This is where we left off last time—- a basic carcass completed but no tools inside it yet. On a side note, do you prefer to spell it carcass or carcase? I’ve seen it both ways.
So now comes the fun part: figuring out how I’m going to fit all these tools into the upper section of tool chest. At this point, I’m not really concerned with my larger hand saws, my specialty planes, mallets etc., but most of the smaller hand tools. It seems like a lot of tools, but if it’s organized correctly, it shouldn’t be a problem.
First off are the back saws (the dovetail, carcass, and tenon saws). I followed a similar design found in tool chests except I angled the top of the till to match the angle of the lid opening on the tool chest. Here are the saws in a test on the workbench:
And here they are in the tool chest:
I initially was going to string a single board about two inches wide from the left side of the chest to the right that would most of my chisels, marking knifes, awls, files, rasps, and screwdrivers. The problem with this was that some tools had longer handles and others had longer business ends. This made it impossible to use a single board because some tools would bottom out on the shelf and others would hit the lid with their handles. So I decided to group similar tools together. The first of which were the chisels. What I did was make two rows for the chisels set at different heights to make them easier to access. The longer chisels are in the back. That’s also a burnisher on the lower right end, but it fit nicely there.
Then I tackled was the marking and measuring tools. Here I have the square, the combo square, a couple of awls, a dovetail marker, a marking knife, a wheel marker, and a caliper (behind the marking knife).
Next up are the planes. I wanted to limit the number of planes and so I have a jointer (Bailey 7), a smoother (Sargent 409) and a Jack (either my Keen Kutter 5 or my Stanley SW 92, I can’t decide). I also found a place for my Stanley 93, Stanley 60 1/2 and Stanley 9 1/2. I screwed in the dividers in place so they can easily be moved around if necessary.
The rasps, files, and screwdrivers were roughly the same size and thought a smaller tray would serve them well. I like the idea, but I can see a couple of drawbacks: first the tools might wear on each other, and second accessing the lower tools might be a little pain. The little tray is dovetailed and screwed in place so it’s not going anywhere. It’s only about 3 1/2” wide, which makes accessing tools below it easier.
A second, larger tray sits below the smaller tray, which is meant to hold miscellaneous hand tools. Like the first tray, this too is dovetailed, but is removable in case I want to take it out of the chest.
And here is what the storage set up looks like all empty:
And all full:
This part was a lot of fun, trying to figure out how to fit everything in place while using the space as efficiently as possible. I’m sure others might have gone about things differently, but I’m pretty happy with the layout and hopefully this will help give someone some ideas for their own tool chest or wall cabinet.
I still need to figure out what I want to do with the larger saws. I still think its best to attach them to the lid, but as Ryan (RGTools) pointed out, the design that Chris Schwarz uses makes it necessary to have ample space on both sides of the tool chest to access the saws. I would like to be able to pull the saws out from the top, so if you have any ideas on that, I’m all ears.
-- "hold fast to that which is good"