The Sma' Kist (can be fitted up as a tool chest)

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Project by lethentymill posted 07-23-2008 10:58 AM 3247 views 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The sma’ kist is the sixth project in the Lethenty Mill furniture making course and it is one that attracts a lot of interest.

In this project, I suggest that the top of the kist is dry jointed. The top of the original sma’ kist (on which I based this design) had split – this almost always happens as the wood shrinks when it meets central heating.

Traditionally, tops were always nailed on, then punched and filled. Kists were utility items. I suggest to evening class students and home learners that they dowel the top on so that the fixings are hidden.

I also recommend fitting a strap (I used a leather one) as it doesn’t interfere with the movements of the inner tray.

My ‘new’ version of the kist does not have a lock, although the original kists did. These can still be obtained, however they do present a problem – when it comes to fitting a surface mounted escutcheon, there isn’t much depth for fitting the screws. The push-in type is OK.

-- Allan Fyfe, Lethenty Mill Furniture,

13 comments so far

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 2794 days

#1 posted 07-23-2008 11:19 AM

Looks good!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View gusthehonky's profile


130 posts in 2833 days

#2 posted 07-23-2008 12:12 PM

A fine example of master craftsmanship. Sadly, in an age of throw-away tool stored in a plastic bucket, a tradesman’s pride and skill showcasing the respect, care, and storage of his tools is rarely found on present day job sites. A well built tool chest and its contents speaks volumes about its owner. Plastic buckets only say what they once contained(paint, stain, mud, etc…..).

-- Ciao, gth.

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 2858 days

#3 posted 07-23-2008 01:19 PM

Nice looking and very functional box. Thank you for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6793 posts in 3071 days

#4 posted 07-23-2008 01:51 PM


It’s easy to see why it’s popular. It’s very nice.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3309 days

#5 posted 07-23-2008 03:11 PM

Very nice!

What are the approximate dimensions?

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

View steveosshop's profile


230 posts in 2717 days

#6 posted 07-23-2008 03:36 PM

Very nice. The lid on the smaller compartments is a nice touch.

-- Steve-o

View RobD's profile


18 posts in 2686 days

#7 posted 07-23-2008 03:39 PM

Very very nice work …I might have to “borrow” that design in the future!

View Dusty56's profile


11781 posts in 2779 days

#8 posted 07-23-2008 04:26 PM

do you have any dimensions to share with us or what wood you used or what’s the best finish to use on a project like this ? It looks great even though the pix are a wee bit small for me old eyeballs : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View jeanmarc's profile


1888 posts in 2807 days

#9 posted 07-23-2008 05:04 PM

Very nice!nice work

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View motthunter's profile


2142 posts in 2890 days

#10 posted 07-23-2008 05:34 PM

really cool

-- making sawdust....

View SteveKorz's profile


2133 posts in 2805 days

#11 posted 07-23-2008 07:04 PM

I love the look of a hand crafted tool chest… that looks terrific!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View PineMan's profile


71 posts in 2685 days

#12 posted 07-23-2008 10:24 PM

Very nice looking. How big is it?

-- I never started a project I couldn't screw up.

View lethentymill's profile


61 posts in 2700 days

#13 posted 07-25-2008 09:28 PM

Thanks for all the comments. For those of you who are interested in the size of the sma’ kist, the dimensions are as follows:
(L) – 846mm
(W) – 296mm
(H) – 296mm.
The sma’ kist is one of the intermediate projects from the Lethenty Mill furniture making course. We also offer our evening class students and distance learners the chance to make a larger kist (project 7 from our course). I will try and post some photographs of our larger kist on LJs too in due course. Meanwhile, the following links provide a little more information on the sma' kist and the kist..

-- Allan Fyfe, Lethenty Mill Furniture,

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