The Dutch Tool Chest

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Project by nurvreck posted 09-04-2013 01:12 AM 6225 views 20 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In the October issue of Popular Woodworking are the plans for the Dutch Tool Chest. When Chris Schwarz first began write about this bad boy via the Lost Art Press blog, I was instantly intrigued. I was considering building the Anarchrist’s Tool Chest but the cost and labor kept putting me off to actually starting it. This chest was straight forward in design, basic joinery, low(er) cost in materials and everything available at a local big box store.

I used 1×12 poplar for 90% of the chest. My goal was to complete it with minimal labor so I opted not to get any rough lumber I would have to mill. Yes, more in cost but the time saved was worth it to me. I also used some 1/2” and 1/4” stock for other misc parts.

I stuck to the plans 95% of the way. In the lower compartment I misread the measurements when cutting the dado for the top shelf so I short changed myself 1-1/2” of vertical space. No worries, it ended up working out perfect in the end. Another change I made was to utilize the front-fall for more storage space for lesser used items. To attach it to the lid I used some 550 cord and threaded it through the catches and hung it to a screw that I drove into the lid (see pic 4). I do plan on using the lid of the chest for holding additional items in the future like panel saws and a bow saw and when I do the front-fall will just be hung from the back of the lid.

Build time was two weeks of nights and Sunday’s and total cost around $200. That price is mainly for S4S lumber but again, worth it in time saving. It has two coats of pitch black milk paint and sits on four casters. Most surprising was how much this thing can hold! Here is a breakdown of my contents:

  • router plane adapter
  • 3 small router plane blades
  • router plane fence
  • 4 drill bits
  • 2 counter sinks
  • 12″ square
  • triangle set
  • 2 mechanical pencils
  • card scraper (behind pencils)
  • 5 bench chisels
  • 3 phillips screw drivers
  • 3 slotted screw drivers
  • 12″ ruler (behind screw drivers)
  • dividers
  • awl
  • making knife
  • marking gauge
  • low angle block plane
  • rabbet block plane
  • mallet
  • leatherman knife
  • 12″ measuring tape
  • pocket rule
  • mallet
  • 6″ combo square
  • 16″ tenon saw
  • 14″ sash saw
  • 10″ carcase saw
  • 12″ hybrid dovetail saw
  • 10″ dovetail saw
  • #4 plane
  • low angle jack plane
  • #7 plane
  • another mallet
  • bevel gauge
  • protractor
  • low angle toothed blade
  • low angle blade (higher angle)
  • 3″ t square
  • 6″ t square
  • auger bit set
  • brace
  • coping saw
  • hand drill
  • router plane
  • skewed rabbet plance
  • half set even hollows and rounds

For anyone interested in the build I’ve documented it all here

Comments and critiques are welcome. Thanks for looking!

-- Dan, SSgt/USMC, Jacksonville, NC,

20 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


5832 posts in 1685 days

#1 posted 09-04-2013 01:20 AM

Looks like you done well. Full of nice looking tool too.

View TurnTurnTurn's profile


604 posts in 2196 days

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

Nice job!!!

-- TurnTurnTurn

View WayneC's profile


12638 posts in 3184 days

#3 posted 09-04-2013 02:16 AM

Excellent chest.

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

View CL810's profile


3048 posts in 2074 days

#4 posted 09-04-2013 02:18 AM

Great build Dan! You might find this thread interesting.

You also have a nice website.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View a1Jim's profile


113817 posts in 2663 days

#5 posted 09-04-2013 02:24 AM

Very nice work Dan

-- Custom furniture

View Albe's profile


201 posts in 1097 days

#6 posted 09-04-2013 03:09 AM

Very Cool

-- Pain is temporary, quitting last forever.

View Woodwrecker's profile


3767 posts in 2662 days

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

Mighty nice job there my friend.
That’s heirloom quality.

-- Eric down in sunny Florida.

View Tugboater78's profile


2134 posts in 1278 days

#8 posted 09-04-2013 04:41 AM


-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi"

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

5860 posts in 1466 days

#9 posted 09-04-2013 06:35 AM

Nice work on the chest. I wanted to buy that issue but everyone around here has stopped selling PW. Does it have plans for both the small and large chests?


View robscastle's profile


2571 posts in 1291 days

#10 posted 09-04-2013 09:24 AM

The deceptive looking box in the corner!

Brilliant work!!

-- Regards Robert

View nurvreck's profile


73 posts in 1957 days

#11 posted 09-04-2013 09:35 AM

Thank you, all!

@CL810 – I took a quick look at that thread last night but will dive more into it today when I’m not too busy at work. At least it’s not as long has the hand plane thread.

@Rick M. – Yes, the issue does have both chest. I subscribe to the digital issues so I get them in an email and usually a couple of days before those with the hard copy get theirs.

@Robert – Are you referring to the saw till?

-- Dan, SSgt/USMC, Jacksonville, NC,

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5538 posts in 1379 days

#12 posted 09-04-2013 02:03 PM

Nice chest, nice collection of tools and nice write up. Thanks for your post.

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

View Ken90712's profile


16034 posts in 2275 days

#13 posted 09-04-2013 02:05 PM

Nice work, I read this article and thought it would be fun…. Nce work…..

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View helluvawreck's profile


19499 posts in 1953 days

#14 posted 09-04-2013 02:22 PM

This is a very nice addition to your shop. 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 BigMig's profile


337 posts in 1700 days

#15 posted 09-04-2013 07:34 PM

I felt the same as you: ” I was considering building the Anarchrist’s Tool Chest but the cost and labor kept putting me off to actually starting it”

This might be a good alternative for me as well.

Oh – nice workmanship!

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

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