Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tool chest hyperbole

Sorry to have disappeared.  As I will explain later, my workshop has been in storage for nearly 3 months.  During the hiatus, Dean called me out on this statement from my last post:
  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.

So, I am now forced to justify my hyperbole.  As you may remember, this is what my chest looks like open:

Happy as I am with it, three issues occurred to me:

  1. When I transport the chest, the tills will slide back and forth;
  2. The space in front of the tills is wasted;
  3. I need a way to transport a few tools if I want to use them outside of the shop without moving the whole chest.
So, I had a brainstorm, triggered by memories of my grandfather carrying his hand tools to work sites, that could address all three of these issues simultaneously.  Here it is:

 Yes, I know, other than the fairly good dovetails, it's just a plain ole box.  Here is what it looks like inside the chest:

As you can see, it fits securely inside the chest and holds the tills closed.  It goes in and out surprisingly easily because the runners for the bottom till are narrower.  It just tips in place.

I am still thinking about what to place in it permanently.  I made a holder for my second set of chisels.  Handsaws fit and I think they might be a good choice.  Perhaps a bit and brace and a hand drill.  I'm thinking.

So, Dean, I am sorry to disappoint you.  All I can tell you is it works for me and I am very happy with it.

Finally, you may ask, how was it moving the box?  In two words, amazingly easy.  I have a utility trailer and I just rolled it in on 2x8 ramps all by myself.  I would have no reservation transporting this chest on a regular basis.

Of all the tool chests I have seen online, mine may be plainest and least reflective of craftsmanship.  I may someday build a second one that is.  For me, this was a design exercise with pure functionality in mind.  After a while, I will post how version 2.0 will differ, but for now I am extremely happy.  


  1. Actually, I think your tool box is a great idea. I have not built a tool chest, so the only thing I can report on is what I’ve read. I have read a number of woodworker’s blogs who are or were constructing their own tool chest usually patterned after the ATC.

    One thing I have read many times, is the desire to have a tool chest that the woodworker can pull a tray out of that is filled with the currently needed tools, and set it on the workbench, so they don’t have to be constantly dipping in and out of the chest. Your constructing a tool box to simply pull out and put on the bench, or wherever the woodworker is needing them, not only addresses that concern, but it also seems like a better idea than dealing with a tray.

    Your tool chest looks good and seems well built from what I’ve seen. I definitely don’t see any “hyperbole” here, although my curiosity was aroused.

    Thank you Andy for the update,


    1. I was so happy to open this site today and see a post. I haven't even read the post yet, but had to comment. I was beginning to think the wort as I have not seen you active on any of the woodworking sites I frequent. So so happy to see you back and posting again. Now back to read this post I have waited 4months to read ��