I finished painting my downsized Dutch chest last night (yes, this one fits in my car thanks for asking), filled it up with tools and started work with it today.
As you can see I made some small changes to the interior. And I have one more thing I might add, if I can hold my nose hard enough. More on that in a moment.
1. Low-profile iron chest lifts instead of mahogany handles. The mahogany handles (and casters) are what got me in trouble in the first place. These iron lifts are new old stock (NOS) iron handles off eBay – $5 each. They are bolted through the case to make them stronger.
2. Leather accessories. My shop assistant, Ty Black, sewed up some pockets for my block plane and marking tools. These were made from scraps from our Roorkhee chair adventure. (If you would like to hire Ty to make you anything except bondage apparel, send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
3. Slightly different dividers for the handplanes, and a smaller holder thingy for the backsaws.
4. A more capacious (Megan word) tool rack. The 1/2”-diameter holes are now on 1-1/8” centers instead of 1-1/2” centers. It makes a huge difference.
The biggest change is there is only one compartment behind the removable front. Surprisingly, I can get the same amount of tools in this smaller chest thanks to some nip and tuck action.
Finally, I left just enough space at the top of this lower compartment to put… a … (gags a bit) drawer.
Or, as I like to call it, a shallow sliding tray. This will be to hold all the flipping drill bits I have to travel with to build benches and furniture. I really dislike drawers on principle because I tend to fill them with random junk so I can hide it away. But several original Dutch chests feature a drawer in this position and so I am (probably) going to try one.
Anyway, if you want to see this chest and the miniature bench I just finished, be sure to stop by Highland Hardware in Atlanta next weekend. I’ll be there for the free Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event and then teaching a class next Sunday on building wooden layout tools.
Details are here.
— Christopher Schwarz