My "minimalist" Saw Till
By D. Greco
I got sick of seeing my full size saws on a pegboard or sitting
propped on a shelf. They were constantly falling off or getting
bumped. Besides, once I finish off those two new saws I'm
building, where would they end up? So I decided it was high time I
worked on my saw till.
At one time I designed an "Uber-sawtill"
that could hold double or triple the amount of saws I own and
would feature dovetailed drawers and a whole lot of fancy joinery.
Then reality set it. This thing was frickin' HUGE! Where the hell
was I going to put this? There just wasn't that much available
free wall space in my rather small shop. Unless I could pull off a
Dr. Who and make the inside of my garage bigger than the outside,
it wasn't going to happen.
So I did a quick about-face and figured that I could fit a wall
mounted saw till that was about 2' wide and about 3' tall. Here's
what I came up with.
also decided that I would use what I had on hand rather than
buying anything special for this. I had some pre-painted 1/2" MDO
plywood courtesy of my garage door project. And from my
garage wall make over from several years back I had some of that
1/4" plywood bead board.
I dusted off
my router table, took my finger joint jig down from the shelf and
cut the joinery that would hold the sides, top & bottom
together. (What? You expected me to cut the finger joints in the
plywood by hand? Nah! )
I did use a block plane to cut the exposed finger joints flush
with the cabinet sides
The kerf board were pieces of an old recycled 2x4. The 1-1/4"
dowel was the only thing I bought. I think it cost me $10. And I
still have enough to make another saw handle holder! The kerf
boards were placed so that I could store just about any size saw
in there. But since my back saws are stored in my tool cabinet,
this saw till will most likely only see panel and full sized saws.
Oh, aside from the finger joints, and the rabbet for the back, all
the other cuts were made with hand tools. I used a miter box to
make the slots. I also used hand drills, eggbeaters, a push drill
and a Yankee Screw Driver to install all the components.
Here's a shot showing how this minimalist saw till can hold just
about any saw I have.
I still need to widen the slots in the kerf board by a tad. They
are just a smidge too snug. While testing the fit of all my saws I
also discovered that the wooden dowel was mounted too high up from
the base. None of my longer saws (like my big miter box saw) would
fit. So I ditched the round "bar holders" that held the dowel in
place and made a new set of square ones out of some scraps of
apple. That changed the vertical dimension from the interior base
of the cabinet to the center line of the dowel from 3-3/8" to
2-1/4" and the horizontal one (from the face of the cabinet to to the center
line of the dowel) from 2-3/8" to approx 1-3/4". Not a whole
lot, But it made a huge difference.
I need to apply a finish to the bare wood parts and maybe paint
the outside so it looks a bit nicer. Then I need to make a set of
french cleats for hanging it on the wall. I plan on making a set
of (lockable) doors for this and eventually adding a dehumidifier.
I know I said "minimalist", but I never mentioned that I wouldn't
be adding some neat features.
I ended up really hosing it on the first set of parts I made for
the doors. I destroyed the work pieces while trying to cut the
mortises. I ended up making another set of parts for both doors. The real trick
was moving the mortise for the stiles inboard by 3/4". This gave
me a lot more "meat" to absorb the force from the chisel work.
making the tenons and then the mortises, I started on the groove
for the panels. I used my No45 to start it.
Then I moved to my router plate to clean it up.
Here's one door dry assembled
And here they are against the cabinet for scale.
The panels were cut to rough size and will be tweaked to fit once
I get a chance.
I applied a
finish to the panels and allowed it to cure. Then I glued the
assembly together. After the glue dried over night I planed
and scraped the rails and stiles to get a nice smooth surface.
I started installing the hinges last night and will most likely
finish up tonight. Then I'll need to fine tune the door fit,
remove the doors and apply a finish.
Once that's done it'll be time to rearrange some of the stuff
hanging on the walls and then hang the cabinet
Here it is all hung up and ready to be used.
The doors were made from cedar and the panels are some luan
plywood. I made the door panel grooves too wide but that actually
was a good thing. I ended up gluing two panels unfinished-side to
unfinished-side. So now both sides look good! Plus it made the
doors more "substantial.
The cabinet was painted was given several coats of satin white
interior trim paint. The cedar portions were given several coats
of Antique Oil Finish and wax.
There were a couple of things that dictated the size.
I still need
to install a lock of some sort and eventually I'll add a Goldenrod
Dehumidifier. But for now I'm done. I mean,...other than trying to
find a spot for all the assorted stuff this cabinet misplaced!
- I already store my back saws in my humidity controlled tool
cabinet. And I like having them so close to my bench
- I don't have a boat load of wall space. So I designed this
cabinet to fit the free wall space I DID have. It's wide enough
to house some saws, but not so wide that it gets in the way of
my bandsaw (which sits along that wall).
- It's size was also dictated by the materials I had on hand.
Remember, this is made entirely of SCRAP material from several
different projects. The only things I bought were the 1-1/4"
wooden dowel (for about $10) the door pulls ($4.00), the piano
hinges (about $12) and the magnetic closures ($3.00)