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Thread: Dutch chest? English chest? Wall cabinet? Shaker-style bench? Aaaagh!

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Houston TX
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    521
    My bench sits 12-14" from the wall because of a 12" deep cabinet above, so my "working tool rack" is wall-mounted, similar to Derek's racks but lacking his 36" plane.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by William Adams View Post
    FWIW, that was Latin, though as I guess you were indicating, came from the Greek: Ὁ βίος βραχύς,ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρή, --- the first two lines of the Aphorismi by the Hippocrates.
    Do you know how deep that line is? I'm Greek by heritage, can read the statement fluently but the meaning (derived from the old tongue) contains certain depth beyond the common tongue.
    Last edited by John Kananis; 05-11-2016 at 7:06 PM.

  3. #33
    Unfortunately, all the Latin and Greek I have is from my Western Civ. class (was fortunate to have an amazing professor who was fluent in Latin and Greek), and the odd quote in books (which I’ve always tried to look up and research). Currently (re)listening to Bullfinch’s Mythology, and have always regretted not having the chance to study Latin or Greek (annoyingly, when I was offered a language choice in the Air Force, Greek wasn’t one of them, nor Hebrew, so instead I chose my Mother tongue).

    Had to look up the text using a search engine to copy-paste it, but did remember the connection from the Latin to the Greek and the several layers — actually did one paper in college which referenced the Hippocratic Oath, so had that much occasion to read it (in translation).

    My next task is to continue the reading of biographies which I was doing w/ my children — we read all the U.S. Presidents’ in chronological order, and the plan was to go back to the beginning of human history, and read histories and biographies and significant texts in chronological order.

    To come back to the topic — anyone know of any good biographies of woodworkers who had cool storage systems?

  4. #34
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    Jan 2004
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    Peachtree City, GA
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    Andy, I too have the smaller DTC, which I love. For expansion, I plan to make a rolling base for it that has a shelf and maybe dividers on the upper part. AS for a rack above the bench, I highly advocate for that regardless.
    Maurice

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Boston, Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Ungaro View Post
    Andy, I too have the smaller DTC, which I love. For expansion, I plan to make a rolling base for it that has a shelf and maybe dividers on the upper part. AS for a rack above the bench, I highly advocate for that regardless.
    Thanks!

    At the moment, I'm figuring to go one of two routes.

    1) Wall mounted cabinet above the bench. If the body of the cabinet is around 7-8" deep, it will easily fit large saws, planes in a sloped till, and pretty much everything else. A shelf either at the top or bottom to contain wooden moulding planes will be a couple inches too shallow, but space can be left in the doors to handle that. Making the doors 4-6" deep means good space for chisels, squares, joinery saws, and so on. Opened, it will only stick out that 7-8", which isn't TOO much lost space. I like the idea of having all my tools right there over my desk, and in a cabinet that's inconvenient to wander off with.

    2) Larger Dutch chest. I like working out of it, it's just too cramped. Making it 6" longer and 8" higher would probably solve most of my problems with it. I made a couple of compromises in shrinking it that, while they weren't exactly bad choices, have limited what I can fit in now that my tool collection has grown. Building a stand for it to store less used tools in would also help. On the other hand, once I'm looking at building something that large, I have to wonder whether a full-size custom cabinet wouldn't be a good choice....

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Chicago Area
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    I'm a bit of a beginner woodworker, but a hard core user-centered product design engineer.....here is my approach. I have a till on the back of my bench divided into three sections....basic measuring and marking, chisel roll (bench set plus a 5/16 and 1/4 mortise)+mallet in the next one and the third is empty. I also have slots at the back of my till for my basic saws. Now, everything I use for every project stays in arms reach on the bench. I have one open shelf under the bench for my small Stanley miter box, bench hooks and shooting board. Finally, all the other stuff is in a large Dutch chest. It is working for me so far, but I'm sure I'll end up modifying things.......it is what I do.....

