Thursday, September 18, 2014

We Got There


I was able to get my tool chest construction all wrapped up today. When I finished turning the last screw into the hinges, I took a breath before closing the lid to check the fit. It let down perfect. It almost had a whoosh of air as it sealed closed. No gaps, no twist. That’s a good day when that happens.

A single dovetail on the dust seal

Dust seal installed onto lid

For those of you who aren’t Schwarzites, I should say this is a traditional English style cabinetmaker’s tool chest. The form was ubiquitous in cabinetmaker’s shops for a few hundred years before hand tool usage felt a dramatic abandonment in the 20th century. I am assembling a set of period tools to fill the chest with for use at historic interpretation events.

All stock was prepped with wooden hand planes

My toothed planing stop keep the stock in place

The chest was fun to build. With the exception of a bandsaw to rough out dimensions of components, the entire thing was built with hand tools. Many of the rough sawn boards I took were either milled from my property or were salvaged from a local home demolition. This project was good practice prepping stock with my wooden bodied hand planes.

Mortised for hinges

Hinge mortised into lid



An open floor for planes next to the saw till

Two sliding trays for storage

I made some nestled boxes for bits and misc small stuff

When the trays are all the way forward you can reach the molding plane corral

A stop for the lid

The dust seal skirt gussied up with a bevel on bottom and bead on top

Now for paint…


  1. I like the nesting boxes - I'm not of fan of dump everything into a till.

    1. Agreed. After a little bit of usage I may end up making more. I like the open format for flexibility's sake but I like things to be organized and compartmentalized at least a little bit.

  2. man what can i say, that's one bad to the bone tool chest..

  3. The beading detail on the dust seal is spot on. Nice work.

    1. Thanks, Jonas! I think it really adds a nice touch. Breaks up the monotony of plain bevels on the plinth and top skirt.

  4. HI Joshua,
    Than is one fine looking collection of pine.
    Very, Very well done, Sir.
    Thanx for sharing,
    Warmest regards,
    Bill B.

    1. It's fun to share such a solitary craft, Bill. I am so glad you enjoy it.

  5. I'm so impressed with your work Joshua! I would love to sit down with you and Julia sometime and hear about all the things you do! Miss you guys!

    1. Yeah! It's been a while, Melody. I hope we can catch up soon. You have a place to stay in Maine whenever you come someday!