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Tom Clark

13720 Butterfield Trail NW

Deming, NM  88030

Note PAY Pal No  Longer Accepted as of Jan 2017

Fifth Printing 2013           8.5" x 11"  92 pages

Practical Shop Cabinets

While there are many kinds of ready-made workbenches and cabinets available, they are all inefficient compared to custom workbenches and cabinets made to fit you and your shop.

By the way, shop-built cabinets cost only a small percentage of what you would spend for ready-built cabinets.

Practical Shop Cabinets is filled with dozens of project ideas, from easy-to-build workbenches, drawer units, and storage units. Our easy and strong construction methods will help you to design, build, and finish your next project before others finish their drawing.

You do not need a shop full of fancy equipment to build your own cabinets. The three drawer units on the left in this photo below were built 25 years ago, before the author even had a table saw in his shop. All the parts were simply cut out on a bandsaw! You don't need a shop full of expensive equipment to build strong and beautiful shop cabinets!

Practical Shop Cabinets is a full size 8.5x11 inches, and contains 92 bound pages of quality printing. PSC contains hundreds of very clear photographs and drawings, and 25,000 easy to understand words that will take you step by-step through building projects that will improve your shop. 

With just a few minor upgrades from building shop cabinets, you can design and build beautiful custom office furniture, cabinets, and desks that far surpass the quality of anything you can purchase at a reasonable price.

Are you tired of working in a poorly organized workshop where you have no place to put things, so everything is cluttered all the time? While  some may think that they do not have room for shop cabinets, you will find that good cabinet designs will actually double your useable space by organizing the room you do have!

Practical Shop Cabinets has become a very popular book since it's first printing in 2005.  Thousands of copies have been sold and it has had to be reprinted five times so far. For the price of a single plan for a simple project from most sources, you will learn how to design your  own easy-to-build cabinets and workbenches, build them any size you wish, customize them to suit you, and build them unbelievably fast! To start building your dream shop, order your copy today!

Reader's Comments about Practical Shop Cabinets:

Customers talking about Practical Shop Cabinets on the internet:!

I love your book. After reading it I was in my shop and looked at my bandsaw and table saw differently. Those clunky metal stands were dying to be replaced by more storage.  I still have to sketch out the details, but the plans are for a cabinet underneath it next with storage for my blades, jigs and etc. Your book is so simple, but it does wonders to help people change their way of thinking. It is KISS at its finest. I would buy it again if this copy ends up damaged. Thanks again Tom.  Jon Mulzer - Indiana

If you are at all interested in building useful, sturdy, and practical cabinets for your shop, this is the best $13.45 you can spend. Tom takes you through the process of building shop cabinets using practical techniques and basic materials. Don’t expect exact dimensioned plans, but rather an explanation of the process you need to follow to design and build cabinets that will fit your work space and your tools. He has plenty of photos and details the entire process so well that even a first-time cabinet builder can turn out a quality product. The second project I ever built was a cabinet following his designs. No special tools or materials are needed to build these cabinets. Hardwood plywood (I substituted Baltic Birch) in 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4” thicknesses, full extension drawer slides (I got mine from, and a saw – I used a table saw, Tom states in the book that he built his first with a bandsaw – are all that are needed.     Lee - Phoenix, AZ

Recently finished your book "Practical Shop Cabinets" and just wanted to say what a great read it was. I am a complete newbie woodworker, and your methods are such a tremendous value to a guy like me.  Thanks again and I can't wait to get started building my shop cabinets using your methods!  Lou

I read your book, cover to cover, as soon as I received it from you. What clarity and such a common sense approach. I can hardly wait to get started on my first project!  By the way, I have reviewed dozens of plans and ideas for a router table and have never seen one as sensible and inexpensive as yours.  Carl

I don't know Tom from Adam, but I did order his book on shop cabinets a few weeks ago. Best money I have spent on a book in a long time. It explains everything you need to build exactly what he is explaining. Lots of pics and ideas. Not associated in any way just a satisfied (very) customer. Thanks again Tom.   Randy

My small 10 x12 shop need a major reorganization. I got Tom's book yesterday and spent last evening and this afternoon going through and measuring up my shop. I plan on building the 18 drawer cabinet to put along one wall of my shop. I figure I can get rid of all the white Melamine cabinets I have and will have plenty of storage. This will free up two walls for other things. The thing I like about Tom's approach is it is simple (KISS) and can be done fairly fast and have good results. I love learning all the other joinery methods, but for the shop it won't turn into a major project, that will take weeks to complete. Being retired I should be able to get this done in 3 or 4 days. Taking my normal afternoon naps and grand daughter breaks. I do have a couple of more complicated projects lined up but need to get some working room first. Great book Tom well worth the money,  and beat a book on turning ordered 3 days before and costing $10 more getting here. For a beginning woodworker it is a good way to start simple and work into the more complicated aspects of woodworking later.  Tom, CA

I was searching internet shop forums looking at shop tours, when I came across your workshop. With most of the shop tours I saw I wondered why the person would want to let anyone else see the mess that their photos showed. 90% of the shops were totally unorganized.

