Monthly Book Giveaway - January 2023

Workshop Storage

This project was first posted in February 2021.

Over the 2020 Christmas holiday, I started a shop cleanup and re-organization. One thing I really needed was more storage in general. The workbench originally just had a single shelf underneath, which was a poorly utilized space and had turned into a catch-all for all kinds of junk. I decided to start there and build a slide-in cabinet with a set of drawers.

I knew that I did not want to use any handle hardware that I would bang my knees on, so I needed some kind of recessed pull.  I also wanted an underhand pull so that falling sawdust wouldn't find its way into the drawers. Scouring the internet for ideas, I ran across this mid-century credenza, which provided the inspiration I needed:

The carcass was built from 3/4" birch ply, assembled with pocket screws.  The drawer boxes were from 1/2" birch ply, with full extension slides.

The front of the carcass is edged with some cherry. 

This was a bit of a lipstick-on-a-pig project since the workbench is not great, but it's served its purpose over the years.  Here I was test fitting the cabinet under the bench.  It sets on a simple 2x4 ladder that rests on the ground. 
The drawer fronts were made from MDF, edged and veneered with anigre (chosen because I had both on hand).  The veneer was applied after the recessed pull was routed.  Here's one of the drawer fronts and the template that I used to cut the cove on the back side of the pulls.

I used some double-sided tape to keep the template in place while routing the cove.

Testing fitting the drawer fronts after applying the veneer.

The drawer fronts got a couple coats of Odie's Oil.  The remainder of the components received a couple coats of water-borne poly.

I used some flat black paint on the exposed front of the drawer boxes to provide the dark background behind the pull opening.  The painted surfaces got a coat of matte poly to finish them off.

Ready for install


The workbench storage project was shortly followed-up with a matching hanging cabinet for cordless drills with drawers for bit storage.

This was a satisfying project and it was nice to finally have a dedicated place for storage that was close to hand while working at the bench.  Given how much other stuff I have that still needs a home, I can imagine making some additional storage cabinets like these in the future.  


hey who saays shop furniture cant be beautiful. real nice cabinets ross.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Very Nice,
Great use of space and it looks like it was always there.  
I'll bet it feels good every time you pull out a drawer to use.

Figuring out how to do something you have never done is what makes a good challenge.

Really nice Ross but be careful, I’ve been given grief about pretty shop furniture a couple of times.
Seriously, great use of space and pretty to boot. It will make you smile when you turn on the lights.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

I remember that project. That's a very nice looking (and functional) storage unit.
Nicely done Ross, and a great solution. The drawer pulls are a wonderful idea. Well done. Pretty and functional.

Main Street to the Mountains

Great storage.  Love the "non-handle" drawer access.  Everything is so well thought out and designed.  
Ross,  I also remember that project.  Might have been a fav too.  

Really nice work!  The black paint really sets off the drawer fronts.


Thanks, all.  Shipwright - I would only need to open the drawers and show the current contents to stave off comments about pretty furniture.  Drawer organization is yet another project for me to tackle.  
You put that in ur workshop?  I'd put that in my bedroom!!!  Well done!


Nicely done! I put up a shelf unit made of stuff I had laying around the "shop". Some of it is nicely shellacked drawers, some of it is melamine on particle board, some is plywood. It is strictly functional. I have some shame, so it's not going to be posted. Mainly because the "furniture" in my "shop" is temporary, to a large extent.

Steven- Random Orbital Nailer