Tool Chests


Derek Jones

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Traditional tool chests are always a source of great fascination among woodworkers, whether they’re from a shipwright"s yard or cabinet shop. Behind dovetailing but ahead of sharpening it’s the most popular topic for discussion among those practising one of these dark arts. On the outside they tend to be battered and bruised but this does little to quell the wave of expectation as you lift the lid on one of these treasure troves for the first time. I’m passionately obsessive about my Systainers and couldn’t begin to imagine how I’d ever go back to a time when I used to arrive on site with half a dozen different styles of tool caddy to begin work.

Studying the attention to detail applied to some of these old chests makes you realise that things haven’t really moved on. The format is slightly different, I’ll grant you, but the purpose and sentiment is much the same.

This example lives under the bench of regular F&C contributor Colin Sullivan and is filled with many of the usual suspects, such as rounds and hollows and other moulding planes - just what I was after. The chest is made out of mahogany and has some really nice features, such as this fine bead detail around the hinged top of the tills.

After many happy hours spent this week rekindling my passion for these versatile shaping tools, we’ve finally got a short run of articles in the bag that will help you master the art of the moulding plane. That’s all ahead of us but in the latest issue of F&C - 216 - we’ve got the low down on some of the most ingenious hidden fixings on the market as well as a style of traveling case you don’t see every day either. This chest, which is called the ‘Journeyman’, was made by Method Studio and is this month"s featured deconstruct.