Open View

A storage solution utilizing wasted space below a drill press.

SHOP OWNER: Barb Siddiqui
LOCATION: Wenatchee, WA

    Needing to gather my drill press paraphernalia nearer to the machine, I decided recently to utilize the wasted space below the table and build a rollout cabinet. This way if I ever needed to drill into end grain on a long work piece, it would not be in the way. I came up with this small cabinet on only a 12" square footprint, with three inner sections that hold all my equipment and have room to add future purchases.
    The two doors were made from one closed box of 3/4" Baltic birch ply, dimensioned 7" x 20 3/4" x 12" and then cut apart in the center to leave 3 1/2" open doors. A center partition (5" x 12" x 20 3/4") with dadoed cross shelves has a tall section at the back, the full height of the box, to hold extended drill bits in a slide-out block for easy access, and edged shelves. The black plastic drill-bit holder on the top shelf is held in place over a 'keeper block' fitted underneath its hollow space so it won't slide around, but can be lifted out to read its imprinted sizes. I put a 1/4" spacer below the narrow center section so the doors would swing freely, then screwed that center section to a base piece 12" x 12" and set the doors on piano hinges.
    I uncovered a design flaw when both doors swung open and the weight at a 90 angle tipped the whole cabinet backward, even unloaded, so I had to think through a solution. The answer was in the words, "what I need here is outriggers", and I realized if I put a 2 x 4 on each side of the drill's floor base and extended them back a few inches, the wheelbase would support the cabinet better.
Closed View

    So the wheels sit on 15" 2 x 4s dowel-joined under the 12" x 12" base piece, and even fully loaded, that three inches made all the difference. The cabinet is stable with both doors swung back and touching, which won't happen. If I did it again, I'd use a different hinge in this application. Rather than a piano hinge, stop hinges set three or four down the sides might have been better.
    To make multiple use of the cabinet, I put triangular wood trim around the top edge, so items set there wouldn't roll off. The trim mitered at the corners on each of the three separate units. The cabinet not only gives me lots of room to add in new purchases, but with everything so handy and easy to get to, I'm more apt to put things away after using them, so I'll know where things are. The only drawback to doing a 'shop organizer' like this is, it makes me tend to get into my catalogs and buy what I wanted to fill up the blank spaces! However, it does work well.

. . . Barb Siddiqui



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