A Machinist’s Chest for Woodworkers?

I hope you are enjoying my latest series on my new tool chest. The project was born this time last year during the FWW presentations at Colonial Williamsburg’s “Working Wood in the 18th Century” conference. The FWW presenters, in my opinion, were wrestling with the differences between executing 18th-century work using 18th-century approaches, (I don’t mean just tools) and looking at 18th-century work through the tinted glasses of the industrial revolution. As the conference went on, I realized it was really only me who was wrestling. The conference, perhaps my one safe haven in woodworking, left me feeling dreadfully isolated and alone. It wasn’t difficult to convince me to not attend this year’s event (which started last Sunday night).

I’ve spent this time finishing what has become a convincingly traditional machinist chest, a style often used and coveted by every other woodworker but me. Only, in my attempts to commune with the 99%, some of my sensibilities have crept in. While the drawers above feature felt lined baltic birch plywood bottoms, you can clearly see a host of recognizable 18th-century features.

There is much I want to share with you about this chest, details of its construction and my journey. Never have I been so moved by a project. I hope you can appreciate what this has meant to me and what I think we can all learn from my experience. I have several posts relating to this chest’s construction. Let me know if you get bored with it!

10 thoughts on “A Machinist’s Chest for Woodworkers?

  1. woodnjunk

    machinist’s chests are a celebration of the machine age, the metal workers cherished their tools the way wood workers did. I have metal and wood machine tool chests, and neither works well for my woodworking tools. There is always room in my large chest for a small mic. or calipers.

  2. Brian Gilstrap

    I just finished reading the June issue of Popular Woodworking. I was intrigued by your means of applying felt to the inside of your chest. I have two small boxes which will have felt to their insides, so I am going to give the wallpaper paste approach a try.

    Thanks for writing your blog and articles. While I am a hybrid woodworker, reading your pieces encourages me to do things by hand (which I enjoy more than using the power tools).

  3. Woodbadger

    Adam, I have been following your build (in the blog and magazine) for the machinist chest regularly and look forward to reading more about the details of its construction, the final results, and the journey. I am by no means bored with the story, rather patiently waiting to hear the whole story and see details of the final results. Do not hold back!

  4. BruceWLove

    The chest looks nice. I am interested to hear of your journey. Your posts are always well thought out and never boring.

    We covered the W-burg conferences after last years conference – no use recovering that ground. I am hoping this year will be a little more consistent as most of the presenters are CW people; and it is always fun to see Roy. I will find out as I leave for session 2 in a few minutes.

    It is a shame you were discouraged after the last one. I was hoping that I might run into you so you could sign my Adam Cherubini Williamsburg Trading card ;-).

  5. David Cockey

    I’m not sure what you mean by “FWW presentations” and “FWW presenters”. The only presentations by FWW staff last year which I’m aware of was what Asa and Matt said at the banquets.

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