This fall I’ve been studying Dutch tool chests out of both necessity and desire.
I recently traded in my 10-year-old Acura RSX for a new car that has a smaller trunk, and I also had a generous offer from a reader to purchase my beat-up traveling tool chest. So I had to build a new tool chest that squeezes into my new car, holds all my tools and can be ready before the end of January.
Dutch tool chests fit that bill.
This is quite possibly the fastest tool chest I’ve built. After only two days in the shop, I’m about 80-percent done, and almost everything (save some long rip cuts) was done by hand. And while that time might sound spectacular, it’s not. I’ve spent almost 40 hours researching old Dutch chests and designing mine to fit a complete set of Western tools in the smallest space possible.
It fits a standard set of bench planes (fore, try and smoother), all the joinery planes (plow, rabbet, shoulder, routers), a half set of hollows and rounds (plus the support planes and beaders), three joinery saws (dovetail, carcase and tenon), and all the assorted small tools, from chisels to awls to hammers. It really is quite ingenious.
The other cool thing? The chest’s design uses all dimensional pine – 1x12s and 1x8s for the most part. So you can build this chest using home-center materials.
If all this sounds interesting, make sure to renew your subscription to Popular Woodworking Magazine because the editors purchased an article on this tool chest for an issue in 2013.
The chest will use strap hinges that can be purchased from Lee Valley, or from a blacksmith. I’ve asked blacksmith John Switzer at Black Bear Forge to make my strap hinges and hasp for this chest. And it will be painted, though I haven’t decided on the color.
Stay tuned – more details to follow.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. Yes, all the screws are clocked.