Tool Chest Updates: The Innards


The runners for my chest from 2005.

During the last five years, I’ve made considerable changes to the innards of the tool chests I build for customers. Most of these changes are details, really, but they are informed by the fact that I work out of a tool chest every day.

The most significant of the changes is in the runners for the three tills. On the original chest, the runners for the lower till didn’t extend all the way from front to back. They stopped at the saw till (see above).

The reason for this was to imitate several historical chests that also had a door to the lower parts of the chest. After building the chest with the door, I found it silly. So I removed it. But I was stuck with the runners.

Now when I build a chest, I make all three runners run from the front to the back.

The other change to the runners is that I now bead the top edge of each runner. It looks nice, and the rounded edge prevents the runners from splintering in service.

This is quick work with a 3/16” beading plane.

Next up: The sawtill. It’s smaller and has less room for your weed stash.

— Christopher Schwarz

Editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site:


About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
This entry was posted in The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Tool Chest Updates: The Innards

  1. cinsu says:

    wood craftsmen in Indonesia are still lacking innovation


  2. Jerimy LaFoy says:

    I received my copy of The Anarchist’s Toolchest Thursday and finished it yesterday! I can’t wait to build mine. Excellent read.


    • Gary Bergeron says:

      I just finished my atc and am waiting for anarchists design book, I’m loving working out of it, or just carefully placing tools in it (which won’t last) I’m very thankful for lost art press


  3. I put lid stays in without reading the section about lid stays in the book. The problem with them is that they eat almost a full 2 inches of vertical space (as mentioned in the book). I’m interested in what your saw till changes are, as that’s where I was planning on recovering some vertical space.

    It seems like as long as you have a full 10″ or so for the molding planes to stand on end, you could just lower the height of the saw till, and just have less space beneath your saws for your saw sharpening kit (or weed).

    Not having actually gotten around to building out the inside of the tool chest, as it’s currently serving as our coffee table and blanket chest, I eagerly await hearing if there’s a better/different solution.


  4. occasionalww says:

    Instead of a door, a drop in panel, that fills the available space on the runners, provides an additional horizontal surface for storage and keeps the tills from shifting when the chest is transported. I put in a finger hole for easy removal.


  5. Jason Lester says:

    I think I remember a post where you added a chisel rack to the front wall as well. Do you still do that? That’s one thing I definitely want to do when I build mine.


  6. franktiger says:

    Thanks for sharing this updated method. The earlier post of the new floor boards you’ve been using was also very helpful, as was the source for said boards.


  7. Tony Zaffuto says:

    It would be so kind if, at the completion of your next chest, you would provide some photos of the details.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ikustwood says:

    Good day Chris,

    Will there be a full update of that chest for the people having bought The Anarchist?

    Do not mind paying a supplement .


    Liked by 1 person

  9. gregla2 says:

    I’m really looking forward to the post on the saw till. I’m part way through the “2 day chest” and the posts here and on your other blog have been very helpful. Thanks.


Comments are closed.