AKs Tool Makers Chest

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Project by robscastle posted 10-19-2017 06:28 AM 2403 views 1 time favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Back in Mar 2015 my Army Buddy paid me a visit and saw all the woodworking stuff I did.
So he asked me if I would make him a Tool Makers chest for his engineering type tools.

He said that he had a bunch of wood that he would like me to use and dropped it off next visit.

So I set to work researching how it was done and began the process.
It was not without some frustrating problems along the way, for example the flush mounted ring handles I wanted to use were not available being so small so the project got selved for some time.
Eventually i decided to “Git er dun” and recommenced work by extending the case to accomodate the mid project changes.

I eventually made the drawer handles from his stock as I found none that were really sutable, and finished it some two years later.

I will stash it away until his next visit amd surprise him with the completed Tool Chest for him to take home, exchange for a cuppla coldies I might add.

The timber:
The frame is Kauri pine and plywood. The insert in the top lid is unknown to me so I would like to find out just what it is.

Have a look and let me know your thoughts.

The front door and drawer fronts are some sort of featured maple I presume, again another unknown for sure.

Note: 26 Oct 2017 From my searching within LJs. the inserts may be either poplar or Alder.

The drawer frames are common garden pine and plywood bases.

The construction was a very steep learning curve for me and at times I regretted taking on the job, however after perserving and pushing on I completed it.

There is a few clinkers in it,... like the bottom dovtails reversed ,oppps!! and that sort of thing! and being recycled timber a few miss matches, and some holes here and there.

There is a blog on its construction, so if you would like to check how it was done its all there, But be aware its over 2 years so some searching back will be required The titles are all the same if that’s any help and the series numbers are 38, 40 41, 77 and 78.

-- Regards Robert

27 comments so far

View Rick_M's profile


11077 posts in 2281 days

#1 posted 10-19-2017 06:42 AM

That’s a handsome box. The top looks like hickory to me, but I’m not sure.


View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5740 posts in 3254 days

#2 posted 10-19-2017 10:27 AM

That’s a mighty fine looking tool makers chest Rob. I still have my beat up metal one from 1966. But yours look so much better! Nice work!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1520 posts in 484 days

#3 posted 10-19-2017 10:52 AM

Nice looking chest. As for the clinkers, I figure when I stop making mistakes, I’ll be dead. In the meantime, I try to learn from them and just don’t make the same mistake twice.

Again, good job! It’s a pretty one.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View recycle1943's profile


1614 posts in 1524 days

#4 posted 10-19-2017 10:58 AM

Good lookin’ tool chest, my patience would have run out long ago and the project would have turned into a Gerstner

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Handtooler's profile


1497 posts in 2033 days

#5 posted 10-19-2017 11:51 AM

Wonderful construction, and a real beauty!

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View TZH's profile


551 posts in 3042 days

#6 posted 10-19-2017 01:04 PM

Around here we have a saying that our tastes in wood and decor choices are “eclectic” because to us they seem so mismatched. The only feedback we’ve gotten from anyone coming to visit has been more than positive. Well, you can now apply that kind of feedback from me to your very own eclectic mix of woods used in this project, and give yourself a great big pat on the back for a job well done….not only in the craftsmanship, but also in how you put that eclectic mix of woods to work in this project. Well done! Very well done, indeed!


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20060 posts in 3007 days

#7 posted 10-19-2017 01:06 PM

Rob that is an excellent toolmaker’s chest! Very fine design and workmanship, Your friend will love it!
What a great gift!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View pottz's profile


2576 posts in 886 days

#8 posted 10-19-2017 01:40 PM

wow you out did yourself on this one,nice design and beautiful wood he gonna be overwhelmed on this chest.great job buddy.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View swirt's profile


2543 posts in 2873 days

#9 posted 10-19-2017 02:01 PM

Good looking tool chest. And the dovetails aren’t “reversed”, they are just oriented to prevent the sides from falling off. It’s all in how you accentuate your “mistakes” ;)

-- Galootish log blog,

View SubVette's profile


76 posts in 1447 days

#10 posted 10-19-2017 03:02 PM

Looks great to me, well done!

-- John in Florida

View jeffswildwood's profile


2807 posts in 1879 days

#11 posted 10-19-2017 03:06 PM

That is one super chest. The kind all of us wish we had. Your patience really paid off!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7631 posts in 2230 days

#12 posted 10-19-2017 04:01 PM

I love these machinist type tool chests….

nice job.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View robscastle's profile


4786 posts in 2106 days

#13 posted 10-19-2017 10:04 PM

Thanks everybody, lets hope its received as well as the supportive replies from you all!

Makes it all worthwile I tell you !!,...did you have a look at Bob Summerfields masterpiece he made for his son?

-- Regards Robert

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10020 posts in 3954 days

#14 posted 10-19-2017 10:40 PM

Very COOL tool chest!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View kiefer's profile


5618 posts in 2568 days

#15 posted 10-19-2017 10:55 PM

Thanks for posting this Robert a very enjoyable project .


-- Kiefer

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