|Project by Stopher||posted 03-31-2012 05:27 AM||4359 views||11 times favorited||9 comments|
A few months back I picked up a copy of “The Anarchists Tool Chest” by Chris Schwarz (like the idea or not, still a great read, highly recommended). This is my half-attempt at building a tool chest, somewhat similar to Chris’ traveling tool chest. I say half-attempt because, while I enjoyed his book, I’m still not sold on the tool chest idea. I have had a large peg board hanging to the right of my bench and thus far I have to say I rather like it. I want to give the tool chest thing a try though, so here goes…
The case is constructed just like Schwarz’s; dovetails all ‘round, mini-skirt, and ship-lapped bottom boards. For the lid I wanted to do something a little different. I had some great aircraft-grade plywood cutoffs that I wanted to use for the panels in the top. Because of their small size, I had to use two panels. Instead of making the stiles long and the rails short I made the rails longer (it seemed like a good idea at the time). I was hoping that with the split in the lid the longer stiles would add some interest. The rails have through mortises (my first attempt at mortises) and they didn’t end up too bad. The hinges are from Lee Valley and, like much of the lid, seemed like such a good idea before I installed them. I think once I have time I’ll make a new lid and stick to the beaten path.
Inside the chest everything is nailed in place with #18 wire brads. I know tools will come and go, so I want the chest to evolve around these changes. At the front there’s room for my four most used saws. Behind that I have my el-cheapo jack plane, my Stanley #7 and my Stanley #60-1/2 block plane. It’s not much, but these are the tools I find myself using 90% of the time anyway. Above that there’s a small chisel tray. I’m really bummed that my 1-1/2” and Mortise chisel don’t fit like the others, but I can’t make the tray any longer because the #7 gets in the way. :( Above the Chisel tray is my marking/measuring/misc. tray. I bought a belt at the thrift store and attached it between two pegs on the ends; it makes an excellent handle.
I haven’t used the chest much, but my initial impression is that it won’t be too bad. I like that it can change as my tool collection changes. I’ll have to update you all in a month or two to let you know how it’s working out.
-- The bitterness of low quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. - Ben Franklin