Tool Chest #2

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Project by CL810 posted 06-30-2014 04:09 PM 2620 views 11 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This chest was made with African mahogany and measures 29” wide, 16” deep and 14” tall. The bottom of the chest is poplar. I’ve had this mahogany for a couple of years, waiting for it to “speak to me.” I had a few arguments with myself along the lines of “It’s just a tool chest”. In the end, obviously, I listened to my gut feel.

The finish is Watco’s teak oil and Renaissance wax. Two coats of oil were applied except for the end grain, which receive 4 or 5 coats. Before I decided how I was going to finish the chest I created probably 15 test pieces of various combinations of shellac, lacquer, Minwax cherry stain, BLO and the final combination. Let me say that the difference between using BLO and teak oil with this wood is amazing. The BLO gave the wood an over saturated oily look that was, in my opinion, ugly. On a whim while at the store I decided to try the teak oil (it says right on the can “for teak and mahogany.”)

The hardware is solid brass including the mortised lid stay. I gave the brass a patina with ammonia vapors.

I chose poplar for the bottom because I wanted the contrast and more light reflection.

I am going to give the inside of the chest some careful contemplation so it may be sometime before that gets done. Right now I think it will be home for “special” tools like the 45, router plane, skew plane, 79, etc. that are used less often.

This chest was a product of a traditional woodworking skills class I took at Marc Adams School of Woodworking taught by Chris Gochnour. The only machine work was the initial dimensioning of the wood. After that, it was all hand tools.

Thanks for looking.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

40 comments so far

View ToddJB's profile


4949 posts in 1217 days

#1 posted 06-30-2014 04:28 PM

Beautiful, Sir. You are a fine craftsman.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Mosquito's profile


6625 posts in 1379 days

#2 posted 06-30-2014 04:29 PM

That is one good lookin’ tool chest. Very nice work

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist -

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

18590 posts in 1425 days

#3 posted 06-30-2014 04:41 PM

Great work. It does look too nice for a tool chest.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View theoldfart's profile (online now)


6545 posts in 1538 days

#4 posted 06-30-2014 04:44 PM

Andy, great work. The 45 and such should be quite happy in their new home!

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

View Hammerthumb's profile


2110 posts in 1062 days

#5 posted 06-30-2014 04:50 PM

Really nice looking chest. Would make a good companion to the tool chest I made with the same wood. I used Danish and shellac if I remember correctly. Well done!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View Andre's profile


661 posts in 893 days

#6 posted 06-30-2014 05:01 PM

Very nice, too nice for a workshop! Went right into my favorites.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View RogerBean's profile


1512 posts in 2040 days

#7 posted 06-30-2014 05:47 PM

Nice work. Lovely piece.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View BTimmons's profile


2284 posts in 1572 days

#8 posted 06-30-2014 06:17 PM

Very well done!

-- Brian Timmons -

View Buckethead's profile


3121 posts in 956 days

#9 posted 06-30-2014 06:37 PM

Superb! The mouldings are excelLent. Dovetails, perfection. Cl810, you are a genius!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View barringerfurniture's profile


221 posts in 799 days

#10 posted 06-30-2014 06:59 PM

Wow! That looks fantastic! Really nice job.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

View barringerfurniture's profile


221 posts in 799 days

#11 posted 06-30-2014 07:06 PM

By the way, the pics just answered a burning question I’ve had for awhile about how to construct that type of lid which I’ve always liked. So, it’s basically a frame and panel but the panel is set proud of the frame on top? No worries about wood movement effecting the miters?

Great place for info and insight as always. Great work.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

View CL810's profile


3049 posts in 2075 days

#12 posted 06-30-2014 07:37 PM

Thanks guys.

Scott, the grooves that are cut in the rails, stiles, and panel allow for movement in the raised panel. The rails and stiles are only 2.5” Other chests built over the years using this plan are holding up fine. And great website Scott!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View DaddyZ's profile


2474 posts in 2127 days

#13 posted 06-30-2014 08:01 PM

Nice !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View kiefer's profile


4215 posts in 1754 days

#14 posted 06-30-2014 08:22 PM

That is one fine piece of hand crafted joineryone of the best I have seen on this site .
Now I hope you win the argument on the inside fitting as well .LOL
Well done and thanks for letting us enjoy this also .

-- Kiefer 松

View ShaneA's profile


5833 posts in 1685 days

#15 posted 06-30-2014 08:25 PM

This is WAY too nice for a tool chest. This one will be around for generations, very well done.

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