Tool Chest #9: Filling the Tool Chest and Drawknife Till

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Blog entry by CartersWhittling posted 09-13-2012 03:58 PM 5412 reads 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Tills and Tool Storage Part 9 of Tool Chest series no next part


It has been a few months now since I began using my chest and I have made some small changes and upgrades. I will begin with one of the more recent upgrades which was to install two Blum Blumotion plungers to the front wall of my chest, so that when the lid (which is fairly heavy) is closed abruptly they absorb the impact. I happened to have these laying around from when I use to work for a professional kitchen cabinetry shop. It is actually a lot of fun just holding the lid about 6 inches from closed and letting it drop.

The other significant change I made was to the saw till. I removed it and made a till for my drawknives in it’s place. I am starting a process of making windsor chairs and I have accumulated a few drawknives that won’t fit in any of the sliding tills. I didn’t want to put the knives on the lid because I use them a lot and wanted them closer and easier to access. So since they replace the hand saws, I will probably make a till to hold the saws on the lid.

The till can hold up to 6 knives, so I still have room for two more.

The rest of the changes I made were simply which tools go in which till. So here are a few pictures of my chest filled with tools.

The top till holds my frequently used layout tools. block plane, drill and brace.

The middle till holds my spokeshaves, dowel plate and chisels. I currently do not have a full set of bench chisels, but when I do I will make a tool roll for them.

I am thinking about getting the Ashley Iles MKII Bench Chisels

If anyone has any comments about those chisels, or recommendations for other good bench chisels please let me know.

The bottom till holds my scorp, reamer, carving tools, and various other tools.

The bottom front of my chest has my drawknives, and hand planes. I also have my drill bits on the front wall.

The back of the chest is for moulding/joinery planes, but since I only have two currently I have bags of nails.

This is my carving tool roll I made that I keep in the bottom till.

That is how my chest is organized currently, though I still need to make the saw till on the lid and perhaps a few other things.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

12 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


12267 posts in 1705 days

#1 posted 09-13-2012 04:09 PM

Very nice, thank you for the interior layout ideas!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


663 posts in 2360 days

#2 posted 09-13-2012 04:49 PM

I am envious! Very nicely done. Great looking chest with some wonderful looking tools! Use it in good health!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8538 posts in 3139 days

#3 posted 09-13-2012 05:03 PM

You’re really packing it in there!

My problem would be (I’m sure it would happen to me LOL) whatever tool I would ever want would be at the very bottom.

Although it looks like the movable drawers don’t seem to get stuffed with enough tools to make them really HEAVY to move…

A lot of good thought has been spent in planning your layout.

Thank you for sharing your results.

Keep it up!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View ksSlim's profile


1139 posts in 1976 days

#4 posted 09-13-2012 06:18 PM

Iles make great steel. finish is better than most.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2202 days

#5 posted 09-13-2012 06:55 PM

you can still make a sawtill like the old one just as a removeble drawer with lid
if you roll your drillbits so you wont have to have the saws in the chestlid if its a little to the havy side already

nice toolcollectin and layout
and thanks for sharing the idea with the drawknifes


View kenn's profile


806 posts in 2807 days

#6 posted 09-13-2012 07:31 PM

Thanks for the update, it looks great with the tools in place. As far as the chisels go, I own 3 of the Ashley Isles, an 1 1/2” and two 1/4” that I ground skews on for dovetail clean up. They are great chisels. The handles are large which I like since I have big hands. I would think that a person with small hands, and certainly a woman woodworker, would find the handles too big. Good luck.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View hhhopks's profile


637 posts in 1464 days

#7 posted 09-14-2012 12:34 AM

Great tool box. Nice tools too.
Excellent work as always.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

939 posts in 2260 days

#8 posted 09-14-2012 01:08 AM

That is a great setup and great set of tools.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

View jjw5858's profile


1132 posts in 1689 days

#9 posted 09-14-2012 02:21 AM

Looks great! Some fine tools in there and very well done!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View KOVA's profile


1325 posts in 1465 days

#10 posted 09-14-2012 04:16 AM



View oldnovice's profile


4648 posts in 2454 days

#11 posted 09-14-2012 06:15 AM

Beautiful project! I like the shock absorbers for the top and the tool organization. I have dropped the top of my roll away a number of times, no fingers were hurt, but the noise terrible!

I also have to agree with Joe, whatever tool I needed would be in bottom or on my workbench as I have a bad habit of not putting tools away!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View bonobo's profile


275 posts in 1143 days

#12 posted 10-13-2012 03:55 PM

I’m currently seesawing back and forth on the idea of building a chest and hope you might eventually post some kind of evaluation after you’ve been using it for a while. I notice that your sharpening station designs are based around a chest with tills, so I guess the experience is pretty positive so far.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to see a number of old chests at the Tools of the Trades show in Pickering. The main drawback of the chests I saw were that unless you have really good shop lighting, the bottom was very dim and hard to see into without lifting out the tills. Also, I found that all the tills I fooled around with were very sloppy and diffult to slide, so I couldn’t really appraise the concept.

Anyhow, I really admire your approach towards things and would love to read a general overview, once you’ve had time to use it for a while longer.


-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

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