Build the base frame
Cut your 1x4 frame boards to size. Use
a higher-grade pine – it’s worth the
extra money to be able to work with straight,
knot-free wood. Sand all the boards with
100-grit sandpaper before assembling
the frames. Glue the joints and nail
them with 1-1/2-in. brads, just to hold
them together. When the base is
assembled, go back and drive in two
2-in. trim head screws. If you don’t have
a brad nailer, no problem; the screws are
plenty strong on their own.
Attach the pegboard to the base frame
To get a more attractive, solid pegboard edge on the base frame and doors,
square up the frame and hold it in place
with a couple of temporary cross braces
and brads. Lay a half sheet of pegboard
on top of the frame so all the rows of
holes are inset at least 1/4 in. from the edge before
fastening it down. Fasten the sheet with
1-in. brads every 8 in. or so (Photo 1), and
use glue on all the unfinished sides of
Once the pegboard is secure, trim off
the excess material with a router
equipped with a flush-trim bit (Photo 2).
If you don’t own a flush-trim bit, this is
an excellent opportunity to spend $20 on
a tool you’ll definitely use again.
Trimming down pegboard creates clouds
of very fine dust, which seems to get into
everything, so if possible move
the whole operation
outdoors. Don’t even think about
doing this without wearing a dust mask.
If you don’t have a router to trim off the
excess, just mark the outline of the base
frame onto the half sheet of pegboard
and trim it with a saw.
Build the doors
Use the same process to build the door
frames and install the pegboard as you
did on the base. Again, pay special attention
to the spacing of the holes before
you attach the pegboard and rout it flush.
The only difference this time is that the
first layer of pegboard should be facing
Once the first layer of pegboard is in
place, rip down 3/4-in. strips of wood to
act as a spacer between the first and the
second layers (Photo 3). This will allow
clearance for the peg hardware on both
sides of the door. Align the spacers the
same way you did with the frame, so the
end grain cannot be seen from the sides.
Tack them in place with 1-1/2-in. brads.
Tack on the outer layer of pegboard or
dry-erase board (white/gloss hardboard
panel board) with 1-in. brads, and then
drive in 2-in. trim head screws about
every 8 in. or so. Pegboard and other
hardboard materials tend to pucker
when you screw into them, so predrill
the holes with a small countersink drill
bit. Don’t attach the screen mold on the
outside of the doors until the doors are
hung onto the base.
Finish the back side of the base
There needs to be space for the peg hardware
on the back of the base, so install
3/4-in. strips of pine on the back two
sides of the base. Fasten them with glue
and 1-1/2-in. brads. Next, install a full
pine 1x4 on the top and bottom of the
back side of the base. These are the
boards you’ll screw through when you
hang the cabinet on the wall. Glue and
tack these boards into place, and then
drive 2-in. trim head screws through the
boards into the base frame.
Use another 3/4-in. strip of pine to
brace up the center of the pegboard.
Install this center brace between the
holes. Secure it with glue and a few 1-in.
brads from the front side of the base.
This will prevent the 4 x 4-ft. sheet of
pegboard from getting too floppy.
The doors will be thicker than the base
once you add the screen molding. This
means they’ll make contact with the
walls before they fully open. If you add
filler strips of pegboard on the back side
of the pine boards you just installed, the
doors will open farther, and you’ll get
another cool-looking dark strip resembling
a walnut inlay (Photo 4). Even with
the filler strips, the cabinet doors will
make contact with the wall about 4 in.
before they fully open. If you really, really
want the doors to open all the way, you
can add another 1/4 in. of filler to the
back. But if you hang tools on the front of
the cabinet or on the walls on either side,
4 it shouldn’t matter at all.
Figure A: Pegboard Wall Cabinet
Figure A: Pegboard Wall Cabinet
The overall dimensions of this compact tool cabinet are 47 3/4-in. square and 9 1/2-in. deep. A complete Cutting List and a Materials List are available in pdf format in Additional Information below.
Figure B: Cutting diagram
Figure B: Cutting Diagram
Cut the pegboard so that all the edges are solid hardboard. A complete Cutting List and a Materials List are available in pdf format in Additional Information below.
Install the doors
The cabinet is a little shorter than the
hinges; use a hacksaw to trim them
down. Install the hinges to the base first.
Fold it over the front edge of the base at a
90-degree angle and install the screws. Clamp the doors into place before you
screw the other half of the hinge. Use a
self-centering screw hole punch to make
sure the screws are perfectly aligned
(Photo 5). The punch is inexpensive and sold
at home centers. Make sure the doors
stay shut by installing a magnet catch on
the top and bottom.
If the gap between the doors isn’t perfectly
even, adjust the screen mold on
the front of the doors as you install them
until it is. Fasten the screen mold with 1-in. brads.
Back to Top
Finish it up
After filling the holes with putty, cover
the wood with clear polyurethane. It
keeps the wood color light and really darkens
up the edges of the pegboard. Don’t
use an aggressively sticky tape when you
tape off the hardboard/dry-erase board
or you may pull the finish right off them.
Screw the cabinet to the wall with screws
that penetrate the studs at least 1-1/4 in.,
and try to hit at least three studs on the
top and three on the bottom. You can
install handles on the bottom if you like.
Now that you’re done, it’s time to shop
for the hardware you’ll need to hang all
your tools. Here’s a suggestion for you:
Avoid 1/8-in. hooks. They fit in the 1/4-in.
holes but tend to pull out when you
remove a tool.