Around the Shop #13: Tool Chest Redux

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Blog entry by Don W posted 06-11-2013 01:08 AM 2175 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: ok, the bench is clean Part 13 of Around the Shop series Part 14: Tool Chest Redux Part II »

Some time ago I picked up this tool chest with the idea of using it in my shop. I put some caster on it and put some tools in it. It never seemed to fit, and I continually had issues with it.

One of my biggest complaint was the flat top. It was just to handy to set things on it. I could guarantee the minute I needed something out of it, there would be a freshly finished project, half a dozen hand planes or 200 pounds of crap on top of it, so it just kind of sat not being utilized.

As you can see from the picture it also had a plywood wrapped top. Something I’ve wanted to change since the day I bought it, but I decided I wasn’t going to do anything until I figured a way to work it into the shop.

It also has some trays that are not original, so between the top and trays already altered, I really don’t mind altering it to fit my needs.

It wasn’t all bad though, it had some features I liked

And after seeing Brandon Dutch Tool Chest I started to form some ideas on how to make this better, so yesterday I set out to do just that.

After removing the cover, I tried to remove the ledge that the cover sat on, but I’m pretty sure its glued along with nailed, so I decided the banding I removed around the plywood cover, will sit on top the existing ledge to cover the seam for the new top extension, leaving a center band around the box. It will also help hold the new extension in place. (I haven’t really decided on a fastening system yet, we’ll see how it goes)

I started with some rough sawn poplar. Its not going to match, but I don’t have any pine, and nothing is going to match anyhow.

So I got to use some planes, some scrapers, my nifty new marking knife (Thanks Dave!), and did some dovetailing.

Hopefully you can see where its going. Comments and ideas welcome. My vision is still a bit fuzzy.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

18 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


6499 posts in 2104 days

#1 posted 06-11-2013 01:29 AM

Well, we at least know that this will cure the stacking O stuff on top of it. Plus looks like you haved added significantly more storage space.

View widdle's profile


2060 posts in 2505 days

#2 posted 06-11-2013 01:45 AM

Great old chest…Good stuff..How does that jointer fence work ? Magnets ?

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2073 days

#3 posted 06-11-2013 01:48 AM

^608 jointer fence

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View widdle's profile


2060 posts in 2505 days

#4 posted 06-11-2013 01:51 AM

Very good…Gonna have to rig that up…Thanks

View theoldfart's profile


8307 posts in 1957 days

#5 posted 06-11-2013 01:57 AM

Don Gonna be really fine ! Hope your going to keep the handles, mine has the same ones.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View AnthonyReed's profile


8800 posts in 1946 days

#6 posted 06-11-2013 02:28 AM

Nice start Don and a great way for you to burn 20 minutes or so in the shop.

-- ~Tony

View Dave's profile


11409 posts in 2346 days

#7 posted 06-11-2013 02:39 AM

Don I have been scouring the antique shops for just what you have. I would like to find one with some issues so as not to have a hefty price and I wont feel bad about modifying it. Looks like you are well on your way to a nice box.
And you welcome. thanks for the interest in my stuff.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View ksSlim's profile


1206 posts in 2396 days

#8 posted 06-11-2013 03:19 AM

Is it long enough for saw storage under the top/lid?

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2073 days

#9 posted 06-11-2013 11:42 AM

Slim, inside is close to 40”, if you look one of the original trays was a saw till.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Brandon's profile


4151 posts in 2457 days

#10 posted 06-11-2013 01:10 PM

Don, this is the beginning of something sweet!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2073 days

#11 posted 06-11-2013 02:10 PM

I’m thinking of a deep removable try for the front. Something to hold chisels, squares etc, common used things so it can be removed and set on the bench when needed.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Bluepine38's profile


3343 posts in 2591 days

#12 posted 06-11-2013 02:13 PM

Really like that old hardware, and the new top will look great. Are you going to use piano hinge or some
hinges that match the handles? I you really wanted to keep from stacking stuff on it, you should have made
a rounded top. Since it has casters under it now, maybe you could find a bench it will glide under and out
from easily to keep the top clear. Thank you for sharing. Still trying to figure out how you use that dovetail
jig setting beside your ruler.

-- As ever, Gus-the 78 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2073 days

#13 posted 06-11-2013 02:32 PM

Gus, scroll down about halfway on this project,

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2073 days

#14 posted 06-11-2013 02:34 PM

oh, and to answer your hinge question, when I ordered the hinges for the same blanket chest project above, I ordered extra. I’m thinking of digging those out and using them.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13826 posts in 2124 days

#15 posted 06-11-2013 02:40 PM

I’m liking the pics of a dovetailer in action, and I like where you’re headed with this. Watching with great interest…

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

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