The Great Australian Tool Chest Experiment

I’ve been teaching classes on building “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” for two years now, and with every class I find some way of goosing the students a bit further along. Last year at The Woodwright’s School we actually got two of the 12 students completely over the finish line. This week, I hope to...

Screw this Anarchist’s Tool Chest Stuff

I’ve now built more than a dozen traditional tool chests entirely by hand. Hand-cut dovetails. Hand-cut mouldings. Hand-cut shiplaps and beads. Hand-cut blah blah blah. These chests take me about 40 to 50 hours of pedal-to-the-metal work to get ready for finish. Today, I built the entire shell and lid of a chest in...

How to Save Your Tool Chest and Your Tools from Water

While I think a tool chest is the best place to store your tools, the chest can also become a rusty tomb if you aren’t careful. Woodworking shops can be nasty places. I’ve worked in unheated garages, damp basements, former warehouses and sheds with dirt floors. And when I inspect old tool chests, it’s...

Build a Tool Chest. Day 4: The Silent Day

The dovetailed skirt around the carcase of a tool chest (or blanket chest) is fussy to fit. The case has to be square and plumb. The skirting material has to be flat and square. And you have to get the joint’s baselines in just the right place. And even when you do all that,...

Build (Another) Tool Chest

When you’ve worked out of a traditional tool chest for 15 years, you sometimes forget how excellent it is to work from. That is, until you teach others how to build the chest. This week, I’m at Roy Underhill’s woodworking school, “The Woodwright’s School.” This is the last class I’m teaching in 2012 (aside...

Efficient Backsaw Storage in a Tool Chest

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...

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...

Tool Chest in a Week! Uh, Really!

With the carcases of the chests assembled, all that was left was to nail on the bottom boards and the battens designed to rot before the bottom. Oh, and we had to dovetail the lower skirt and upper skirt. And build the lid. And dovetail the dust seal around that. No problem, really. So...

Build a Tool Chest at ‘The Woodwright’s School’

Monday’s “Anarchist’s Tool Chest” class “The Woodwright’s School” was the first of five days of dovetailing. By the end of the week, everyone will be able to cut dovetails in their sleep. And we’ll all be so tired that we might have to. Be sure to visit The Woodwright’s School online. Click here to...