Making a tool chest that works (The Tool Chest Part 2)

Yesterday, I made up my plan on just how to proceed with my tool chest project. While the Dutch tool chest is still enticing, even today, I just don’t think I’d have much room to grow with that chest. I’d eventually have to build another, and I’m just not sure that’s a great idea.

So I plan on building something that looks like Christopher Schwarz’s Anarchist tool chest, a classic tool chest that would look at home in the 1800s.

But that’s where the intentional similarities will end.

This chest has to work for me and fit not just my needs, but my sense of aesthetics inside and out. So let’s see what that needs to be, shall we?

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To reinvent the wheel, Or to feel like you’re following the crowd? (The Tool Chest Part 1)

Now that I’m sorta settled on my bench–kinda, anyway–it’s time to start thinking about my tool chest.

For me, this is a major priority because I’m dealing with a less than advantageous situation here. I’m using an old crate as a tool chest, and it’s little more than a hinged box. It doesn’t organize my tools and it really doesn’t protect them either.

I mean, the monstrosity is just a hinged crate. It was never meant to do any of that.

So a tool chest of some description is a priority. This leads to my conundrum: Do I try and reinvent the wheel, or feel like I’m following the crowd when it comes to designs?

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There went that plan…

I thought I’d settled on pretty much everything on my workbench yesterday except for the vise. I just knew I had everything worked out. I was just waiting for “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” so I could have the plans and the directions. That’s it.

But, like an idiot, I never bothered to realize that this is a revised edition.

That means it’s got more stuff in it. Including some interesting tidbits that I needed to see.

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Finalizing Workbench Plans

As it’s a rainy day and I’m stuck not being able to do much but think, and seeing as I finished reading Christopher Schwarz’s workbench design book last night, I think now is a fine time to finalize my plans for my workbench.

After all, once the tools are all back to working order and sharp, there won’t be much of anything else to do except to build something.

While I might build a few odds and ends before the bench–things like a quick chisel rack for the monstrosity–I’m still going to need that bench.

So here’s what I’m thinking…

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Thoughts on workbench design

Now that I’ve found my tools and identified the work needed to get them ready to roll again, I think it’s time to start thinking and planning my workbench. I’ve set that up as my first woodworking project, and I really do think it’s a necessary one.

After all, a proper workbench is reportedly a handtool user’s best tool.

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Upcoming Projects

Every woodworker has projects he or she wants to get to. I’m pretty sure it’s the natural order of things, truthfully.

I personally think most woodworkers get started in the craft because there’s something they want and they can’t find it or can’t afford it or something like that. In truth, I’m no exception. I just wanted various good quality pieces, things my family could pass on for generations to come. I came into despising what I call our “disposable culture.” I wanted to have better than that.

I still do.

But the truth is, building stuff like that takes time and skill, and skill is a product of time.

As such, my first projects need to be more about building skill than creating perfectly stunning home furnishings or decorations. That and they need to fill a basic need in my shop area, which will be outside, for the most part.

So, here is my project list: Continue reading