It’s that time of year when the weather gets cooler and a young man’s thoughts turn to tools. Yes that’s right tools. I have been thinking a lot about tools lately. But wait, you might say as you read this and possibly know how old I am, Aaron, your not a young man! Well everything has perspective and in the woodworking world, I am considered a young man 🙂 Any who, I have been thinking about tools for a few reasons;
1) I had a dear friend pass away not long ago and I have been helping his widow get the most value out of them by selling locally, online and at a recent vintage tool sale. (this is still ongoing and is likely going to take a few months to finish)
2) I have a very small shop, so I am very choosy about what tools go in there, so I have to sell tools all the time to keep from becoming a tool hoarder and being crushed by a falling stack of wooden planes or being sliced to death by improperly stored panel saws.
3) My dear long suffering wife has had to put up with my “hobbies” (too many to name here, it is a looooong list) and the attendant mess that comes along with said hobbies. I need to reorganize so that means optimizing the space I take up ( this is currently 2 complete rooms and part of our bedroom and part of our living room :-/ .)
This brings me to to the topic of todays blog. “Tool Chest Dump”
After a few years of using the Dutch Tools Chest, I love it even more today than when I finished it. It has stood the test of time and keeps my beloved tools safe and secure from dust and the ravages of the shop environment. While usable I have not actually finished it. In my enthusiasm and need for the storage at the time, after paining it, I promptly loaded it with tools and and it has been there working every day but not yet complete. That changes now. That means I have to dump out the contents (read carefully place the contents on my bench) to proceed with the project below.
I have been mulling over the finishing touches and some upgrades and adding some features to my Dutch Tools Chest . I have never trimmed off the bolts that hold my handles and this makes me nervous when I moving my No. 4 in and out as it could damage the tote handle. I would also like to install a holster for my nice block plane. I have added some additional tools to the chest and I would like to find or create a better solutions for them, namely some mortising chisels and a 1 1/4″ Firmer chisel. All the other tools have a “home” and are quite happy there.
First the block plane holster
Chris Schwarz put this one in his chest and I am going to do the same thing in mine. My block plane is very nice and I don’t need it knocking around the chest, but instead safe and sound in it’s own home. I have some scrap leather and it should not be an issue to create a holster.
These are a bit trickier. I do not have a Dremel tool and cutting them with a hack saw is not ideal as there are 8 of them and I dislike using a hack saw. I believe I will use my grinder to grind down 1 bolt to see if that works. I need to remove about 3/16″ from each bolt and I can quench them in water to keep them from loosing their temper. After shortening the bolts, I will recess the inside bolt holes to make the nuts more flush and then nail some light 1-2 lb. leather to cover it.
Additional Chisel Storage
I’ll have to get back to you later on this one. This chest is pretty packed as it is and I will really have to get creative. It can be done but it will take some soaking time to come up with a usable and practical solution.
The Dutch Tools Chest after 4 Years Use
The chest is in amazing shape. It has been rock solid and has survived a couple of trips to the Woodwright’s School. One aspect I love is the breadboard top. It was made to allow for the seasonal expansion and contraction of the large poplar board that makes up the bulk of the top. You can see in the winter that it contracts about 3/32″ and the side rail protrudes while the poplar board contracts and then in the summer (when I made the chest) it comes right back to flush. Wood movement in action boys and girls is a cool thing as long as you plan for it 🙂
P.S. If you have any questions about the tools listed in the top picture or anything else in this blog, just click the “CONTACT US” link in the menu and I will be glad to help you out.