Craftsmen\\'s Tool Chest

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Project by FrankThomas posted 01-19-2010 05:13 AM 2495 views 6 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of my absolute favorite projects. A large, don’t remember the dimensions, craftsmen’s tool chest made from ash. Finish is amber shellac. I love how the amber shellac popped the grain on the ash and gave it such a warm traditional look.

Drawer sides and back are poplar. Carcase joinery is hand cut dovetails. Drawers are on hard wood runners. Drawer joinery is hand cut dovetails.

Drawer are set in their own inner case creating voids between the sides and back of the outer case and sides and back of the inner case. Three strips cover the top of the voids in the top tray. Top tray is actually the top of the drawer case. Custom holes will be cut into those strips for hanging screw drivers, marking tools, small squares, dividers, etc… that will dangle down in the voids. Strips are fixed with screws so that the inevitably dropped tool can be fetched. Wood dividers will be created to make small compartments in the upper tray.

Inlaid duck head is my one and only attempt at inlay. Duck head is walnut set in a red cedar set into the drawer face. To be honest, the original plan was to inlay the walnut duck head directly into the drawer face. But I screwed it up. So I had to fix that space with the red cedar and inlay the duck head into that which was much easier in the softer cedar. But this is what I love about creating furniture with wood. Your screw ups and the solutions to fix them force you to be creative and often the end result is better then the original plan which I believe it is with this inlay.

-- Frank Thomas, Grand Rapids, MI

8 comments so far

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 3254 days

#1 posted 01-19-2010 05:17 AM

That’s a mighty fine tool chest. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View Twiztted's profile


7 posts in 3053 days

#2 posted 01-19-2010 06:11 AM

Very nice looking box! Well done

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3182 days

#3 posted 01-19-2010 12:08 PM

Nice chest.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 3048 days

#4 posted 01-19-2010 01:25 PM

Great box!

--, Making design and application one. †

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3280 days

#5 posted 01-19-2010 09:04 PM

Very nice chest. I’ve got one on my to do list. Maybe someday I’ll really build one

Thanks for sharing


View obi999's profile


213 posts in 3401 days

#6 posted 01-20-2010 10:49 AM

Looks very very good. I think it may be the King-project for a craftsman and must be beautyful every time you look at it or open it.
Thanks for sharing

-- *** the german lumberjock ***

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3816 days

#7 posted 05-18-2010 12:18 AM

Wow, that’s an awesome toolbox. Well made drawers too.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View FrankThomas's profile


46 posts in 3065 days

#8 posted 05-18-2010 03:14 AM

Thank you Bradford.

-- Frank Thomas, Grand Rapids, MI

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