  7. #37
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    Dec 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
    I'm a bit of a beginner woodworker, but a hard core user-centered product design engineer.....here is my approach. I have a till on the back of my bench divided into three sections....basic measuring and marking, chisel roll (bench set plus a 5/16 and 1/4 mortise)+mallet in the next one and the third is empty. I also have slots at the back of my till for my basic saws. Now, everything I use for every project stays in arms reach on the bench. I have one open shelf under the bench for my small Stanley miter box, bench hooks and shooting board. Finally, all the other stuff is in a large Dutch chest. It is working for me so far, but I'm sure I'll end up modifying things.......it is what I do.....
    Good to know! My hope at the moment is that a wall-mounted chest will basically act as a till. Some things (planes, for instance) will tend to sit on the bench while I'm at it, but I feel like smaller tools will likely just get dropped back in the rack in the chest if it's right there.

    One requirement I neglected to mention is everything has to be lockable. Right now there's no way to secure the garage, and while I don't live in a high-crime area, leaving obviously nice tools out for a couple of days is asking for trouble. Though I don't imagine many people would see a pile of obviously old tools and think "Hey, jackpot!" They'd probably go for the stereo or the bicycles first.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    I bought a copy of Tolpin's Toolbox Book, mentioned above and in the other thread about tool organization. I am about to move so I am organizing tools in containers for the move and in the process trying to design moving containers that can house tools at whatever new shop I end up with.

    Tolpin makes an interesting suggestion. He suggests that the person building the tool box first get out all the tools that need a home, then figure out a container to house each individual tool. He suggests that building generic housing for tools inevitably leads to tools becoming covered/behind/under other tools, at which point the invisible tools are soon forgotten or simply not noticed during work.

    This suggestion speaks to my pet peeve regarding my tools. Some demon hides my tools every time I turn my back! I waste untold amounts of time trying to find tools instead of working wood. My suggestion here is that tool organization and housing probably works out to as much of a mental exercise as a woodworking project. I am struggling with this aspect at the moment. I have started a list of lists of tools I use for specific work. Groups of tools I use for specific types of work. My plan is to design specific containers for those groups of tools.

    I like the Festool container system, every Festool comes in it's own case and there are also "sortainers" for storing "other" tools. There is even a hand truck designed to move these containers around. The good thing is these containers are very light and great for holding small objects. The issue is they are not big enough for many of my tools. I am planing a system like the Festool system, but with heavier duty wood containers. The wood containers/cabinets/chests....will either be on casters or fit on some sort of "hand truck" so they can be moved around relatively easy.
    Last edited by Mike Holbrook; 05-14-2016 at 9:45 AM.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Marietta, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McKenzie View Post
    Thanks!

    At the moment, I'm figuring to go one of two routes.

    1) Wall mounted cabinet above the bench. If the body of the cabinet is around 7-8" deep, it will easily fit large saws, planes in a sloped till, and pretty much everything else. A shelf either at the top or bottom to contain wooden moulding planes will be a couple inches too shallow, but space can be left in the doors to handle that. Making the doors 4-6" deep means good space for chisels, squares, joinery saws, and so on. Opened, it will only stick out that 7-8", which isn't TOO much lost space. I like the idea of having all my tools right there over my desk, and in a cabinet that's inconvenient to wander off with.

    2) Larger Dutch chest. I like working out of it, it's just too cramped. Making it 6" longer and 8" higher would probably solve most of my problems with it. I made a couple of compromises in shrinking it that, while they weren't exactly bad choices, have limited what I can fit in now that my tool collection has grown. Building a stand for it to store less used tools in would also help. On the other hand, once I'm looking at building something that large, I have to wonder whether a full-size custom cabinet wouldn't be a good choice....

    i built a plywood version of the Dutch chest. I don't recall the original size, but mine is approximately 32"? wide (a #7 plus a big block plane fit in one line on the inside open top) and probably 28"? tall at the back (It is on 3" casters and slides under the bench).

    One thing i did did differently is instead of shelves on the bottom, I installed two drawers on full slides. The bottom drawer is tall enough to fit a Stanley plane and tote. The top drawer is an inch or so shorter than that. A full tote plus some extra fits in the open top part. I don't have access to it right now, but that might help.

    With the bottom drawer extended you have to be a little careful with it wanting to tip, but it's never been a problem yet.

    if I built the smaller one I would have likely built the companion bottom, with drawers, and on casters. But in my small shop, I needed it to slide out of the way. So I built it as long and tall as possible to fit under the end of the 6' bench
    Last edited by Kurt Cady; 05-14-2016 at 10:51 AM.

