The Dutch Tool Chest

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Project by nurvreck posted 09-04-2013 01:12 AM 4573 views 19 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 (online now)


5544 posts in 1414 days

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

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

View TurnTurnTurn's profile


602 posts in 1925 days

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

Nice job!!!

-- TurnTurnTurn

View WayneC's profile


12328 posts in 2913 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 (online now)


2633 posts in 1803 days

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

Great build Dan! You might find this thread interesting.

You also have a nice website.

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

View a1Jim's profile


113057 posts in 2392 days

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

Very nice work Dan

-- Custom furniture

View Albe's profile


189 posts in 826 days

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

Very Cool

-- Pain is temporary, quitting last forever.

View Eric's Wood Laboratory.'s profile

Eric's Wood Laboratory.

3685 posts in 2391 days

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

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

-- All glory comes from daring to begin.

View Tugboater78's profile


1304 posts in 1007 days

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


-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4827 posts in 1195 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


1917 posts in 1019 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 1686 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


5091 posts in 1108 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


15363 posts in 2004 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


16336 posts in 1682 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


291 posts in 1429 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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