As I finished the text for “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” in 2011, I had a bad thought.
Shouldn’t I build multiple kinds of tool chests for the book? A traveling one? A Dutch example? A Japanese one? Some 20th-century suitcase types (which I am not fond of)?
In the end, I decided that no one was going to build the tool chest anyway. The chest was, after all, just a literary conceit. It was the mental place where you put your limited set of tools.
As the last two years and hundreds of tools chests have shown, I was wrong about one part of my rationalization. But what about the rest?
As I close in on the last bits of writing for “Campaign Furniture,” I am entering the “second guessing” phase of the project. Today I drew up some folding shelves that work using the same mechanism as the folding table I’ve built. As my pencil sketched in the hinges, I thought: I should build this. It’s just too cool.
These shelves fold flat after you pull out the center shelf, which is fit firmly into a groove/dado/rabbets in each side of the case. It is a crazy-cool use of 12 butt hinges.
So I’m trying to figure out if I have the time to build the shelves and still make my Dec. 31 deadline. I won’t extend the deadline. I can’t. But can I fit in this last piece?
— Christopher Schwarz