Tansu Tool Chest

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Project by WhattheChuck posted 03-05-2015 05:12 AM 2863 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A Tansu kinda chest for underneath my workbench. Hardware from Lee Valley, with the cabinet door handle still on the way. It was a resurrection project for my drawer building skills. Though I can cut ‘em by hand, all these are courtesy of my Leigh jig!

Wood is local yellow birch, with cock beaded cherry drawer fronts a la Steve Latta from FWW. I had a goal of minimum wastage, so if an offcut was usable somewhere, it got saved and used, even if it was less than perfect. Same with nails and leftover hardware. It made for some interesting challenges, but kinda unstuck me from the whole ‘if it ain’t perfect, it goes in the scrap pile’ mentality. And I’m still pretty happy with the result.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

8 comments so far

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3928 days

#1 posted 03-05-2015 12:20 PM


-- Max the "night janitor" at

View helluvawreck's profile


32073 posts in 2987 days

#2 posted 03-05-2015 01:36 PM

This is a wonderful tool chest. Very practical and a lot of room. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Woodbridge's profile


3566 posts in 2538 days

#3 posted 03-05-2015 02:52 PM

Wow, that is a beautiful tool chest. It’s more than a chest its a great looking piece of furniture suitable for the dining room or living room.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 1991 days

#4 posted 03-05-2015 10:33 PM

You built it off my wishlist! A Tansu chest, I’m hoping is my next project and I’ve been eyeing the hardware from Lee Valley too. Looks awesome, and never occurred to me that you can use this style for tools. Great build.

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

View WhattheChuck's profile


335 posts in 3681 days

#5 posted 03-05-2015 10:48 PM

Hi S—went and looked at your work/constraints. They look great!

One thing I did learn again was that it takes just as much time to build a small chest as a big one. Once you get out of the Spice Cabinet/Jewelry Box realm, it really doesn’t take much more time to build a standing chest of drawers as opposed to my more modest size Tansu chest. Something to think about as you plan production!

BTW—it does take less time to make the drawers once the size is small enough that dovetail waste can be eliminated with a quick chisel chop. Well, a little less time… :-)

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View gsimon's profile


1282 posts in 2234 days

#6 posted 03-06-2015 12:52 AM

really nice chest – I love tons of drawers

-- Greg Simon

View ruddhess's profile


117 posts in 1331 days

#7 posted 03-06-2015 01:26 AM

Very nice!

-- Rodney, Arkansas

View Tomy Hovington's profile

Tomy Hovington

131 posts in 1307 days

#8 posted 03-06-2015 03:01 AM

Love the look and also the dovetail construction… As I personaly just finished my own Dovetail toolchest I can really appreciate the amount of work you have just accomplished… Great job It looks fantastic!

-- Tomy Hovington

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