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Tool Chest Refurb #17: A 'Feature' gets (Re-) Discovered

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 341 days ago 1175 reads 0 times favorited 64 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Conclusion! Part 17 of Tool Chest Refurb series Part 18: Final Hardware Install »

Not trying to convince anyone of anything here, but if you’ve read the series y’all know that I chose to install a sliding ledge in rehab’d tool chest as shown in an old chest drawing. I did it because when I first saw it I thought it was cool, and thought it was there to protect the bottom compartment from dust / debris when the lid was open. Got it built and realized a couple of things:

- It was, in fact, quite cool looking
- It highlighted the large dead space in front of the sliding trays

Filling the space with a travel tote is a good idea, and maybe a sawbox would work, but then I came across a stated purpose for the sliding ledge (courtesy of C. Schwarz’ post of a Practical Woodworker article on chests):

A sliding ledge beneath the tills, when pulled out, covers the bottom compartment. The bench planes, etc., can be packed away on the sliding board.

I tried placing bench planes there (jack, jointer and smoother are all that’s needed, but a block fit there too) and love the idea.

The top tray can still slide all the way forward, but more importantly I just doubled the space in the lower compartment! Now there’s room for the #50 and things I haven’t thought of putting there before. Love me some sliding ledge. It’s made this small-ish tool chest a much more practical piece. Thought I’d share the observation. I just might grow to using this chest…

Amendment #1 – Put my winding sticks on the sliding ledge, liking this.

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



64 comments so far

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6805 posts in 1782 days


#1 posted 341 days ago

Super cool Smitty. Very efficient use of space!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9797 posts in 1249 days


#2 posted 341 days ago

Need all the space I can get, Maur. There’s a certain mallet I’m trying to get inside…

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

View AnthonyReed's profile (online now)

AnthonyReed

4569 posts in 1071 days


#3 posted 341 days ago

Always grateful of you imparting your wisdom and discoveries.

Thank you Smitty.

-- ~Tony

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14866 posts in 1199 days


#4 posted 341 days ago

I built a lift out tote for mine. Easier to get at the bottom. But it doesn’t slide, so loose the cool factor.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4040 posts in 1082 days


#5 posted 341 days ago

Devils advocate here, to get at the bottom you have to remove all those planes correct? All of mine are on the bottom with the exception of the 405 and the auger bit set. They have their own tool box so to speak. Trying to understand the advantage.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9797 posts in 1249 days


#6 posted 341 days ago

Here’s what I’m thinking, Kevin.

With the planes in place, I can fully reveal the top two trays. If those trays are ‘marking and measuring’ as well as ‘chisels’ I should be able to do all the work for dovetailing (for example) without moving the planes (saws are in the front till).

Otherwise, based on videos I’ve seen on line, the premise of working from tills in the first place is made more effective by pulling the bench planes out of the bottom compartment at the start and placing them on (under) the bench. They’re always used when the chest is used, is the assumption. In that case, sure, remove the three bench planes to get at the plough or contents of third till (auger). Conversely, keep the (three) bench planes in the bottom till and cross the room for the plough that’s now in the wall hung.

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

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theoldfart

4040 posts in 1082 days


#7 posted 341 days ago

Smitty, I will experiment over the weekend! I’m intrigued. BTW may meet Walt from Brass City on Saturday am. Open house at CVSW in CT.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9797 posts in 1249 days


#8 posted 341 days ago

... I’d love to meet Walt Q…

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

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4040 posts in 1082 days


#9 posted 341 days ago

I overlooked your saw till, my saws would be below the slider. Contemplating a saw till like yours, maybe a remote control and motorized lift with LED’s focused on the till and a sound track when its opened! Too much?
Edit, since folks think I overdid it with Red’s un wedged tenon I figured what the heck.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9797 posts in 1249 days


#10 posted 341 days ago

I think the motor is a tough call; everything with a cord is thrown away sooner or later.

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

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1286 days


#11 posted 339 days ago

I am not sure how I would handle a 2 till scenario, but I thin you are on point so far. As for my 3 tray set up. I have my sharps on the top tray. This includes, chisels, spoke shaves, block planes (one rank of fine if you are curious why I have two), shoulder plane, card scrapers, and my striking knife. All tools I don’t want to fish for when I need them. This tray spends its life over the saw till closest to the front of the chest and is, as a result, the easiest to see. Not a bad arrangement since I decided against any hardware for my trays and, as a result, use the case sides to pull the trays back and forth (it would be a shame to get nicked because I forgot where the pointy pits are).

Below that I have my layout drawer: tape measure, rulers, marking gauges, compass, dividers galore, pencils, chalk line, squares, etc.

Third tray is boring, fastening, unfastening and in general the closest thing to a junk drawer in the chest.

In short (oops too late) I think your solution as far as what goes where is pretty darn sound.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9797 posts in 1249 days


#12 posted 338 days ago

I like the pic of your tools in trays, Ryan. Good insight there. We’re not that far apart on the top two tills and their respective layouts. Ditto on the boring of the third tray.

My bottom tray is ‘boring’ as well, but is by far the deepest of the three. And that isn’t very deep. It’s the biggest weakness of the toolbox, I think.

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

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1286 days


#13 posted 338 days ago

I hear ya. One tray needs to be either deep or wide to accommodate bit-braces. You striking tools can take up a lot of space in that same drawer.

My draw knife and my hatchet are my two worst storage issues. They take up a ton of space and they are sharp so you have to take care to set them up in a way that the edges don’t get hurt and they don’t hurt you. I have a cabinetmakers rasp that falls into almost the same category of headache to store. Any ideas on those?

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9797 posts in 1249 days


#14 posted 338 days ago

I’ve been pondering on the drawknife, but nothing yet. Hatchet I doubt goes in. Rasp… good question. I’ve seen an old one in a leather sheath, almost like a knife. Not great for moisture, but it shouldn’t be too bad (?)

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

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4040 posts in 1082 days


#15 posted 338 days ago

My third tray is a deep one. Got something like 4 braces, three drills two chisel rolls, a role of brace bits, a scraper wallet, a set of brad points, brace counter sinks, counter bores, screw driver bits, brace tenon cutter and other small stuff!
Top till is measuring and marking, and the second till has fret saws, gent saws, side rabbits, saw blades, dowell gauge and the like.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

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