|Project by Texasgaloot||posted 04-27-2008 06:30 AM||10687 views||6 times favorited||17 comments|
A galoot I am. A galoot needs a really old-fashioned, proper storage space for all those ridiculous, obsolete hand tools that dance like visions of sugar-plum fairies… well, you know. Sort of the antithesis of Tim Allen. When I realized this to be truth, I began a year-long quest for the perfect tool chest, and was surprised to find that such a thing was as nebulous as the Holy Grail, so I did the predictable thing and designed my own. Someday I’ll finish it, too!
The inspiration comes from a composite of great features I found in Tauton’s “The Toolbox Book” (Jim Tolpin,) and from a coffee table we had in our living room while I was growing up that was actually my dad’s Uncle Roy’s tool chest. Uncle Roy was a professional carpenter whenever he permitted earning an honest living to interfere with his fishing.
The sides of the tool chest are birch plywood, because I reasoned that they would be greatly stressed when the toolbox was moved, and because I figured that being an itinerate preacher at the time would bring the chest into widely varying humidities and the carcass would at least offer some stability. Once I began building the tills to some pretty close tolerances, I realized how good a call this is. The bottom of the chest is made of tongue and groove fir, tongues and grooves milled by my crispy match plane (Stanley No-48.) The lid is Tennessee Black Walnut, glued up and planed to make a floating panel. The border and ledgers sport hand-cut dovetails.
The box features three divided compartments in the bottom: one for large bench planes (a No.-8, a No.-5, a No.-4c, and a No.-3) one for my various bits and braces and a couple of levels, and one for miscellaneous tools that haven’t found a home yet. Above that is a sliding shelf made of cherry that is one compartment wide. The shelf track is also used to support the three tills: one 5 drawer till featured in the photos, one saw till containing a variety of rather dull Disstons, and one for my present barely adequate chisels that will hopefully someday be replaced with much better ones. The till carcasses and dividers are made of the same walnut as the lid, while the drawer fronts are made of cherry (couldn’t tell by the sapwood, could you?) The chisel till indexes into the saw till and forms it’s lid, and when they are stacked they form a mirror image of the drawer till.
This chest (like my own) is a work in progress, and fortunately the woodwoorking is going better than the photography. I’ve yet to take the time to add some dividers where they are needed, and to add a walnut apron around the outside of the chest at the bottom, but those are in the plans as well. I’ll post updates as I complete these steps, if we are not too old to read by then.
-- There's no tool like an old tool...