When it comes to woodworking design, I have none. Most of what I build (probably along with most hobbiest woodworkers) is modification/redesign of something seen somewhere else. I do have a couple of “original” pieces but I consider them frankeinsteins of many different elements seen elsewhere. Sometimes it’s just easier to follow someone else’s plan.
Since I’ve taken up the hobby of woodworking I’ve managed to start a decent collection of hand tools. The problem is that I have no where to store or protect these tools. My most used ones are kept on a shelf below the bench; during projects they are basically stored on any flat surface that isn’t at the time occupied. It seems I spend more time making room and looking for tools then I do using them.
Once we had settled in our house here in NC last year I began thinking about how I wanted to store them. Initially I thought about building the hanging tool cabinet from the video series on Finewoodworking.com. However, there was one issue. Cabinets require organization and layout and as I am still building my tool collection my OCD doesn’t agree with that. If I were to build a cabinet I would need to have a space for all my tools as well as future purchases and since I don’t know when or what I will buy, I just won’t do it.
So my next choice was a tool chest. Of course like many other woodworkers I was drawn to the Anarchrist’s Tool Chest. Great design, solidly built and tons of storage. The estimated completion time is 40-60 hours or so (more like 70-90 for me) and since my woodworking time is about an hour and a half at nights (when I make it out there) and about half a day on Sunday’s, that’s a couple of months of shop time. That’s more effort than I want to dedicate right now. Then Chris Schwarz came out with the two day chest. This really intrigued me for time constraint reasons however as I don’t own any power tools I would need to go to the wood hobby shop on base. Definitley fesible but I really enjoy working at home much more so I was just waiting on my last option.
For anyone that follows the Lost Art Press blog (along with many other blogs that have built one), the Dutch Tool Chest is where it’s at right now (at least for me). It’s quick to build, requires little material, is straight forward in joinery and has lots a space. The article was to be published in the Oct issue of Popular Woodworking so I’ve just been waiting around. Imaging how happy I was when I checked my email two days ago and my digial issue was waiting for me!
Did I really need the plans to build this chest? No, of course not. It is a straight forward and simple design and I could have come up with my own dimensions based off the numerous articles and blogs as well as to accomodate my own needs. As I mentioned in the beginning, sometimes it’s just easier to follow plans then to come up with my own. I bet you’ll never guess what I’m starting on this weekend.