I was eager to put my tools in the chest before sanding and finishing. I decided to use shop scraps to create holders to store my tools. I had already made crude holders for my saws, chisels, screwdrivers, rasps/files and marking tools.
So I inserted these into the chest.
Once in place I began to find symmetry in laying out the remaining tools. Again I used scraps to make temporary holders to organize the tools. One by one, I added a tool or group of tools and imagined how I could maximize the storage space. I reconfigured the marking gauge/saddle square holder by keeping the saddles squares together and adding the gauges to the marking knives and dividers (sharp marking tools).
The Striking tools were next and coincidently both the dead blow and mallet fit neatly in the two opposite top corners. This left me with one remaining wall deep enough to hold the claw, tack and small ball peen hammers. The ball peen is so small and light I just affixed a rare earth magnet to the case to hold it in place.
At this point everything is still temporary and I did receive a couple new tools. Space is running out already on the main shelf, but it is so very nice having all my main tools in one unit. To move this heavy box around I quickly slapped some 2×4s together and attached four wheels. The wheels are small so I will upgrade them to larger 3 or 4” wheels.
Next up was building the lid and the drop front. As I earlier stated, I wanted the lid to have a dust seal and the reason is it is very humid and the air is usually salty. Everything rusts quickly in Bermuda. The dust seal is simply three strips on the bottom side of the lid. These will eventually mate with strips attached to the case, but even now the lid closes gently under a puff of escaping air. The lid is affixed with 13” Strap hinges purchased from Lee Valley. I must say fitting these was tricky. I think it might be smarter to mark the hinge positions before gluing on the upper chest front.
The drop front was next. I should have mentioned this earlier, but the depth of my chest is 16” and the boards I purchased were only 12” so I had to edge joint almost every piece in this case. I bought a Dewalt DW682K plate joiner with #20 biscuits to help me align and glue up these boards as quickly as possible. I’ve heard softwoods don’t expand and contract as much as hardwoods. Will have to wait and see how these large panels work out over time. The drop-front is a fairly tight fit…again trying to keep the dust and salty moisture out. BTW, I habitually clean and oil my tools after each use. I use both Paul Sellers' oil soaked rag in a can and I use Jojoba oil each wipe down. I prefer the Jojoba oil because the film is less goopy, but either works just fine. For the batons, the locks and the cleats I used the harder yellow pine because they will experience considerable wear over time.
And this is where I am thus far. Had to take a hiatus due to an unexpected physical problem, but once healthy again I’ll press on to complete this gratifying project. Hope you enjoy.