Any minute now I’m going to develop a complex regarding my undecorated tool chest. It’s pine on the inside and black on the outside. The only eye candy is a 3/16” bead on the skirt, plus the bumps and bruises inflicted on the chest these last 13 months.
No doubt some of you have seen what Peter Follansbee has been doing to his chest.
You can read all about the painting process on Peter’s blog. There’s a piece on period designs he used to inspire his work. Plus these two illustrated posts that show the painting process here and here.
And of course, there is some carving on the inside.
There are other ways to tart up your tool chest (and “tart” is not a bad word in my lexicon). Andy Brownell at Brownell Furniture has been building a traveling-size tool chest recently using some sweet walnut.
Note the bottom boards and the strategic placement of the sap. Very nice. Also worth noting are Andy’s shots of the chest loaded with tools – you can get a lot of stuff into this slightly smaller chest. He covers tool placement and organization in this post.
And do check out this post to see how his chain makes mine look like a Hello Kitty necklace.
And finally, Megan Fitzpatrick showed up at my door on Friday with the child’s tool chest shown at the top of this post that she picked up at a local auction. Likely from the 1920s, the chest has an awesome decal on the inside of the lid, complete with an eagle.
One of the little scenes on the decal shows a young boy holding a wooden hobby horse talking to an older boy holding a hatchet. I’m not sure what they are supposed to be doing, but I imagine the end result was like a scene from “The Godfather.”
The toy chest is missing its till, but it came with some of the tools, including the hatchet.
In a few weeks I head down to Roy Underhill’s school in North Carolina to teach a class in building tool chests. We are all going to use poplar, and I am contemplating some sort of decoration for the interior panel of my lid. Perhaps a pair of painted dividers a la the Lost Art Press logo, or a buxom barbarian woman holding a bloody dismembered head.
I could go either way.
— Christopher Schwarz