Sunday, September 4, 2011

Shaker Inspired Medicine Cabinet - The Tool Kit

The Full Tool Kit

This is the tool kit I actually used when building this project.

Left Side:
rip saw, crosscut saw, hack saw

Center (back to front):
#7 jointer plane, #4 smoother plane
#62 low angle jack plane, #5 1/4 jack plane, side bead moulding plane, dropped quarter round moulding plane
#271 router plane, shoulder plane, rabbet plane, #18 block plane
Hand drill, awl, nail set, mallet
square, combination square, 3/4" chisel, bit and brace
file, round file, nippers
marking gauge, marking knife, flush cut saw, hammer, screw drivers
dowel plate, pencil (And yes, Dixon Ticonderoga 1388 #2 HB - one of the vintage, good ones from before they sold out!), hammer, folding rule

While working on this project, I wasn't trying to limit myself tool wise in any way. If there were multiple tool options, I tended to use the one that was either easiest or produced the best results. Of course, there are many, many different paths to the same destination. It would be possible to build this project with much less in the way of tools.

With that in mind, I though I would do something similar to my tool kit post on the Shaker Cupboard project. So, here's my take on the most basic set of tools that would create the same final result (different techniques would be required - such as forming the rabbets with a chisel rather than rabbet plane).

The Minimum Tool Kit

This is the minimum tool kit that could be used to build the project.

Back to Front:
rip saw, cross cut saw, #5 jack plane, #4 smoother plane
flush cut saw, 3/4" chisel, hand drill, block plane, side bead moulding plane, dropped quarter round moulding plane
screw drivers, brace and bit, square, marking gauge, knife
pencil, nail set, hammer, folding rule

I assumed that you would be able to find appropriate hinges and could forgo the tools I used to make my own.

As you can see, you don't need a shop full of tools to make a project. That said, I like having tool options and specialized tools that make some tasks easier, or allow for superior results.

So, will I make a second medicine cabinet using only the smaller tool kit? Well, my son can't reach the Tums anymore, and I have about a billion other projects waiting for my very limited time, so "Nah!"

Not anytime soon anyway...


  1. What's that you say Teague?
    You're building something?
    Cool, what is it?
    A ladder, nice!

  2. Well, as long as he is using hand tools...

  3. Really love that you do this as well. Also very informative. I must have missed what you used the carving knife for??

  4. Marilyn - Thanks! I'm glad you appreciate the tool kit posts. I use the carving knife mostly as a marking knife. But it's useful for other things too. On this project I used it to cut the thin wood for the shelf - it was just easier than sawing.

  5. Dan,
    May I quote your tool list on my blog. I am working on a "needed tool list"
    cheers, Ian Waltenbery

  6. Ian - Sure! Of course the kit would change slightly for different projects, but this would be a fairly solid basic kit. The first thing I would add back in would be the rabbet plane, then a couple more chisels, and a shop built mallet.

  7. its a nice tools. Thanks for sharing this


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