as's not "how many inches". For me, it was "what felt good". I crushed 3 vertebrae in my back 25+ years ago. When I built my first work bench, I stacked wood on top of the washer/dryer until doing things on the top felt good, and didn't tire me out. I measured it then and made my bench that high. I would suggest you try something similar, making sure it feels good and you can work at that level for a reasonable amount of time without tiring or cramping.

    French cleats seem like a good way to go. I actually prefer cabinets all the way to the ceiling...less dust/junk collection places, but that's a personal choice, IMO. You can hang, then cover a gap with even simple shop made crown molding.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I'd agree wth Greg, try out different heights to see what works for you. I'm 6' and I've got one bench that I prefer to work at that is about 40" tall. I like the cleat system as well. My old shop was setup with them, but haven't dedicated enough time to my current garage to set it up that way.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Odessa, Tx
    Ken, I wholeheartedly agree with the others about NOT leaving any space open between the wall cabinets and the ceiling, because no matter how good your dust collection is, the tops will fill with dust and create problems at the most inoportune times.

    One other thing, is that you can NEVER have too much storage space, so even if you have to use a short stool or ladder to access the very top cabinets or shelves, you can use those areas to store things that you only need to get to once a year or so, (or those plastic tool cases that you hardly ever need).

    I agree with you on the French cleat system and have made provisions in my framing to be able to install full length cleats on three of my shop's walls. The 4th wall has the 10' x 10' overhead door and the remaining length will be used for wood storage. (I may never use them, but I even made provision for cleats for the base cabinets on two walls).

    The 1"x4" for face frames will be fine for shop cabinets, unless.... you want to install pull out shelves in some or all of the base cabinets, and then the 4" width would require more work to install the slides and you would have some wasted space at the ends of the shelves.

    I sure wish I was that far along with mine, is still slowly progressing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    wel ken as the others have said, go with what feels right on the cab height. i to have got a higher than normal bench top that i then filled with storage area underneath its 37.5" high i think and i also raised the tablesaw to that height.. fully undrstand the flexibilty thing and with the height i have it works well for me so go with what ever you have now that you like the fit of.. havnt got to the uppers yet but from what i have read here french cleats are the way to go. i like full extension drawers deep and shallow that way you can look down and find what you want and not get down on knees to get to it..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

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