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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Good Wood Species for Tool Chests

I’ve seen a lot of vintage tool chests in my travels, and most of them have been made of pine. What kind of pine? Hard to say. Most pines look the same when they are covered in paint, dirt, grease and what looks like monkey dung. But pine is not the only wood appropriate...

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A Slightly Fancier Tool Chest

I examined lots of tool chests when researching “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” and found that their designs fell into two broad categories: 1. The plain and simple pine boxes with trays. 2. The pre-industrial monster truck chest with scantily clad tarts, parquetry, secret compartments and a bottle opener. You don’t see a lot of...

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Rethinking the Traditional Tool Chest

When it comes to most things in woodworking, I’m an easy-going guy. But not with tool chests. I’m OK if you make your sliding dovetails with a router. I’m just Jim Dandy if you sand, scrape or plane your finished surfaces – we all end up at the same place (with differing amounts of...

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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...

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My Favorite Tool from the H.O. Studley Tool Chest

Making woodworking tools doesn’t interest me as much as making furniture, but my recent encounter with Henry O. Studley’s tool chest has me eyeing the metals section of the  McMaster-Carr web site. The tool that turned my head is small and simple, but boy do I have a crush on it. It’s a locking...