One for the Road


A cabinetmaker’s tool chest that’s ready to travel.
By Tom Fidgen

From the February 2010 issue #181
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When I think of a tool chest, I think of a carpenter’s box, usually open and inviting, a little rough perhaps but clearly made by the hand. Think of Roy Underhill merrily skipping over the stream … remember the toolbox he was carrying? What I’ve come up with is a toolbox, made entirely by hand, that is both practical and traditional in construction. Well, sort of …

Do you need to carry tools? Are you going to be on a jobsite outside of your workshop? This chest will be manageable and hold most of your workshop essentials while incorporating some unique and practical design elements.

For starters the sliding lid, (captured in dados) pushes off the back and is held open to access the interior. While in the open position the lid serves as a shield to cover your two backsaws that are safely held on the exterior back with a protective shelf underneath them. This turns into a little shelf to place things like tiny screws you’d surely lose on-site if you didn’t have such a dedicated area to toss them.

It has a built-in shooting board, and a workspace complete with surface clamp and miter hook that will get all of the applause from your fellow craftsmen on site. I don’t know how many times I’ve been installing a cabinet or perhaps some finish moulding
somewhere, and a makeshift bench surface, saw hook and shooting board would have been really handy – it’s also nice to rest your arse on the edge from time to time. It’s simple in form, as a tool chest should. We’ll get started with the basic box so we can get on to some of those unique design elements.

Online Extras

* Click here to check out Tom Fidgen’s book, Made By Hand.


From the February 2010 issue #181
Buy this issue now