Bob’s Tool Chest

Viewer Project - By Bob Wolak from Salisbury, MD
Added on September 28, 2012

My project is a tool chest and it’s a present for my brother-in-law. He’s a pattern maker by trade and has a bunch of hand tools he uses in his job, so I hope he finds the chest useful. At his shop he has opportunities to buy used tools that retired pattern makers or other people are selling. Sometimes he has to buy whole sets of tools and if he gets a tool he already has, he’ll give it to me. He also helped me get my used lathe and scroll saw at a very good price from his shop’s repairman. So I thought I would try and make him something special by hand carving his name and the plane into the lid panel. After I got it together and painted, I noticed that I didn’t get the carving and the lettering straight and square with the rest of the case. Oh well, when you screw up carving something you can always get away with it by calling it “Folk Art”.
I got the plans for the tool chest from Woodsmith magazine. The case is made with through dovetails and I used my router and router jig to cut the dovetails. However, my router jig is much smaller than the case, I have the Porter-Cable 4212, 12 inch jig and the case is 16 inches high. To cut the dovetails I followed the article that was in Wood magazine. It describes how to remove the template from the jig base and attach it to some spacers so you can cut through dovetails of any length. There is also a video on their web site that shows this technique. It was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on the tool trays because I’m not sure what he’ll put in it and or how he will want it organized. I did make the small chest of drawers with the thought that he can take it out and place it on his bench for access.

I painted the case with Milk Paint to try and give it that old fashion look. I decided to paint it after I got it together and realized I didn’t do a good job in matching the wood grain when I glued up the boards to make the sides. Thanks for the web site. I really enjoy it and I’ve learned a lot from it.


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