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When Your Tool Chest Needs to Be a Tank (or a Boat)

When tool chests suffer damage, it’s usually in three places: the top rim of the lid, the lower skirt around the carcase and the bottom boards, which are rotted. The rim of the lid gets dented by falling objects, such as clamps, heavy boards and other things in the truck when you move the...

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The Slant-lid Tool Chest

In some Victorian books on woodworking, the author suggests that if you don’t have a shop you could use a chest of drawers as a woodworking bench, tool chest and shaving collector. I’ve not seen an occurrence of this in the wild, but it is an interesting idea. Recently, Will of Texas sent me...

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Tool Chests, 1997-2014

I’ve worked out of a traditional floor chest since 1997 when I built my first cover project for Popular Woodworking Magazine. It’s not that I’ve always been monogamous, however. I’ve tried all manner of wall chests, tool racks, rolling cabinets, soft-sided bags and suitcases as ways to contain, protect and limit my tools. But...

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The Dutch Campaign Tool Chest

This week, I built a lower cabinet for my small Dutch tool chest, a project featured in the October 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. The unit I just built sits below the tool chest proper and does a few nice things. 1. It gives me extra space for tooling and hardware that I...

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Dutch Tool Chest with a Lower Storage Unit

The Dutch Tool Chest from the October 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine has proven to be a popular project – I’ve been asked to teach classes on building this chest all over the world this year. In that article, I provide plans for building two versions of the chest. The small chest has...

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Others Building the Dutch Tool Chest

If you are thinking about building the Dutch Tool Chest from the October 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, you aren’t alone. I’ve heard from dozens of other woodworkers who see it as a simple, fast and efficient way to store your hand tools (and make them portable). I’ve been using my Dutch chest...

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Getting Too Close to the Studley Tool Chest

Photographer Narayan Nayar shot me a look of disdain – perhaps the first time I’ve ever been on the receiving end of that particular facial contortion. “I just can’t believe you guys are being such babies,” he said. Narayan was right. Don Williams and I were balking at what seemed a simple request: Move...

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Finish for the Inside of a Tool Chest

With the plans for the Dutch Tool Chest in the October 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine now out, several readers have been asking about how they should finish the inside surfaces of the chest. Here’s the short answer: Don’t. Many of the vintage tool chests that I have encountered have just bare wood...

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Details on the Dutch Tool Chests

You can now get plans for both Dutch tool chests – both the big one and the little one – in the October 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, which recently shipped to subscribers. If you don’t have this issue, check it out in the store here. I’ve been traveling with these chests all...