And that’s the G-rated version.
The DVD, “A Traditional Tool Chest in Two Days,” takes a home-center approach to building an 18th-century-style tool chest with plywood, screws, nails and low-rent power tools. It’s a fast way to build a chest that does everything a dovetailed chest will do, but without the 40 to 80 hours required to get to the finish line.
Why the uproar?
My 2011 book, “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” advocated building a tool chest with zero joinery compromises. Solid wood. Dovetail it into the dirt. Through-tenons. Beaded tongue-and-groove. And etc. That’s the approach I’ve taken with all my tool chests for me, my friends and customers.
So I can understand the consternation when I built a chest using none of the principles discussed in my book. Did I have a cheap plywood religions conversion? Did Georgia-Pacific offer to send my kids to private school? Do I need a third kidney plus a second liver?
The real story is actually much more mundane.
F+W Media approached me about building a tool chest for a DVD, and after discussing the traditional joinery approach, we realized it would be an extremely long DVD and would simply repeat what I wrote in the book. I hate to repeat myself.
So I noodled the idea for a couple days and came up with the idea for “A Traditional Tool Chest in Two Days.” Not everyone can spend every waking hour in the shop to make a tool chest with 104 dovetails plus the craziness of fitting the skirts around the carcase. Some of us (not me) have real lives. Families. Jobs. Friends.
“A Traditional Tool Chest in Two Days” represents the best way to get the best tool chest in the shortest amount of time. It might not be the H.O. Studley tool chest, but it will probably outlive you. And if you decide to build an old-school dovetailed chest someday, this quickie version will be a great blanket chest at the foot of your bed.
The chest shown in the DVD is built solidly with home center materials only (including the hardware) and tools that are readily available – a benchtop table saw, a miter saw and a drill/driver. It’s a great first project and looks every bit as cool as an old-school chest.
— Christopher Schwarz
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