Questions on the Joiner's Tool Chest

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  • This topic has 11 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 9 years ago by Ken.
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    “Of all of the tool boxes I have seen and used, this is probably the very best of all”. This is how @paul-sellers describes his Joiner’s Tool Chest”. So it’s certainly worthy of serious consideration as a more portable alternative to the bigger version, to hold the essential tool set.

    It would be great if we could have a little more guidance please on the optimal dimensions and any tips on construction not covered in the recent project series. The draw and panel construction seem familiar by now, but the drop front, hardware, drawer runners (under or rabbeted in the draw side?) and overall glue up would currently take a little educated guesswork. From past threads and blog comments, I think this would be of broad interest.

    Many thanks.

    Greg Merritt

    Martin…I built a version a few months back. The construction is pretty straight foreword.
    I can’t help you with the ideal size though. I built mine with what I had available and for a different purpose. I think Paul refers to having multiple boxes that are designed to carry different compliments of tools. So I think we would need the list of tools as well as the size of the box.


    Thanks for the link Greg, I’d missed that one. Some good ideas and a great result. Plugged screws for attaching the panels is a good spot. How has it worked out in use? Anything you’d change?

    I like the idea of the drop front as an area to park tools in use, to keep them off the bench. Might need a couple of pull out supports, like those on a drop front desk.

    Greg Merritt

    So far, so good. It’s made several trips to work at family members homes and performed as intended. The only thing I wish I had done was to add a top handle so I could carry it with one hand.


    I stumbled across this months back and bookmarked it, i think it’s may be what you’re looking for!

    New Brunswick, Canada

    Paul Sellers

    Hello everyone,
    Thanks for jumping in there. That article was written back in 2007 and I gave the tool chest I built to a friend traveling with tools back to Argentina.
    The tool chest build we just completed uses the same part types and methods I now use in my Traditional Traveling Joiner’s Tool Chest. I can pack this type of chest with tools for the remote jobs and carry my tools to site if and when needed. I will dig out drawings for this as it is easier to build and having completed the one you will find this one a breeze.

    David Gill

    Thanks for posting that Barry the tool chest Paul has just completed is too big for my needs but I may have a look at the one you have posted

    Wigan, Lancs. England :


    Thanks for sharing the “Traveling Tool Box” Greg and Paul, I would like to build one myself. I intend to build the tool chest for home but when I travel to Va. to visit with our Son I would like to be able to take some tools with me to work on smaller projects etc.

    I am building a couple “chisel Boxes” this weekend which is a fun project even though I made a mess out of my Dove Tails on the 1st one. I am still going to use it though.


    Steve Massie, I live in the great State of Florida, US

    David Perrott

    Yes, thinks for the link for Paul’s article. I really want to make one of those traveling boxes. I need to finish my tool chest first!


    Thanks for all the responses, I think it’s a great example of what a helpful and supportive online community is being established. Also, for Paul to reply at 5:14am UK time is some testament to his dedication!


    Based on information I could glean from the various sources, I’ve come up with a design and dimensions that hopefully will work for me.

    It’s a combination of what’s practical, with a few ‘golden ratios’ thrown in for good measure.

    Depth 9 3/4″ (8 1/4″ for the main box plus 2 x 3/4″ for the panels)
    Height 16″
    Length 21″
    The bottom rail and all the rails of the panels would be 3″
    The drawers would be 2 1/2″ and 3″.

    I’ve done a very rough sketchup model to get a feel for whether the dimensions work, and they look ok to me.


    Thanks Martin some great info their, good job 😉

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