|Project by WhattheChuck||posted 03-06-2015 05:50 AM||3665 views||0 times favorited||11 comments|
Two photos of the finished tansu chest resting in its workbench mother’s arms. More experienced woodworkers will glimpse the rare ‘clean top’ of the workbench, which is what inspired the desire for a tool chest in the first place. For those starting out, I can’t encourage you enough to build a real bench. It is absolutely vital for both craftsmanship and safety. Mine is a classic Frank Klausz bench, from the original Workbench book by Scott Landis. There are all sorts of permutations and improvements that are now in existence, and they might be incrementally better. But there’s a reason Frank hangs on to his.
The workbench is 20 years old+ (can’t remember when I finished it) and the tansu chest is 2 days old. The only advice about this that I can give is this—if you are building a workbench now, but don’t want to bother with a tool chest underneath, make provisions to mount one in the future. I cut two rabbets on the bottom stretchers to drop the tool box on when I built the original bench. I also made it possible for the bench slave to run on the bench itself and not protrude over the edge of the rabbet. It took 20 years to get around to building the accompanying tool chest, but I didn’t need any help dropping it right into place.
One other lesson I’ve learned—find a master, and when possible, imitate them. Realize that they have years of experience and sophistication you don’t have. But don’t start from scratch. Find someone whose technique and product you admire, and steal a few pages from their playbook. Frank and his work are amazing for a reason. In about 20 years, I wanna be a pretty good beginner too!
-- Chuck, Pullman, WA