Of all the photographs of tool chests that have landed in my inbox since the summer, this one is my favorite so far.
Not because it’s a fairly faithful version of the chest I built from “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” but because of the differences added by the maker, Jim Burton, an adjunct professor of art at the University of North Texas and a Libra.
Some of changes that Burton made are obvious: He built a sawtill in the lid for his bowsaw – a nice touch for an awkward-to-store tool. My solution was to break down the bowsaw into its components and store it in the drawer.
Other touches require a second look. He painted the inside rim of the chest’s lid. I wish I had done that; it frames the lid’s interior and makes it look more finished. Many of you will also clap your hands like you’re starring in “Romper Room” when you see what Burton did in the sawtill area inside the chest. Yes, he has a toggle for a backsaw. I remain too lazy/busy to do this myself. I just slide my backsaws between my panel saws, toe down. It ain’t elegant, but it is also inelegant.
Burton, who enjoys long bike rides and sci-fi movies, used white oak for the bottom boards of the chest, which is a smart move if your chest will ever encounter water – white oak resists rot quite well.
Thanks to Jim (and his wife who took the photos) for sharing photos of his chest. It takes guts to show your work in public.
— Christopher Schwarz