Tool Chests

clamped_till_IMG_4395

Your Carcase is Not Square. Now What?

When you write for a woodworking magazine, there are several pat phrases that you use all the time. Such as: 1. Joint and plane all your stock flat and square. Cut all the pieces to the sizes shown in the cutting list. 2. Cut the tenons to match your mortises. (Or your mortises to...

chest-with-skirt_IMG_2941

When Will ‘Day 4’ Occur?

Ah, Thursday – day four of a woodworking class. This is the day that most students hit a wall. They take naps at their benches. They sneak off to their cars to lie down. They disappear in the middle of the day and don’t return until the next morning. All these things (and more...

Screen Shot 2012-08-02 at 2.58.41 PM

Entirely Unimportant

The first lesson of handwork is this: Most things that you think are important are not important. Most surfaces do not need to be true. Most edges do not need to be square. Most boards do not need to be four-squared (or even free of bark). Most dimensions – length, thickness, width – will...

wedged_dovetail_IMG_2876

On Gaps and Dovetails and Winterthur

Years ago when touring Winterthur, I saw a lot of wacky Pennsylvanian dovetails on old chests. These joints had been wedged through their pins – a feature I had not seen in person before. While the museum personnel wouldn’t let me take photos, I did make a few sketches. Whenever I cut dovetails, my...

sawing_IMG_2831

Kelly Mehler’s Land of Many Benches

If you ever want to try out a lot of different workbench designs before you settle on building one for your shop, you might want to take a class at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking. During the last five years, Kelly and his students have been building different style benches with all manner of...

ChestL1021951-(Christopher-Schwarz's-conflicted-copy-2011-04-20)

Joinery Changes to Consider for Your Tool Chest

I’ve hauled my tool chest all over the United States and Canada, and I remain impressed – deeply impressed – by how it has handled all the miles. I’ve even dropped it from a height of 36” – fully loaded – onto concrete. One corner of the chest’s dust seal splintered a bit, but...

oldchest_openIMG_0604

Tool Chests for Ladies & Gentlemen

Though I like to work out of a full-size tool chest (38” x 24” x 24”), it’s obvious that a chest like that would be too big for a job-site carpenter or for someone who needs to do only household repairs. So during the 18th and 19th centuries, ironmongers offered a range of tool...