Carved Windsor Chairmaker's Tool Chest

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Project by Rev. Jim Paulson posted 1900 days ago 4021 views 6 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi everyone,

This is the carved chest I made to hold my chair making tools. My classmates at the Windsor Institute have seen this several times, but I especially enjoyed doing the chip carving on the top.

Here is some information about the chest. The case and the three trays are made of pine and the construction features hand cut dovetails. The top is basswood. I used a design by Chris Gochnour who published his tool chest in Fine Woodworking Magazine #169. I modifed the design to give it a more 18th Century look so I used milk paint, incorporated strap hinges and a case lock, made the top a solid panel and then added rope handles. I was also guided in that effort by a 18th Century tool chest that Adam Cherubini made which was a much larger. I developed the chip carving design and completed the carving. It reflects my continued interest in enhancing furniture with chip carving designs. Wayne Barton, a world renowned chip carver has greatly influenced me in terms of the design elements that I gravitate toward.

I finished this chest by applying first black milk paint then soldier blue. It is hard to see in the photos, but the underlying black paint gives neat highlights. This effect was enhanced when I applied a mixture of linseed oil and paraffin wax to protect the paint.

This project was also recently posted at “”.



19 comments so far

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 2215 days

#1 posted 1900 days ago

Looks great. Thanks for sharing.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View littlecope's profile


2894 posts in 2127 days

#2 posted 1899 days ago

Very nice! The lettering and designs are exquisite, remind me of Pennsylvanian Dutch work somehow…
I like the old-fashioned hinges too! Great Job! And Welcome to Lumberjocks, Jim!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Toolz's profile


1003 posts in 2368 days

#3 posted 1899 days ago

Absolutely Superb!

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View CharlieM1958's profile


15684 posts in 2844 days

#4 posted 1899 days ago

That is just an awesome piece of woodworking. My hat is off to you.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2106 days

#5 posted 1899 days ago

Great job Pastor. Very nice.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Rev. Jim Paulson's profile

Rev. Jim Paulson

118 posts in 1902 days

#6 posted 1899 days ago

Thanks for the kind words.
Best wishes on your woodworking endeavors too!


View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2417 posts in 2217 days

#7 posted 1899 days ago

Great Job! Welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Dennis Zongker

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 2532 days

#8 posted 1899 days ago

I’m jealous…but that has something to do with coveting, I fear, so I’ll stop that right now. Nice tool chest, Rev.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View HokieMojo's profile


2098 posts in 2353 days

#9 posted 1899 days ago

i like when people can combine some different skills. carving is one thing I’d love to add to my repetoir but it will be a while. this is truly wonderful. I wish I could make something like this for my family. They all love music.

View kerflesss's profile


182 posts in 1993 days

#10 posted 1899 days ago

Beautiful!! Can’t wait to see more Rev. Jim

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1274 posts in 2398 days

#11 posted 1899 days ago

Fantastic tool chest! Waiting to see some chairs?

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View James's profile


162 posts in 1906 days

#12 posted 1899 days ago

Very well done, it looks great, nice message on the lid also

-- James, Bluffton, IN

View kiwi1969's profile


609 posts in 2067 days

#13 posted 1899 days ago

very nice reverend. One of these is on my to do list.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View Splinterman's profile


23058 posts in 1986 days

#14 posted 1899 days ago

A lot of thought, time, effort and skill went into this very nice tool box….....well done.

View F Dudak's profile

F Dudak

342 posts in 2436 days

#15 posted 1897 days ago

I’ve seen this first hand it’s a beauty! Hardly what I’d expect from a Windsor Chairmaker!

-- Fred.... Poconos, PA ---- Chairwright in the making ----

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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