Tool Chest #2

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Project by CL810 posted 06-30-2014 04:09 PM 2016 views 12 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.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

40 comments so far

View ToddJB's profile


3010 posts in 878 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


5174 posts in 1040 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

15452 posts in 1086 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


4737 posts in 1199 days

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

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

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

View Hammerthumb's profile


1497 posts in 723 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 rad457's profile


272 posts in 554 days

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

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

-- Andre of Alberta. Are you Kidding me?

View RogerBean's profile


1293 posts in 1701 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


2178 posts in 1233 days

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

Very well done!

-- Brian Timmons -

View Buckethead's profile


1946 posts in 616 days

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

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

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

View barringerwoodworks's profile


208 posts in 460 days

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

Wow! That looks fantastic! Really nice job.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

View barringerwoodworks's profile


208 posts in 460 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


2392 posts in 1736 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!

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View DaddyZ's profile


2430 posts in 1788 days

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

Nice !!!

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

View kiefer's profile


3376 posts in 1415 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


5449 posts in 1346 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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