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Coming: The Anarchist’s Tool Chest DVD

More than five years ago I built myself a full-size 18th-century style tool chest to replace the beat up blue one I’d been using since 1997 or so. That new chest was the subject of the book “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” and I didn’t think a single person in the world would build it....

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Boarded Scandinavian Tool Chest – Too Cool

It takes a special tool chest to get me to sit up straight – I’ve spent the last six or seven years of my life researching and writing about tool chests. But this one, presumably Swedish, is fantastic. It was recently sold on this auction site for an astonishing sum. While the composition of...

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A Look at the Seaton Tool Chest

The first real tool chest that I built was based (loosely) on Benjamin Seaton’s famous tool chest that now resides at the Guildhall Museum in Rochester, England. Most woodworkers know it because of the famous book “The Tool Chest of Benjamin Seaton” – now in its second edition, and one of the core books...

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A Tour of the Tool Chest in the August 2015 Issue

The August 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine mails soon. It features the first installment of a two-part series on building a tool chest with a marquetry panel. The chest was a joint project between me and Jameel Abraham of Benchcrafted. I built the carcase; he built the carved marquetry lid, which will be...

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Traveling Tool Chest with a Marquetry Lid

My favorite project from 2014 is one I haven’t been able to talk much about, until now. Jameel Abraham of Benchcrafted and I collaborated on building a tool chest for a two-article series in Popular Woodworking Magazine. My article on building the chest will be in the August 2015 issue; Jameel’s article on the...

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Improve Your Tool Chest Hinges

Old tool chests typically have two weak spots: the bottom and the hinges. The bottom gets rotted out because tool chests end up in unfriendly, poorly drained areas. That’s why many tool chest bottoms are merely nailed on – so they can easily be replaced. The hinges usually fail because the screws come loose....

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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...