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 from Woodworking in America), and it makes me a little sad for some curious reason.
I’ve helped bring more than 50 of these chests through the birth canal in the last 15 months, and every one has been a difficult delivery. While tool chests are simple projects – just dovetails, dovetails and dovetails – they require a certain level of devotion to complete.
That’s because unlike a workbench, you can put a tool chest aside to work on other projects.
So when someone sends me a photo of the tool chest that they built, or rebuilt or refinished, I am totally thankful. It is quite easy to dismiss a tool chest as antiquated or back-breaking. It takes someone with a streak of crazy, drunk or open-mindedness to actually build one and use it.
When these crazy, open-minded drunks report back to me, here is what they say: I never knew how awesome it would be to work out of a tool chest.
So build one. It takes only about 40 hours of time. If you don’t like it in the shop, your spouse will be thrilled to have a dovetailed blanket chest.
And it just might change the way you work.
— Christopher Schwarz
You may also like this tool chest plan:
“John B. Hetzel Tool Chest Woodworking Plan”
Find more resources at shopwoodworking.com.
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