  10. #40
    Slightly off the subject but here's another thing I'm pondering:

    a)Bench against the wall with cabinet on wall/mobile cart -OR-

    b)Cabinet on wall and bench facing other way.

    I've seen lots of videos of guys with benches against the wall and thought about it, but the latest project I'm working is telling me no.

  11. #41
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    Jan 2013
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    Temecula,CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Engel View Post
    Slightly off the subject but here's another thing I'm pondering:

    a)Bench against the wall with cabinet on wall/mobile cart -OR-

    b)Cabinet on wall and bench facing other way.

    I've seen lots of videos of guys with benches against the wall and thought about it, but the latest project I'm working is telling me no.
    I think the answer to this is like many things in woodworking. If you need access to both sides of the bench, putting her against the wall isn't an option. I like mine against the wall, but my current project will soon require I pull it out s I can work a 30" tabletop. My bench is made of fir so it won't be too large a task to move.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Adjacent Peoples Republic of Boulder
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    490
    My bench is a copy of the Tom's Torsion Box thing, the wonder made of plywood and 2x4s. Just like the picture below, but my span-length panel underneath is more forward, and my under-shelves less deep.

    Like in the pic, it stands away from nearby walls and one can easily access all four sides plus the walls. My walls are pegboarded from 48" up to ceiling. The hand planes are most all on the shelves under the bench, the layout and marking stuff is on the wall on left, saws toward corner. Chisels, spokeshaves, scrapers, and more are on the wall to the right. I've a work sink in an adjoining room, and sharpen with waterstones, so all my sharpening is done there.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #43
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    Dec 2011
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    Boston, Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Engel View Post
    Slightly off the subject but here's another thing I'm pondering:

    a)Bench against the wall with cabinet on wall/mobile cart -OR-

    b)Cabinet on wall and bench facing other way.

    I've seen lots of videos of guys with benches against the wall and thought about it, but the latest project I'm working is telling me no.

    If I had the space, I'd have my bench out in the middle of the floor with a wall chest on the wall behind it. Sadly, I don't have that space: I've spent a lot of time staring at graph paper floor plans, and I just can't come up with a way to make it work.

    Right now my tool chest is off to my right, about one step away from my bench (did I mention my current space is tiny?). I like that a lot, and I suspect a wall cabinet could be set up to be about two steps away and almost as efficient.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Cady View Post
    i built a plywood version of the Dutch chest. I don't recall the original size, but mine is approximately 32"? wide (a #7 plus a big block plane fit in one line on the inside open top) and probably 28"? tall at the back (It is on 3" casters and slides under the bench).

    One thing i did did differently is instead of shelves on the bottom, I installed two drawers on full slides. The bottom drawer is tall enough to fit a Stanley plane and tote. The top drawer is an inch or so shorter than that. A full tote plus some extra fits in the open top part. I don't have access to it right now, but that might help.

    With the bottom drawer extended you have to be a little careful with it wanting to tip, but it's never been a problem yet.

    if I built the smaller one I would have likely built the companion bottom, with drawers, and on casters. But in my small shop, I needed it to slide out of the way. So I built it as long and tall as possible to fit under the end of the 6' bench

    Nice! I think mine is around 31x25, something like that. I ended up putting some shelves in at the right end to hold small "shelf-shaped" tools (a #78 in its box, a set of irons for my combination plane, and so on), and leaving about 4/5 of the bottom just open. It works OK, but I wish I had a few inches more at the top to add a shallow drawer. Right now it's sitting on top of a pile of milk crates, which puts it at a pretty good height.

  15. #45
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    Nov 2015
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
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    Interesting discussion. I'm also a beginner and for me it is a new hobby. I decided on wall cabinet because it is out of the way when it's open, I don't have to bend down to get a tool out of it and tools are very visible. At least that is what I expect.

    From theoretical point of view, I think this question should include set of tools and set of tasks to be performed. Then it is possible to minimize time needed to find the tool and put it back and maximize time using it. Lean and six sigma systems try to do something like this for mass production. And it should also include human being perspective. How to effectively perform the tasks with less time and energy. In Japanise culture human factor is usually much more accounted for than in western culture. How to hold hand plane is equally important to how to set it up. Japanise sharpening system includes body posture and what musculs are used for what. Can be there something along this way for storage system, too?

    Obviously, I have too much time for thinking and theories. As an attempt to compensate for luck of experience :-)

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