Tool chest inspired by NBSS chest on "Rough Cut"

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Project by JasonD posted 09-16-2013 04:47 AM 2588 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed a place to put my growing tool collection and between seeing an article in Fine Woodworking about the NBSS-style tool chest along with Tommy Mac’s video series on his website, there was no doubt what I was going to build.

This is the largest dovetailed box that I’ve made to date. The wood for the carcase was special because it was the first present that my son ever bought for me. He didn’t know what to get for my birthday years ago and eventually decided to buy some wood (2 planks of Ponderosa Pine). It’s been sitting in my shop for a while waiting for the right project. It’s a very unique wood to work; really soft which makes some tasks much easier and others very difficult.

The drawer bodies and guides / runners are Southern Yellow Pine. The drawer fronts are Red Alder. The finish is about 6 coats of amber dewaxed shellac. The carcase is joined with through dovetails. The drawer sides / backs are joined with through dovetails and the drawer sides / fronts are joined with half blind dovetails. This was the first time that I’ve ever tried half blind dovetails. The drawer pulls were carved from SYP scraps left over from building the drawers.

The pics are:
1. Finished tool chest showing the half blind dovetails on the drawer fronts.
2. The finished chest from the front.
3. Transferring the tails over to the pin boards.
4. Dry fit of the carcase dovetails.

12 comments so far

View rdwile's profile


160 posts in 2258 days

#1 posted 09-16-2013 01:16 PM

Really nice work, you will love this project every-time you open the drawer to get a tool. I love the one I made and its gets nicer as the wood darkens.

-- Richard D. Wile,

View 489tad's profile


3433 posts in 3158 days

#2 posted 09-16-2013 02:40 PM

That is a good looking chest. I like the different size dovetails. Great story with the wood.

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

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3013 days

#3 posted 09-16-2013 03:06 PM

This is a beautiful chest and a fine addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View theoldfart's profile


10043 posts in 2598 days

#4 posted 09-16-2013 10:45 PM

Jason, nice work. You may want post this on the tool chest of your dreams thread in hand tool forum

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2622 days

#5 posted 09-16-2013 10:46 PM

How are the pulls made? Nice box, should come handy.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3335 days

#6 posted 09-16-2013 11:20 PM

Great work, I have always wanted to make one of these.

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

View JasonD's profile


180 posts in 3008 days

#7 posted 09-17-2013 12:23 AM

Thanks for all the kind words. Having worked for so long with a handful of tools in a small wall cabinet and the rest laying around getting in the way, the organization this tool chest gives me is priceless.

Jorge G., I cut some pine scraps about 3” x 1/2” x 1/4” (just a little over-sized of that), planed them 4 square between my small planing stop and shooting boards, and finally shaped them up with a chisel using my bench hook.

If I get a chance this week, I’ll take some pics of how I carved them using the bench hook and a chisel. It was pretty straight forward and simple.

View ChuckV's profile


3171 posts in 3674 days

#8 posted 09-17-2013 12:55 AM

You did a great job. I really like the looks of the dovetails on the drawers. That is a wonderful addition to your shop!

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Jeff82780's profile


204 posts in 3141 days

#9 posted 09-17-2013 05:14 AM

Looks great!

View Hammerthumb's profile


2893 posts in 2122 days

#10 posted 09-17-2013 10:45 PM

Very nice work Jason.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View a1Jim's profile


117234 posts in 3724 days

#11 posted 09-17-2013 11:14 PM

Looks great

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2322 days

#12 posted 09-19-2013 06:42 PM

Beautiful and functional build. Great design and storage got a collection of your hand tools. Great work!

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