Many critics of tool chests (on either the wall or the floor) say they prefer to have all their tools mounted on the walls where they can see them (and if they are missing) and be able to easily get them as they work.
When I see these shops I think the same thing when I see a wall of Hummel figurines: What a lot of crap to keep clean and safe.
One of the advantages of a tool chest is it protects your tools from dust and, if you are smart, rust. But a tool chest can’t do this job if you don’t close its lid (or doors) every night as you leave the shop.
If you need an extreme example of why this is important, take the case of Ryan Bowen, the guy whose Roubo workbench and workshop were destroyed by a tree. In his shop was his great grandfather’s tool chest, which is circa 1936.
Before the catastrophe, Ryan closed his chest. And he’s glad he did.
“Always, ALWAYS close your tool chest before leaving the shop,” Ryan wrote in an email. “Thankfully I did, and the contents were bone dry, despite being rained on for hours.”
So though Ryan lost his workbench to the storm, it could have been a lot worse. His tool chest could have been converted into a rusty bathtub.
— Christopher Schwarz