Small-tool chest of drawers

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Project by ayryq posted 04-09-2013 12:10 AM 4252 views 34 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A project from a plan in Popular Woodworking, ten smallish drawers for easy-to-lose tools in the workshop. Made of solid poplar, and plywood scraps (drawer bottom and back). Drawer joinery is butt joints and glue, plus a few pneumatic brads to hold things aligned. Carcase joinery is butt joints and screws (with walnut plugs). Drawer pulls are cut from walnut with a plug cutter. I don’t recommend this technique if you have a tapered plug cutter. Might work with a straight one. I couldn’t get a clean “back” to the plug; wound up sanding them all on the disc sander.

Finished with orange shellac. Turned out kind of orange (should I have been surprised?), but the poplar might brown a little bit eventually.

I have some other workshop projects to post, but they tend to stop after “works” and before “finished.”

22 comments so far

View RogerInColorado's profile


315 posts in 803 days

#1 posted 04-09-2013 12:24 AM

I really like this. What issue of PW was it from?

View AttainableApex's profile


338 posts in 1681 days

#2 posted 04-09-2013 12:31 AM

do you still have the plans for this?

-- Ben L

View CL810's profile


2696 posts in 1837 days

#3 posted 04-09-2013 12:49 AM

Well done!

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View ayryq's profile


76 posts in 1040 days

#4 posted 04-09-2013 01:03 AM

It was from August 03, but was also in a digital pamphlet they’re giving away to subscribers called “workshop storage solutions,” and again in a book “Building the Perfect Tool Chest” by Jim Stack. The plans were sort of weird, mostly pictures with captions, and several steps either sketchy or missing. For example, those dados are 2” on center. Nowhere did the plan say this; I had to work it out with my calculator. They took three or four pictures to show how to lay out the curves, though.

The beading makes it look more complicated than it is. The drawer base (1/4” plywood) is wider than the drawer (the drawer frame is just glued to it) and rides in 1/4” dados in the sides.

View scrollsaw's profile


13032 posts in 2702 days

#5 posted 04-09-2013 01:12 AM

I like it great job.

-- Todd

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


1346 posts in 1257 days

#6 posted 04-09-2013 01:18 AM

Nice, looks great.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Danimaller's profile


4 posts in 767 days

#7 posted 04-09-2013 02:04 AM

i see a lot of soon to be dull files.
nice job on the box

View KelvinGrove's profile


1122 posts in 761 days

#8 posted 04-09-2013 02:14 AM

Now on my “to build” list. Thanks!

-- Tim P. Calhoun GA. Don't cry because it's over, smile....because for 7 glorious miles, everyone thought you were the real bus driver!

View ayryq's profile


76 posts in 1040 days

#9 posted 04-09-2013 02:19 AM

A lot of files might be an understatement. This isn’t even all of them. And “already dull” would be more accurate. How do you store hundreds of tiny files?

Those are all hand-me-downs from my grandpa; he had them in a cigar box. Used them for detailing woodcarvings, mostly. I had them on a high shelf in a bankers box, thought at least here they might see some use.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 1907 days

#10 posted 04-09-2013 05:54 AM

I really like this chest. Well done. I much prefer to use shallow drawers like this for appropriate tools so that they don’t get buried under each other so much. Nice job.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 1907 days

#11 posted 04-09-2013 05:56 AM

FYI. Old Files can often be resharpened by soaking them in an appropriate etching acid such as citric or acetic acid. I’ve used common white vinegar before, but it takes about a week. It really works well. Just Google, Acid Sharpening Files and you will find all kinds of info.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View 489tad's profile


2634 posts in 1860 days

#12 posted 04-09-2013 12:42 PM

Very nice job.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View DaddyZ's profile


2450 posts in 1889 days

#13 posted 04-09-2013 01:42 PM

Nice little Cabinet !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View helluvawreck's profile


16680 posts in 1715 days

#14 posted 04-09-2013 01:44 PM

This makes a wonderful tool box. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View david38's profile


1308 posts in 1192 days

#15 posted 04-09-2013 02:21 PM

very nice

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