Finally, a toolbox, the first of a pair

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Project by Shopsmithtom posted 10-05-2009 06:13 PM 4104 views 30 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Things always take longer to finish than you originally figure…at least for me. I started out this project as a pair of hanging tool cabinets to organize my woodworking hand tools & I cut all the basic parts at the same time as the only differences are the inside compartments, but considering how long it took to figure out the tool arrangement in the first one, I decided to finish the second one after I’m well on my way to completing the Christmas presents for the kids.

After completing this one, I have to stand in awe of H.O. Studley and his amazing tool chest If you haven’t seen it, go to Google images & put in Studley tool box. I managed to get (when finally tweaked) about 75 tools in the chest, & he found a way to get over 300 into roughly the same area. Oh, well, no mother of pearl or ebony, either.

The box is made from oak, with the back being 3/4’ baltic birch and the front being birch plywood recycled from a slide out kitchen cabinet shelf. Corner joints are rabbeted & screwed together with brass screws. I still plan to add some chest handles to the sides to facilitate carrying. It’s heavy without the tools in it, but I didn’t want it to fall apart under the weight of the tools when full. It’s hung on the wall using French cleats. Now, as long a my wall doesn’t collapse…

Inside shelves & compartments are of recycled pine. The piano hinges (I got a whole bunch) came from our local landfill recycle store @ $2. for a big lot. To get at the chisels in the rear, I used a cabinet hinge to allow the front shelf to pivot out for access. The lower compartments were to be drawers, and I’m still debating that issue.

I’d like to say that I only used the tools in the box to complete the project, but I’d still be working on it if that were the case. While I did use planes & chisels, my old Shopsmiths took on the bulk of the work load.

While I look forward to doing the kids Christmas projects, it’s fun making something just for me. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

17 comments so far

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

714 posts in 2710 days

#1 posted 10-05-2009 06:34 PM

Love the little cubbies for the block planes.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1262 posts in 2257 days

#2 posted 10-05-2009 06:36 PM

Great selection of hand tools.
Organized nicely.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2265 days

#3 posted 10-05-2009 07:06 PM

I think yours is beautiful. Nice job!

That said, I DID look for the one your referenced.


I’m slack-jawed, awe-struck, and dumbfounded….

-- -- Neil

View DaddyT's profile


267 posts in 2601 days

#4 posted 10-05-2009 08:42 PM

Dang thats a nice tool chest!! Great job. And I just checked the link that NBeener was kind enough to post and… in the heck was that even possible? Wow ….....Im awstruck too!! but it weighed 300lb. Why would you even want to do that to your back?

-- Jimi _ Measure twice, cut once.......@#%#$@!!!......measure twice, cut....

View mranum's profile


131 posts in 2507 days

#5 posted 10-06-2009 12:15 AM

Nice job Tom ! Some of these things seem to take forever don’t they.

-- Just remember,it was a lone amatuer that built the ark, and a team of experts built the Titanic.

View Napaman's profile


5439 posts in 3168 days

#6 posted 10-06-2009 12:25 AM

truly beautiful!!! I cant imagine trying to carry that…but if you did…what holds in the tools??? I see hold downs and other things but it seems like they would all float a bit…

NICE JOB…by the way——isnt this one for you?? lol…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2976 days

#7 posted 10-06-2009 02:28 AM


-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 2996 days

#8 posted 10-06-2009 03:52 AM

Nice and neat, well done.

View a1Jim's profile


113833 posts in 2668 days

#9 posted 10-06-2009 06:04 AM

Soooo cool looks super. great Job.

-- Custom furniture

View douginaz's profile


220 posts in 3093 days

#10 posted 10-06-2009 12:34 PM

Excellent work, I am in awe of anyone who can make stuff like this. My mind is just not that organized. My thanks for sharing.
Doug in AZ.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

View Shopsmithtom's profile


786 posts in 3286 days

#11 posted 10-06-2009 04:04 PM

In answer to what holds the tools when you move it, they’re pretty stable unless you really bounce it around, but, truthfully, it will probably never leave the wall. Also, there’s no way you could hang/unhang (if that’s a word) this thing with the tools in it. Does anyone have any idea just how much weight a French cleat setup is capable of holding up? -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2764 days

#12 posted 02-01-2010 11:09 PM

Thats a nice organized cabinet.

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12275 posts in 2248 days

#13 posted 03-09-2010 04:53 AM

that is one handy looking tool cabinet…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View WayneC's profile


12638 posts in 3188 days

#14 posted 03-09-2010 05:01 AM

Very nice cabinet. Did you build a second? Are the two planes on the left gage planes?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Shopsmithtom's profile


786 posts in 3286 days

#15 posted 03-09-2010 06:03 PM

Yes, a # 3 & # 4 gage. They work like a dream. I absolutely love them, if fact I just bought a #5 on ebay at a reasonable price because it was missing a part that I had an extra of. (is that a dangling participle? I hate it when they dangle)
No, I haven’t finished the second one, a wine cabinet Christmas project got in the way for a while…but I’ll get there.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

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