This weekend I finished work on a traveling version of my “Anarchist’s Tool Chest” that will fit in my hatchback and will carry (almost) a full set of tools. The last detail of the entire project was how to store the three backsaws that are essential to almost every kit: the tenon saw, carcase saw and dovetail saw.
After studying and playing around with a bunch of different ideas, I settled on a traditional rack that is attached to the bottom of the chest. It’s an old solution that I’ve seen on other compact chests (including one that I own), and it gets the three saws in a space that is 2-3/8” wide, 5” tall and as long as your longest backsaw.
Unlike some other solutions, this rack protects the teeth and the fragile sawplate of the backsaw. Saws are the only tools that have been damaged on my travels.
The rack begins as two pieces of wood measuring 1” x 2-3/8” x 3-1/2”. I cut three 1/8” kerfs in the blocks that are spaced 1/2” apart. The depth of the kerf depends on the amount of blade under the spine of each saw.
Then I cut the blocks so they sloped and held the saws in a way that made them easier to grab.
The two racks are 6-1/4” apart from one another and are screwed to the bottom of my chest. The whole thing was a quick 20-minute job and will ensure my saws don’t get bent during my trips. Now I just have to figure out how to keep my students from bending them.
— Christopher Schwarz