It turns out that the Dutch Tool Chest I recently finished is a little larger than I needed.
Fully loaded with the tools I take on the road, it still had room for more. And it weighs only 116 pounds. That’s easy for two people to lift, and it is something I can lift with only a grunt or two.
The chest can also take a hard knock – the fully loaded chest tool a spill off the sawhorses today during weigh-in. The tools and chest took the hit with a lot of grace (yay, ductile iron!).
The top bin of the chest is where I’m sure most of you will be looking. The bench planes are separated by 3/8”-thick dividers. The till for the backsaws creates three compartments at the rear of the top bin. The left compartment is for tools you need all the time (pencils, knives, mallet etc.). The other two bins are for tools that might not see action every few minutes (feather files, dovetail markers, extra small drill bits etc.).
On the two shelves below are the rest of the tools – all the moulders and joinery planes, augers, hammer, carving tools, rasps, hand drill, brace and so forth. The delicate tools are protected by tool rolls. The other tools are cushioned by the tool rolls.
I’d rather have every tool have a discrete spot – wouldn’t we all? – but I know that the open architecture will be to my advantage until… whenever.
Also worth noting: Ty Black (my shop assistant) sewed up a canvas cover for the chest. I got that idea from my research into campaign furniture – chests would often have a fitted canvas cover. My cover is designed to protect both the chest and my car from damage.
The hinges are from Lee Valley and are temporary – I’ll replace them when some blacksmith-made ones arrive. I had to install these so the chest could make a trip to Columbus on Saturday morning to talk to the central Ohio woodworkers’ club. If you want to see the chest in person and are a member of the club, please stop by. I’ll have a special guest with me (it’s not Ty – he already has an obligation that day).
— Christopher Schwarz