    Although my shop is much smaller than yours, I could immediately see that by filling my shop with custom cabinets like yours, it would have the effect of doubling the size of my own workspace.

    After reading your book, I walked out into my shop and couldn’t believe all the wasted space I saw. I built two cabinets right away – a 10 drawer workbench and a machinery stand for small machines. I filled it with drawers also. Just by having the  wasted space under my machines and benches do double duty my shop space increased dramatically. Now all the tools I use all the time are right at my fingertips, and I can find things again with out wasting time searching for them or opening boxes.

    I can’t believe that it is so simple to sketch just what my shop needs, and then start cutting wood.  Thanks for writing your book. I think that you should start your own woodworking magazine. It would be nice to have one that actually showed practical projects instead of the poorly designed ones most of them feature.   David  in CA  -Internet

I bought Tom's book and because I needed shop storage in a bad way, and I wanted easy and in a hurry. I was able to quickly build two stands one for my drill press and one for my belt/disk sander (4 drawers). I didn't follow exact dimensions (18" drawers) but was able to follow along and compensate easily. I plan on building one for my out feed table next. This will be significantly bigger (two columns of drawers) and now that I have a brad nailer it will go even quicker. Using his techniques and inexpensive, but substantial, drawer glides I won't spend a fortune or insane amount of time putting it together.  Hoakie, IA

Another kudo for your book. Mine just arrived yesterday. May I say that it is the best $13 I have spend for any educational material ever. Lots of detailed photos, which are a big help when you are trying to visualize a project. Thank you for providing a easier way to create what most of us need; more shop cabinets and storage. 

Woodshark,  Atlanta

Just to let you know I enjoyed Practical Shop Cabinets and the updated "Modern Dobsonian". They are inspirational. Now, did I accomplish anything? Yes! I build a small version of the Workbench Topper for my "mini" workshop. It is a 2 1/2 or 2 1/4 car garage - I still have some room to work with both cars in the garage. I can't believe how easy it is to put it together - even though I only used a hammer instead of nail guns. Everything seemed to be squared up very nicely.

    Oh, yeah, I also subscribed to the Family Handyman magazine. I noticed that on occasion they do use modern techniques that you are using. I preferred your hand-drawn pictures though, I sometimes found the fancy computer pictures in magazine a little bit intimidating. I learned to love graph papers - it is so much easier than using the CAD software! As a result, I deleted the freeware CAD software from my computer.      Larry Trutter   Springfield, IL

It has taken me years to get my 24 x 24 shop organized in a sensible way. Most of the cabinets were designed and built by me from wood of memories. So, contemplating a long distance move, the difficult decision is just how much I'm willing to spend to move my treasured cabinets and stationary machines (at 70 cents a pound).

    Your book, "Practical Shop Cabinets", has resolved the problem. Everything stays, will be sold or given to family. It's time to move on. I am now confident I am able to build better shop cabinets and fixtures, more quickly and much cheaper by following the directions in your book.

    Yes, I have nearly all the "Fine Woodworking", "Fine Homebuilding" and other Taunton Press classic hardcover books. None contain the information I need or inspire the confidence you have provided. What a bargain your book is at only $9.95. Do you care to start a new niche magazine devoted to wood workers?    Gale Holbrook

On my travels for the summer at a Bounder Motorhome Rally I met a fellow woodworker named Tom Clark. Tom is a woodworker who lives in Chiefland FL. Tom has written a very interesting self-published book that you can order over the internet at This book is a winner! It is written in plain English, loads of very practical ideas and suggestions. I do plan to follow some of his great ideas and redesign most of my shop when I get home in the Fall! The book is very reasonably priced $9.95 + postage. You can order by phone or e-mail. You won't be sorry, it's a great book.  Bob Haskins   Lakeland, FL

I have completed building three shop cabinets using your book Practical Shop Cabinets as my guide. They have really made a big difference in the organization of my shop. Your book was just the help I needed to find the right design that was easy and practical to build. The all plywood construction is very strong and because left over pieces from one project are used in subsequent cabinets, the materials cost is much more affordable. I threw out very few pieces of any size after all was accomplished. Not having to buy solid lumber made my shopping list simple.

    The three cabinets have a total drawer space square footage of 110, but the floor space footprint is only 18.5 square feet. A lot of storage in a small space. I have more cabinets planned for the future and designing is easy now that the basic design is understood. In fact, I even hybridized the small parts cabinet using a combination of two construction techniques.  M. Moyer   Brooksville, FL

Your book helped me in one great way - it took away the aura of complexity (that they had for me) from drawers and such. Now every construction i see, I am able to break it down into similarly simpler design. Thanks. I have added a set of drawers under my workbench, and I don't want to admit for how long I have been wanting to do that. I also added a couple cabinets where  I had not anticipated before.   Radak - internet

Wow, thanks Tom. I have been doing some reading, trying to understand cabinet making so that I can try to build some new cabinets for my own shop, and this was just the thing I needed to help me get started. I talked to a few other guys I know that live in my area and claim to do wood work (though I have yet to see any of their work). Some of them make cabinetry out to be akin to rocket science. Lets just say that after talking to them I was a little intimidated about the process and unsure of where to start. Your process seems straight forward and I am really looking forward to trying to adopt it.    Dale, CA

Tom, I am so glad someone has finally shown how to build a proper shop. I've bought your book and plan on redoing all of my garage cabinets. Thank you again and keep up the great work.   David Bell

I received your cabinet making book a few days ago. I have to tell you, like many of your readers, it has certainly inspired me to get to it and finally organize my shop. I truly enjoyed reading it and cannot wait to get started on my new cabinets this weekend.

