Carving Chisel Chest

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Project by woodworksbyjohn posted 02-17-2011 08:46 AM 3384 views 30 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was born from a couple of needs. I’ve begun carving, mostly picture frames for my artist/wife, so I’ve been acquiring carving chisels. At first, I’d keep them rolled up in a leather tool roll but seems as if 3 out of 10 times one would fall out and hit that concrete floor—edge first of course! That’s when this idea was hatched.
The other need was one to continue to hone my woodworking skills now that the part time furniture work I do has slowed considerably due to our economy. Last of all, like all of you I have a pile of good wood that’s too nice to burn or throw out but yet not quite enough to make a full project.
The chest measures about 16” deep x 19” wide x 24” tall. The drawer fronts are Bloodwood and the amount of material dictated their dimensions. My initial design was to hone my blind dovetails but the hardness of the Bloodwood and a broken tip on a skew chisel changed that to dowelled joinery. The handles are scraps of a beautiful piece of quilted Maple that also had birds eye in it. This was used on a crib for my grandson. The back came from an 8/4 piece of Maple and was re-sawn, tongue and grooved and used to make a floating panel. The sides are from that same piece of Maple.
Below the hinged top is where I’ll store my planes, dovetail saw, and …..?, not sure yet. I’ll figure that one out and then make divisions to keep things organized. You can see how I’m using leftover slats from the crib as dividers in the drawers. The top pivots on brass rods whose ends are threaded to accept an acorn nut.
The final challenge I gave myself was to carve a panel for the top. What better subject than the planes stored below it. I traced the #4 Smooth plane on it and went to work. That panel is a piece of Cherry that I re-sawed and book matched. Unfortunately it also featured some gnarly grain—what better way to practice huh?
This was a great project, hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I enjoyed designing and creating it.

-- John Visit my Blog:

29 comments so far

View rkoorman's profile


379 posts in 1861 days

#1 posted 02-17-2011 08:54 AM


Last week I’ve been think about my workshop and hoe to store my handtools. This amazing chest gives a lot of inspiration!!

Thanks for posting!



View SawDustJack's profile


28 posts in 1698 days

#2 posted 02-17-2011 09:22 AM

schweet man schweet

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 2143 days

#3 posted 02-17-2011 09:38 AM

Nicely done.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View AttainableApex's profile


342 posts in 1870 days

#4 posted 02-17-2011 09:47 AM

wow really nice

-- Ben L

View BigTiny's profile


1667 posts in 1925 days

#5 posted 02-17-2011 11:15 AM

Nice job, man. Love the added touch of the carved top.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Ken90712's profile


15838 posts in 2225 days

#6 posted 02-17-2011 11:53 AM

Nice job on this I really like how you did the drawer handles. Give it so much flow and interest! Well done all the way around.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16093 posts in 3255 days

#7 posted 02-17-2011 03:36 PM


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

View woodzy's profile


416 posts in 1716 days

#8 posted 02-17-2011 03:46 PM

Its a beautiful peice.

-- Anthony

View bigfish_95008's profile


250 posts in 2140 days

#9 posted 02-17-2011 04:04 PM

Great looking chest!

-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

View johndacarpenter's profile


19 posts in 1695 days

#10 posted 02-17-2011 04:05 PM

Great Workmanship! i love the pinned drawers

-- johndacarpenter

View jerrells's profile


891 posts in 1921 days

#11 posted 02-17-2011 04:24 PM


-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View woodworksbyjohn's profile


76 posts in 1729 days

#12 posted 02-17-2011 05:32 PM

Thanks all, appreciate all of your positive responses. Big fish—like your quote from Van Gogh. I find that I get as much, if not more, enjoyment from the process as I do from the final product.

-- John Visit my Blog:

View kcrandy's profile


285 posts in 2469 days

#13 posted 02-17-2011 06:31 PM

Handsome. Very handsome.

-- Caulk and paint are a poor carpenter's best friends

View SgtSnafu's profile


959 posts in 2308 days

#14 posted 02-17-2011 08:36 PM

Great looking chest. Your carving tool now have a fine place to rest..

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View Orion Woods's profile

Orion Woods

67 posts in 1806 days

#15 posted 02-17-2011 10:26 PM

John, This really turned out great! Love the ascending drawer pulls and the carved lid is fantastic! Don’t know why but not receiving your blog! I signed up! Keep up the good work!


-- Brian

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