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Full length Storage Cabinet

by Lorenz Prem
published on January 22 2011 10:10 pm

With all my woodworking equipment squared away in the new cabinet wall my attention moved to the pile of auto parts, oil, and lawnmower parts. All of these parts are dirty, oily, and unpleasant. I do not want them anywhere near my woodworking tools. Since I do have a woodshop, I decided to build a full height storage cabinet for just these parts.

The Design

A full height cabinet is no different from a normal cabinet. The construction methods are the same. The full size cabinet is just taller. It can be built by stacking two cabinets on top of each other, or as a single unit.

I opted for the single unit design for strength. The floor at the location the cabinet is going to be installed at sometimes gets wet. Hanging the cabinet on the wall and leaving a gap at the bottom avoids having to worry about getting the cabinet wet. This design also makes it much easier to sweep the floor.

The design calls for two compartments; on top of one another. Each section has its own pair of doors. This layout avoids having fragile one-piece 7ft doors in a garage environment. The two compartments also allow me to separate my parts. The big canisters go in the bottom, and the small parts in the top. The center divider also adds rigidity to the carcass. Since the other shelves are fixed in place, this design detail is not a necessity. If I had used floating shelves I would have thought long and hard about fixing at least one of them in place.


Construction begins with building the carcass from pre-finished 3/4 plywood. The cabinet calculator will produce a cut list for the project.

Just as shown on the cabinet calculator page, dados must be created in the sides, top, and bottom. These dado joints create a sturdy carcass. Glue and screws driven through the sides hold it all together. If you do not want any fasteners to show, you can skip the screws. The cabinet is plenty strong without them.

The shelves have a 1" solid polar face strip for strength and esthetics.They are fixed in place using strips of polar on each side. The face frame is made from the same poplar stock. It is attached with glue and nails. Details on how exactly this is done can be found here.

The Doors

The doors are made using rail&stile construction. You can read about it here. The top doors, which are larger, required 3 hinges a side. The lower doors get by with only two.


The cabinet is attached to the wall with 6 3" screws driven through the back of the cabinet into the studs in the wall. The cabinet's 3/4" back and sides allow it to support many hundreds of pounds. The shear and pullout strength of the screws I used is measure in thousands of pounds. All of this add up to one rock-solid cabinet. It has to be. We don't want it to tip when fully loaded, or a child tries to climb it.

Once the hardware arrives I will add the drawer pulls and locks. The cabinet does not store any valuables, but it does contain substances harmful to curious kids.


This cabinet is one of the most useful additions to my garage. It keeps the dust out of the oil drain pan. Woodworking and car parts don't mix. When they do, they leave a mess. My new cabinet makes sure that never happens.

Built-In Closet Series

About the Author
"Lorenz is the founder of Hingmy. When he is not reviewing power tools or improving the site, he is building things in his workshop or playing hockey."