     Also, I have to tell you, you are a man after my own heart, and am impressed by the accomplishments you have made and continue to make. The telescopes, woodworking and RC planes are also interests of mine. And when the shop gets done I will be coming back to you for those books too. Although I don't get the time right now to dedicate a lot to them, I will in the future and don't want to miss out on your wisdom in those areas also.


As an amateur astronomer and woodworker, I have been familiar with Tom's work longer than I have known him as a person. Familiarity with the construction of his Tectron telescopes told me a lot about him before we met. His telescopes are solidly built, efficiently and practically designed and elegantly functional.

    I met Tom about two years ago when I first visited the Chiefland Astronomy Village observing field shortly after moving back to Central Florida. When Tom learned I was a woodworker, he promptly gave me a tour of his amazing workshop. Having previously been a custom cabinetmaker for 6 years and woodworker for 20, I was really impressed and envious of his "wealth" of practical and very functional shop cabinets. I have never seen so many wonderful drawers! My cabinet shop had been considerably smaller than his and yet much less efficiently designed.

    In reading "Practical Shop Cabinets", I found myself laughing at the elegance of Tom's straightforward designs and "freedom" from the tyranny of "traditional" cabinet construction mentality. I realized how often I had fallen victim to "conventional wisdom" and wasted large amounts of time (and money) on mortise and tenon construction and raised panel cabinet doors for a simple utilitarian shop cabinet that proved far less functional (and frequently less sturdy) than Tom's practical designs. People used to pay me to make hand cut dovetails on a piece of custom furniture, but no one paid me for my time on the shop cabinets, and it delayed my production and enjoyment of the more creative pieces I was excited about making.

    I hope you enjoy "Practical Shop Cabinets" as much as I did, and further I hope it helps to free you from some of the traditionalist mentality that sometimes restricts creative enterprise and design freedom. Now where did I put that pad of graph paper       Charlie Warren

Makes building shop cabinets simple for those of us who don't do cabinetry. All you need is plywood, glue, brad nails, staples, drawer slides, hinges, and knobs. The most useful piece of advice was to use drawers for anything below waist level. Makes that space much more usable. Everything he builds is also designed to make maximum use of the plywood (e.g., all cabinets are 23-1/2" deep).   Steve Friedman

Practical Shop Cabinets is the home workshop book you have been looking for. Whatever your skill level is, if you have a few basic woodworking machines, you can build your own custom quality cabinets to make your shop a far more productive place to spend your time.

The simple construction methods allow you to build cabinets very easily, quickly, and inexpensively. Enjoy the freedom to build whatever you need, in whatever size will fit your shop the best!

For nearly 25 years every time a woodworker walked into my shop, the first thing they say is, "Where did you get all the shop cabinets?" When I answer that I built them they just give me a dumb look like that just can't be. Maybe I don't look like a woodworker…  Whatever the reason, they just can't imagine that they can build cabinets like these for themselves.  When they read Practical Shop Cabinet and then build their first cabinet, they are amazed at just how simple and fast the construction went, and  how their shop is more useful now that it has good storage.

I recently moved the shop shown above from Florida to New Mexico. The cabinets had to be emptied for the move, and it was amazing how much stuff the cabinets held. Hundreds of boxes were stacked from the floor to the ceiling. I knew that the drawer units were very efficient, but it was still a shock to see the amount of supplies that accumulated over the years.

The photos below show various cabinets from both the old and the new shops. By the way, with just a few minor changes, you can upgrade the shop cabinets and build some excellent home office furnitture. The book covers both.

The author's Florida shop was featured in Wood Magazine's America's Best Home Workshops in both the 2007 and 2010 issues.

All of these cabinets, plus many more that are shown in the book, are easy to build and very strong. Most were weekend projects for me, so they do go together very quickly. Want to add more space to your shop?  Throw out machine bases for smaller machines, and build storage cabinets to take the place of the legs - where only useless empty space was before.

Tired of Clutter?
Ready to double the effective size of your shop - without moving?

By using high-quality black and white printing, the cost of these books are less than a single plan from many other sources, and are about half the cost of similar books.

Good shop cabinets are what make your shop a pleasure to work in. Order your copy today.

This large home-made tool box was built using the Practical Shop Cabinets techniques.

After 40 years of living in Florida, in 2010 the author moved to SW New Mexico and built a new shop. All of his shop cabinets made the move also.