Updated: The Tool Chest

In an earlier post, I wrote this about the Tool Chest at work:

If I haven’t made clear prior to this post, I have space issues at work. I hold wood-shop classes in the great outdoors, rain or shine (ok, just shine), cold or hot. Morning and afternoon. I’ve been looking for a storage solution for the many “wood-centric” tools that end up in the outdoor space but away from the our tool storage trailer. My solution looks something like this: It’s not a pretty thing, but the design has a long gestation.

Chris Schwarz has been promoting his conversion to hand tools for years now – and he finally documents the slow spiral in “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest”. He’s got a book, I guess I have this blog. Either way, I decided on a 24″ by 18″ by 18″ dovetailed box. The moldings and bottoms were nailed and glued on, while the top has a split piano hinge as it’s method of movement. Most of the dovetails and dadoes are splined for strength (because I can’t cut a tight dovetail) and I used a L-N low angle block plan to get the pins and tails even. I only used power tools for milling the wood.

Let’s take a trip inside. First, a tool tray with a small selection of hammers, nail sets, wrenches, etc. A chisel/gouge/trisquare rack, a saw till, and some places for hand plane storage. Over the next few weeks, I will be attaching handles, finding some storage solution for safety glasses, paint & varnish and carrying handles.

It’s gotten a few facelifts since then.  My students painted it with blue and green acrylics.  A few  kids hand-sanded the tray and outside to get that look.  I still have to work on getting it to look artistic.  We then laid a few coats of glossy Minwax Polycrylic.  I added rails on the top to hold an old Woodkraft miterbox.  I can move the piece pretty well with the saw on top.

I also added a hammer rack – 3/4 inch pine rails frame a piece of pegboard, while 1/8th inch bungee cord from R.E.I keeps everything wired in.  A clasp on the front lock it in, a chain to keep everything swinging nice.

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I think she’s done.

Make it safe & keep the rubber side down.