The DUTCH TOOL CHEST … Frank’s Take

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Project by FJPetruso posted 03-03-2017 09:09 PM 3672 views 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my version of the very popular Dutch Tool Chest. It’s popular with woodworkers for many reasons. Reasons for its popularity include its size, authentic looks, its design & ability to store traditional hand tools and its portability.

I studied the plans & decided to make some changes to make construction a bit quicker & easier. I also wanted some aesthetic changes as well as useful additions.

The first change was not to use dovetails. Because it was to be painted & the dovetails wouldn’t show. And with the strength of modern glues & fasteners plus adding a double bottom for strength, I found it unnecessary. The 1” extra height I added to the case & the double bottom gave extra strength to mount heavy duty casters.

Pine was used for the majority of the chest. And the lid has molded front & sides. The battens for the top were installed on the outside instead of the inside & have matching molded edges, as does an added pencil rail for holding pencils & plans. Fence gate hinges were used & the top panel of the back is oak for strength in attaching the short side of the hinges & to leave room for the saw tills on the back of the chest. Heavy duty cast iron handles were installed on the sides & a fence gate pull & hasp are used for the top lock & drop front panel. Beaded trim was made for the front & sides above & below the front panel.

The interior tills & racks are made to be easily removed & changed or replaced as the tools in the chest are added to or changed around. All hardware, tills & racks were installed with traditional looking SLOTTED screws. (I had to be careful not to slip off the screw & gouge the wood.)

The biggest change I made was to the locking system for the front panel. Instead of using slats & notches in the front of the compartment shelf, I moved the battens out toward the edges of the front panel & drilled holes in the top of the battens for locking pins to latch the panel from the top. The locking pins are encased in a wood tube that keeps tools, sawdust & other debris from blocking the pin hole. As it would with the slots for the slats in the bottom of the upper compartment using slats. The pins never have to be removed from the tubes & the top won’t close without the pins being in the lock position. This also meant there are two less notches in the lower compartment shelf.

Finally the whole tool chest, inside & out, was sprayed with amber tinted shellac & the outside was painted with Tuscan Red Milk Paint leaving the trim amber color.

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

7 comments so far

View Dutchy's profile


2797 posts in 2104 days

#1 posted 03-03-2017 09:27 PM

I know that in the USA this type of chest is called Dutch tool chest.
But despite that I keep repeating:

Dutch means that it is from the Netherlands. But this model of tool chest is for so far I know from Germany. The dutch model is really different. When a German says “I,m a german” in his own language he says “Ich bin Deutsch”. And in the USA made other think that he was Dutch (also called Pennsylvanian Dutch).

When you google “timmermanskist” you will find (pictures) the dutch model.
When you google “schreiner werkzeugkiste” you will find (pictures) the German model.

It’s up to you which most resembles.

BTW and more important; great chest!


View a1Jim's profile


117032 posts in 3512 days

#2 posted 03-03-2017 11:52 PM

That’s one fine looking tool chest.

-- wood crafting & classes

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2360 posts in 583 days

#3 posted 03-04-2017 01:43 AM

Very nice!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View knockknock's profile


444 posts in 2108 days

#4 posted 03-04-2017 04:36 AM

Great looking tool chest.

View helluvawreck's profile


30527 posts in 2802 days

#5 posted 03-04-2017 11:26 AM

This is a fabulous tool chest. It’s a beautiful piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View MontanaBob's profile


826 posts in 2619 days

#6 posted 03-04-2017 12:48 PM


View Tugboater78's profile


2735 posts in 2127 days

#7 posted 03-04-2017 06:30 PM

I like it, its neat to see what others have done to personalize the popular design.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

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