Anyone who has read “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” or worked in my shop knows that I dislike French-fitted cubbyholes for tools. I prefer my tools to roam free and migrate amongst my tills as they rise and fall in importance to the job at hand.
I still think this way, but this morning I took a small step to both corral my pencils and tip my hat to my Lie-Nielsen 60-1/2 block plane. I added a small oak divider to keep my pencils, knives and 6” rules in one spot. And I added a smaller divider for my block plane at the other end of the till.
The pencil divider has been a long time coming. I hoard my mechanical pencils, rules and erasers and the like (you have to in a group shop or you will end up pencil-less). And like Nesquik or Tang, they soon dissolve into the rest of the till, hiding under the other tools and becoming invisible.
The divider for the block plane is simply an admission that this block plane has been with me for 23 years and isn’t going anywhere.
The dividers are oak scraps that I secured with headless brads only. So if this turns out to be a bad idea, it’s reversible.
One other small tip: to restrain and protect valuable tools, such as my sliding bevels, I keep them in small cardboard boxes. The boxes can migrate (a good thing) but they never become invisible (also a good thing).
OK, now to work.
— Christopher Schwarz