Japanese-style Tool Chese a la Mafe

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Project by Glen Peterson posted 11-23-2014 09:49 PM 2108 views 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I frequently have to carry my hand tools and I’m tired of carrying several bags and tool boxes. For the longest time I’ve been wanting to build a chest big enough to carry everything I typically need. I conducted lots of research and considered many options: Mike Peckovic’s chest from Fine Woodworking; Chris Swartz’s Small Dutch Chest, as well as a plywood “gear box” from Shop Notes. All great options, but I wanted somthing that could take a beating without causing heart problems and I wanted somthing I could lift and carry on a shoulder. I should have started with Mafe’s postings for inspirations. I ended up making a Japanese-style chest with a slide in top. The only hardware used were a few handfuls of cut nails. It’s made of Eastern White Pine. Rather than a drawer, I added two sliding trays and added a divider in the bottom to separate saws from planes and other items. Right now the lower section contains a few hand saws, a jack plane, a smoothing plane, 2 shoulder planes, a block plane, a mallet, hammer, cutting gauge, and 2 tool rolls. The trays contain marking and measuring tools, cabinet scrapers, and a other misc. things. I’ve been taking a class at CT Valley School of Woodworking, we’re building a Greene & Greene end table, and have been using the chest. I’ve been happy with the design so far, but I’m thinking of building a Small Dutch-style chest as a comparison.

-- Glen

4 comments so far

View GerardoArg1's profile


936 posts in 1417 days

#1 posted 11-23-2014 09:59 PM

Beatiful. Nice job and very useful proyect. Love the japanese toolbox

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 1294 days

#2 posted 11-23-2014 10:18 PM

Nice work, love this style of toolbox.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2512 days

#3 posted 11-23-2014 10:38 PM

Beautiful Glen, and lovely with the sliding trays.
Looks like a cool locking mechanism you have added to it.
I like the coolness of the visible nails, this is how a Japanese worker would have done and it will become more and more beautiful as years gives it some patine and beating.
Thanks for your words my friend, may it serve you well and long.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16816 posts in 2529 days

#4 posted 11-24-2014 10:15 PM

Great tool chest, glen!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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