Tool Chest #2

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Project by CL810 posted 51 days ago 1545 views 11 times favorited 39 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."

39 comments so far

View ToddJB's profile


1921 posts in 755 days

#1 posted 51 days ago

Beautiful, Sir. You are a fine craftsman.

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

View Mosquito's profile


4593 posts in 917 days

#2 posted 51 days ago

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

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

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

13731 posts in 963 days

#3 posted 51 days ago

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

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View theoldfart's profile


4012 posts in 1076 days

#4 posted 51 days ago

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


1196 posts in 600 days

#5 posted 51 days ago

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


148 posts in 431 days

#6 posted 51 days ago

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

-- Andre of Alberta. Finger Prints show your hands were on the wood.

View RogerBean's profile


1120 posts in 1578 days

#7 posted 51 days ago

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


2104 posts in 1110 days

#8 posted 51 days ago

Very well done!

-- Brian Timmons -

View Buckethead's profile


1919 posts in 493 days

#9 posted 51 days ago

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


192 posts in 337 days

#10 posted 51 days ago

Wow! That looks fantastic! Really nice job.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

View barringerwoodworks's profile


192 posts in 337 days

#11 posted 51 days ago

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


1952 posts in 1613 days

#12 posted 51 days ago

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


2380 posts in 1665 days

#13 posted 51 days ago

Nice !!!

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

View kiefer's profile


3026 posts in 1292 days

#14 posted 51 days ago

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


5285 posts in 1223 days

#15 posted 51 days ago

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

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