Tool Chest #4: Chest Done

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Blog entry by JaLatham posted 03-31-2012 05:33 PM 2560 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Almost A Lid Part 4 of Tool Chest series no next part

Its kind of a jump from my last post, and I had tons of other pics of the construction. But the computer with all those pics died. So these new ones are what I have left. THe rest of the build was pretty staightforward. I dovetailed a narrow skirt around the lid. Then used a chisel and router plane to make the mortises for the hinges. Then with the lid on, I nailed in drawer runners, and made three drawers to fit. For drawer pulls I got some steel rings and cotter pins from a big box store, put the rings in the pins, and drove the pins through a pilot hole. Then I clenched them on the inside of the drawer. I’ll tell you what though. I had never really cut dovetails before this project. After all of them in this project, I think I feel more comfortable with them (haha). After working out of it for a few months now, I’m absolutely convinced it’s better than the wall cabitnet I used to use. I love it. I’m still not sure if I’m going to paint it, or just leave it as is. It really doesn’t bother me that its been unpainted for months, but maybe I should paint it anyway. I’ve got some brown paint laying around somewhere…

10 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2271 days

#1 posted 03-31-2012 06:41 PM

That’s a Great looking Tool Chest.

It would be a shame to paint over that Joinery, why not counter sink and plug the screws and stain or try an aniline dye then a wipe on poly finish or BLO.

Seeing as how it’s your chest, don’t miss an opportunity to try a new finish to add to your experience.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Myk_Rian's profile


6 posts in 2248 days

#2 posted 03-31-2012 06:47 PM

Nice tool chest. Paint it? I would give it some natural coating to keep the wood as is.
When I built my cherry tool chest, I just used tung oil on it.

-- Never, under any circumstances, take a laxative and sleeping pill, on the same night....

View lumberdog's profile


245 posts in 3266 days

#3 posted 03-31-2012 06:58 PM

Very nice, now i have the urge to build one.

-- Lumberdog.. Morley, Michigan

View kenn's profile


810 posts in 3719 days

#4 posted 04-01-2012 05:02 AM

Nice chest, I have enjoyed your blog … However, one big question. Why do you like the chest better than the cabinet? I’ve been working with a shelf of tools nearby and want to build something to hold my tools. I’m just not convinced that a chest is the way to go versus the cabinet. I don’t travel to teach woodworking, my tools stay in my shop. Help me figure out which to build so I only need to build one. Thanks. BTW, nice helper in previous blogs, congrats on adding to the collection, I’ve got a grandchild on the way.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View helluvawreck's profile


31082 posts in 2865 days

#5 posted 04-01-2012 11:13 AM

Nice looking tool chest. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View JaLatham's profile


52 posts in 2368 days

#6 posted 04-01-2012 06:27 PM

Thank s everyone.

Kenn- I really don’t know how to put into words why I like the chest better. I think it has something to do with the layout of the interior. Everything is exactly where I need it, and things are easy to get to. It holds EVERYTHING (with room to spare) I need and want to build things for me and my family. Also, I never noticed how dusty my tools were before I had this chest. Now when I open the lid and grab a tool I smile for a second because its clean, rust free and ready to go. A cabinet is not a bad idea either. I think it somewhat comes down to personal preference in the end. I just realized that the cabinet I had wasn’t sufficient for all my toolholding needs. I couldn’t have all of my tool in one place. Really I suppose you could build a cabinet large enough to hold it all, but that could get big. Also, I don’t have one now, but when I build a dedicated woodshop, I plan on having a large window over my bench and I don’t want anything blocking that light. In short, the chest makes ME happy.

View kenn's profile


810 posts in 3719 days

#7 posted 04-01-2012 07:05 PM

Thanks for the input, I’ve been back and forth on what to build. I’ve got a bunch of “household/home repair” tools that I need to find a place for and I’ve been thinking about moving them out of the “true” workshop area. That would leave me more space for shop tools, stuff that I use and want handy when I’m woodworking. As of today, I’m leaning towards a tool chest out of butternut, on casters, ala Chris’ and yours. Thanks!

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View 489tad's profile


3366 posts in 3010 days

#8 posted 04-04-2012 03:02 PM

Nice job on the chest. I agree with Grandpa about the finish. I have a tool chest that I built a long time ago that is in need of replacing. I don’t smile when I open it. I will do something about it. I’d like to do more with the hand tools. Maybe thats the project for it. Thanks for posting.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View capper55's profile


7 posts in 2633 days

#9 posted 04-23-2012 02:57 PM

Great project. I was scouting around for toolchest ideas so this has given me some great input. On the subject of painting the exterior, I am reminded of a film I saw of the great British craftsman, Jim Kingshott. He explained that apprentices would often build a tool chest as their final, private project just before completing their time. The interior of the chest had to demonstrate all of the skills they had learned, but it was considered very bad form to have any show on the outside, As a result, the exterior was usually painted black in contrast with the magnificent interior

-- My inspiration is the Carpenter of Nazareth

View JaLatham's profile


52 posts in 2368 days

#10 posted 04-24-2012 01:26 PM

capper55- Thanks alot. I thought I had heard/read that somewhere before. My mind’s made up now. ON WITH THE PAINT!

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