There isn’t a lot of hardware for “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” but I definitely don’t recommend you buy the poorly made brasses at the home center. Unless, of course, you want to.
I purchased almost all my hardware from Horton Brasses Inc. with the exception of the chain and the casters. I bought the casters, somewhat ironically, from Home Depot.
Let’s talk about each element of the hardware for the chest and why I did what I did.
The hinges are the most important bit of hardware. I hate cheap hinges, and so I knew before I even began building the chest that I was going to use the Horton PB-409 brass hinges with slotted screws and a “dark antique” finish. These hinges swing without any of the annoying slop in cheap hinges. I use them all the time.
At first I thought that two hinges would be enough to keep the lid secure, and I was probably right. But after installing two hinges on the lid, I looked at the chest and decided to add a third. I don’t regret the extra purchase.
The Lock & Escutcheon
I ordered a lock from Horton and had second thoughts about installing it (I have an aversion to locks). But the chest looks wrong without a lock and an escutcheon. I used the CL-5 Chest Lock from Horton, which is a half-mortise lock. After installing some full-mortise locks in chests, I’m a half-mortise guy. The Horton example is nice. The only disappointment is the finish on the key. My key is shinier than the one shown in the photos and looks too shiny.
So I’m gonna sandblast the sucker. Some day.
The escutcheon is the FE-8 Keyhole Escutcheon in “dark antique” from Horton. It’s sweet. I love it so much I put it on the dedication page of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.”
A minority of tool chests use ring pulls on the sliding trays, but I really wanted them on mine. I’m glad I added them. For the top two trays I used the 1-5/16” RP-4 ring pull in “dark antique.” For the bottom tray, I used the 1-7/8” RP-6 ring pull in the same color.
The Lid Stay
I agonized over this for a few weeks. Ultimately I bought a couple brass eyelets and some brass chain from some jewelry supplier. I stripped them of their lacquer and dyed them to match the other hardware. It was a pain. One internet blogger called my chain “too twee.” I’d like to see a better alternative that really works and is as simple.
And the Casters
I didn’t want to buy rubber casters. Why? I don’t know. Sometimes I make these decisions after a couple beers. So I searched and searched and finally found the casters of my dreams at Home Depot. They are somewhat crude, but they look right.
So there you have it. The only other metal bits are cut nails from Tremont Nail Co. and slotted pyramid-head screws from Lee Valley Tools.
— Christopher Schwarz