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Tool Chest

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Project by CL810 posted 07-10-2013 04:59 PM 5905 views 41 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had been wanting to build a portable tool chest for a long time but could not settle on a design until I saw Chris Schwarz’s Dutch tool chest. I was mulling it over, ok, I was procrastinating, when Brandon began a great blog that starts here . His blog was just the KITA I needed to get serious. I strongly recommend this blog to anyone remotely thinking about building a chest. The comments/discussions that accompany the blog are also very informative. Another great resource is Ryan’s Dream Toolbox thread that is currently active.

I settled on the height of the chest that would fit in my truck bed with the cover down. I based the carcass construction on the design of a blanket chest I had recently built. The dovetail joinery should last a long time. Yes, it was a lot of work cutting the DTs, but using them gives me confidence in the integrity of the chest.

From the beginning I wanted to create an aged look to the chest similar to one I had seen in Jim Tolpin’s book, The Toolbox Book. I certainly understand both sides of the stained vs. painted finish. I settled on the aged and distressed look so it was to be painted and have bare metal. I applied 4 colors of paint in this order: white, yellow/orange, red, and last brown. For the distressed look I sanded the paint in areas that would get “wear.”

I purchased the hinges from Lee Valley but they did not sell screws or handles that matched. I remembered that Chris Schwarz had written about stripping zinc from metal with citric acid. You can read about it here . The only comment I have about the process is that one should buy whatever you’re going to strip at the same time from the same manufacturer. Results vary by mfg, not only in how long it takes to strip the zinc, but in the appearance of the metal after stripping. Here’s a before and after pic.

I used poplar for the chest; cherry for the racks, tracks, box and till ends, and the till runners. I screwed the racks and tracks in so I could change things in the future. The saw till has a dovetail base. It is attached with two screws. The base was trimmed so that it fell just short of touching the bottom of the chest. When I tightened the screws in the base, it made for a very tight and stable fit for the till.

The inside of the chest, boxes and till are finished with shellac.

The first time I traveled with the chest I could hear the till slide back and forth. So I made these stops to secure the till. The left side’s stop is sitting on the runner for clarification.

The next step in my plan is to build a chest of drawers as a base for this chest.

Thanks for looking.

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





39 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#1 posted 07-10-2013 05:00 PM

Looks pretty cool. Will the chest of drawers be on rollers?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View DaddyZ's profile

DaddyZ

2414 posts in 1727 days


#2 posted 07-10-2013 05:02 PM

Very Cool !!!

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

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#3 posted 07-10-2013 05:12 PM

Also, the stops are cool. I purchased an antique chest last week and had to take the tills out because they were sliding side to side. Probably will leave my chest as it is given it is 100 plus years old.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4817 posts in 979 days


#4 posted 07-10-2013 05:20 PM

Very nice work. I like the poplar and cherry mix, and those half blinds look great

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112299 posts in 2264 days


#5 posted 07-10-2013 05:56 PM

Looks great nice work

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14862 posts in 2363 days


#6 posted 07-10-2013 05:58 PM

Nice work, great design

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Don W's profile

Don W

15228 posts in 1254 days


#7 posted 07-10-2013 06:01 PM

very nice. It looks tool worthy!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6948 posts in 1601 days


#8 posted 07-10-2013 06:15 PM

Good job on the distressing. I like it. Well done.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6841 posts in 1838 days


#9 posted 07-10-2013 06:18 PM

Awesome work Clayton! It really came out great!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1341 days


#10 posted 07-10-2013 06:45 PM

The stop idea is very elegant. Well done on all fronts.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View LukieB's profile

LukieB

939 posts in 1017 days


#11 posted 07-10-2013 06:45 PM

Andy this thing looks awesome, very nice work. Those dovetails look spectacular, makes me want to get back to working on mine…

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this http://www.melbrownfarmsupply.com"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10038 posts in 1305 days


#12 posted 07-10-2013 06:50 PM

Very nice indeed, Andy. Congrats on a fine build, may she serve you well!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View dpow's profile

dpow

461 posts in 1531 days


#13 posted 07-10-2013 07:12 PM

Great looking tool chest – a project to be proud of. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View Brit's profile

Brit

5220 posts in 1529 days


#14 posted 07-10-2013 07:14 PM

Very nice. It really looks the business.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4761 posts in 979 days


#15 posted 07-10-2013 07:15 PM

That is just super cool—great job!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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