So I’ve been spending quite a bit of time thinking about tool chest design. Probably more than is healthy, but it seems I’m not alone in that. I’ve tried to take the best features of a multitude of designs and combine them into something that will work for me. To see if it works in practice I’m going to follow Paul’s approach on the bench stool project and make a prototype first.
The design is quite similar to the one in the project series, but I’ve added a ‘Dutch’ sloping lid. This helps facilitate a chisel rack at the back of the main compartment, to keep everything really accessible when working from the chest. The lid would be a breadboard-end design and double as a sketch-board. At roughly 22″ x 14″ x 8-14″ it hopefully won’t put my back out to lift it.
I thought I’d share with this forum to see if the wise heads can spot any fatal flaws, and keep you updated of my progress.
Thanks Dave. Might put the saws on the underside of the lid, or the tenon/dovetail saws could go in a till in the main compartment. I like the idea of a removable lid that doubles as a drawing board, rather than having it hinged. We’ll see how that works out with the prototype…
I’ve made a start on the prototype. I had some recycled cheap pine boards that I wouldn’t really use for a ‘proper’ project but they should do just fine for this. One thing I had to stop and think about was the geometry of the dovetails at the top of the sloping side, so I did a quick test with a couple of pieces of scrap.
I thought about using pocket screws just for the prototype, but I reckon I still need the practice on the dovetails..
Only a little time in the shop this week but I did get one the the long dovetailed corners done. I tried to work a little faster than normal and get into a rhythm with the sawing, with slightly mixed results.
The quality of the boards I’m using for the prototype is not great, and I’m reminded of some sound advice. “The main thing you learn from practising on cheap timber is ‘don’t use cheap timber’…”
All the dovetails for the box itself are done. This was an interesting exercise as the boards had a little bit of cupping and wind to contend with. I followed and adapted some of the tricks Paul shows in the videos to deal with this, and amazingly the assembled box is a lot better than the sum of the parts. Looking forward to doing the bottom next.
The tool chest is pretty much completed, I just need to decide on a finish – probably paint for the main box, but I might just oil the top.
The removable chisel rack makes use of the dead space behind the draw and the lid doubles as a drawing board for sketching or plans.
It’s been a fun project, feels like I’m learning a lot, but have so much left to learn.
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