Building the shell and lid of a traditional, full-size and fully dovetailed tool chest in five days is a challenge. Which is likely why there aren’t a lot of classes offered on the topic.
But like Pandora’s Box, something happens when you open the lid to this chest.
Yes, it’s just a box filled with tools, but as I’ve traveled with this chest for the last year I’ve offered all my students an invitation to use all the tools in my chest. As they start to work with the chest, I see them falling into the same rhythms that I do.
The result? They have the same results that I do – fewer tools scattered on the bench and more of them easier to find in the trays in the chest. That might seem an insignificant benefit, but when you are trying – sometimes desperately – to build a huge tool chest in five days, every hand motion counts.
On Friday we wrapped up the class. It was frantic, as opposed to the maudlin hugs and teary good-byes that I prefer. At 5 p.m. I loaded up the chest into my wife’s CRV (yes, the process looked like a quickie Oompa Loompa funeral) and hit the road for Atlanta with heavy rains headed toward The Woodwright’s School.
The above video shows the activities of the last day of the class.
When I got to Atlanta to teach a couple days here at the Woodcraft store, I invited the 10 students to use any of the tools in my chest. And the result?
— Christopher Schwarz