Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tool chests Part 5

Most chests I have seen have removable tool storage above the bottom.  The Seaton chest has a beautiful till with many small drawers, but it just didn't seem like an arrangement that I would like to work from, so I settled on a set of large removable trays or drawers.  They telescope for easy removal.  My idea was that I would place them on my bench as needed.  In practice, I have never done that, not even once, because it is so convenient to access them in the chest.  It is also easy to get the tools from the bottom without removing the trays.

Quite frequently I slide one tray forward when I am working so two are accessible at a time, like this:

I did make trays within trays for my chisels and marking tools, thinking I would put them on my bench, but have not found them necessary and will be removing them.

I feel happy with the choice I made for the trays, though I continue to try different arrangements of the tools.  There is only one thing I would change.  My trays are 2, 4 and 6 inches deep, minus 1/2" bottoms.  I would deepen the chest and make the bottom tray 8".  I have found that a number of tools will almost but not quite fit well in a 6" tray.  The top two are fine.

Update:  Dean asks for the interior dimensions of the chest.  It is 20" high, 22" deep and 36" wide on the inside.  The lid is 2" deep.  If I had it to do over, I'd make it 24" high  to accommodate an 8" lower tray and a saw till like the Seaton chest.  That would let me make the top a flat frame and panel.

I have one more post on this chest coming, my big finish.  I allow myself to think I came up with a unique and innovative idea for enhancing this chest.  In truth, I am sure it has been done before, but I can't recall seeing it anywhere.  I hope you are intrigued.


  1. I haven’t seen any dimensions for your tool chest. What are the inside dimensions without the tool tray support strips, etc.?

    Thanks Andy,


  2. Dean,

    I updated the post to answer your question.

  3. Thanks very much Andy for the dimensions. Sharing your experience in working with the tool chest is a very valuable part for those considering making their own. I know it’s ultimately “to each their own”, but working experience with the final product adds a lot of value besides simply a physical description of the chest.


  4. Hello Andy. The sentence “I have one more post on this chest coming, my big finish” caught my attention. I was wondering how that has been coming along. I was especially curious when I read “…I came up with a unique and innovative idea for enhancing this chest.”

    Thanks, Dean