Archive for April, 2012

Tool Chest

Happy Earth Day!

This winter, when work was a little slower and I was implementing a long term plan to refocus my work on greenwood stuff instead of climbing ladders, I worked on building my last tool chest.  My son had brought to my attention Chris Schwarz’s book, The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.    I can’t say I have ever appreciated the deep-till-with-sliding-tray design although my grandfather had one.  Seems like an awful lot of cumbersome and empty space. 

Anyway, the toolchest I came up with is made of scrap materials from the last 15 years or so of my work.  The main frame is made of propeller shaft crating.  The lid (a single, wide board) and the bottom apron are from a piece of wainscoat I was to install (made by someone in the shop I worked for) but was found to be wrong in the layout allowance for a doorway.  I took it home and a new piece was made. 

The drawer fronts are a cut off of 1×10.  The faces were ripped to width and resawn for front and back of each drawer.  The drawe cover is cypress left over from several jobs.  The flip pulls for the drawers are purple heart scrap from the Kalmar Nyckel.  The lid skirt is a resawn 2×4 taken from one of the houses I have lived in and remodeled.   The hinges came from a house where the originals  were replaced with polished solid brass loose pin hinges.

Front.  The twigs spin out of the way and the drawer cover lifts up and comes loose.  The hook (from ebay) swings over and the till opens.







The hinges mounted flat.

The lid is a single piece of lumber about 17″ wide.


Yes, both the pulls on the bottom drawer open to the right.  Ooops.


The bottom of the top drawer has a full sized layout of the Smyrna Opera House windows which I used to work out the details for replacing the exterior trim.

 Eventually I will be painting and sealing the outside.  The lid and drawer cover will have a clear sealer and the rest will be primed and painted some sort of greenish blue like my grampa’s chest.  Maybe I’ll just seal the mahogany sticking in the side and back panels.


 I will also be putting legs on and dividers in the drawers.  I’ll be using this chest to hold my traditional tools and then I’ll put all my “new” tools in a red metal roll around.  I realized an important concept in tool storage this week: there is a difference between displaying tools and organizing tools so you can work with them efficiently.


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