View Full Version : A boring tool chest

Harlan Barnhart
02-02-2011, 1:33 PM
With a few snowy days to kill, I decided to resurrect a project that has been stalled for a year or so. Like a lot of my projects, it never received the planning it deserved. I just picked up some scraps lying about and made a carcass figuring I could "fit the tools in later." It's mostly white oak with poplar/cypress? doors. The interior fittings are white pine.

Previously all my boring tools lived rather chaotically in a canvas tote. Since I don't have a fixed shop, my tools come with me to jobsites. This cabinet/toolbox was designed to be carried and jostled about AND eventually hang on a wall like a proper tool cabinet when I have the space. When the doors close, the tools are locked in position.

With the doors closed

Doors open. I'm still working on the tool storage system for the left door.

Bit storage. The bit box on the right lifts out by removing the two pins on the top.

Detail showing how the bit storage racks clear the braces as the door is closed.

The latch is still in the prototype stage. The left door is rabbeted over the right so only one latch is needed. It is activated by pushing up on a button that extends flush with the bottom of the carcass. There is enough "spring" in the hinges that the door pops open so no knob is needed. There will eventually be feet which will allow a finger to reach beneath to the latch button.

John A. Callaway
02-02-2011, 1:40 PM
I like it. Nice collection of boring tools too.

Peter Pedisich
02-02-2011, 3:07 PM
Harlan, great ideas in there, I really like it. -Pete

Jim Koepke
02-02-2011, 3:26 PM
I like the latch idea.

One of these days my round tuit will come.


Niels Cosman
02-02-2011, 3:40 PM
Nice work- it's a real snooze-fest (boring jokes never get boring:) )!

I really like the incorporation of the removable auger case.
I was just thinking about doing something similar with my bench chisels. having a wall hung case that could be taken off an brought to the bench. almost like a box of colored pencils where the box hinges open to create a stand.

Johnny Kleso
02-02-2011, 3:43 PM
Very Nice! Looks like it just needs a finish?
What you planing on using? BLO? Shellac?

george wilson
02-02-2011, 9:01 PM
Looks like cypress panels. If you put an oil base varnish on cypress,it might not dry. They always painted Kilz on cypress in Williamsburg before applying paint to it,too. The oily nature makes paint peel. So,I'd suggest shellac or lacquer.

Roy Wall
02-02-2011, 10:45 PM
Good looking tool cabinet - NICE! Love the latch idea too!

Harlan Barnhart
02-02-2011, 11:01 PM
Johnny K, I am a novice at finishing. I suppose I will use BLO because I know how.

Mr. Wilson, thanks for the tip with cypress. I already applied one coat of BLO to the cypress panels before assembly. The cypress was so dry it soaked up the oil and when it dried, it didn't look any different than when I started.

Jonathan McCullough
02-03-2011, 12:29 AM
I really like the concealed latch idea and the overall craftiness. Definitely family heirloom craftsman stuff. It's like jewelry boxes and chests with secret compartments--makes you wonder about the person who made these curiosities.

Harlan Barnhart
02-09-2011, 9:24 PM
A little update. I added a rack on the left door for forstner bits and two adjustable bits. As you can see I am optimistic about finding a 3/4" and a "11/16 to finish out the set.:)


Peter Pedisich
02-09-2011, 10:17 PM
Man, I love that incorporation of the auger bit case...