Shaper Cutter and Router Bit Cabinet


      When designing and building the entry cabinet I built some prototype doors and test panels.  Those pieces set in the shop since 2003, gathering dust and waiting for an application.  The
red oak prototype doors were just the right size for a cabinet to hold shaper cutters, router bits, and all of the pieces that accompany the Akeda dovetail jig (Akeda Website).  As an aside, I found the Akeda jig to be a vastly superior product to the Leigh jig.  I struggled with the Leigh for several years, spending months' worth of weekends with test cuts, fiddling, and trying to get gap-free half-blind dovetail joints.  After spending a solid month of weekends with the Leigh jig solely dedicated to evaluating error contributors and trying to mitigate them, I admitted defeat and searched for a replacement.  The Akeda jig came out on top in my search.  I was able to tweak in 1/2 blind dovetails within two or three test cuts.  The design of the Akeda jig takes out many of the variables that contribute to error on the Leigh jig.  The trade-off is that your dovetails are no longer infinitely variable, but must be sized in 1/8" increments.  Given the quality of the joints, I can live with 1/8" increments.

  The cabinet was planned using VariCAD with a 3D model, rendered to a 2D drawing

3D Model without Doors

  Other Notes:
  • The cabinet doors were made from red oak, finished with Moser's Danish Oil and wax
  • The cabinet carcase is made from sassafras
  • The cabinet carcase is unfinished
  • The cabinet is attached to the wall with an integral French cleat
  • The vertical divider uses a sliding dovetail into the carcase
  • The lower shelf (above the drawers) is a sliding dovetail into the carcase
  • Door catches are rare earth magnets in the doors and carcase

   The product turned out as shown below:

Completed Shaper Cutter and Router Bit Cabinet



Complete, installed and with cutters and bits in place. The cabinet has lots of room for cutters and bits

  Some thoughts on the finish:  The idea of this project was to use materials on hand.  The sassafras carcase material had been obtained several years ago when Woodcraft had this wood on
sale during their "Wood of the Month" events.  The grain is compatible with red oak grain, therefore it was a good candidate.  I chose to leave the carcase unfinished as an experiment.  The pictures show a greater contrast between the red oak and sassfras than what one experiences viewing the piece in person.

Progress Log
  Time:  95 Hours  The main time consuming activity here was getting the sliding dovetails for the lower shelf tuned.  The Akeda jig does a great job on sliding dovetails as well; it just took
the slow kid here a little time to figure out the technique.  The following technique works out very well: Akeda Sliding Dovetail

Last Update 01/17/2011  mkl