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Thread: Tool Chest storage ideas

  1. #1
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    Port au Port, NL, Canada
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    Tool Chest storage ideas

    Going to build a large tool chest in the near future, attached is a photo of a tool chest I found on Pinterest that appeals to me. I would appreciate seeing your creative storage solutions and ideas for keeping for tool chest organized while utilizing space, down to the smallest detail.
    Ideas and solutions like hand plane storage, bench/paring/mortise chisels, saws, layout tools, drawers, etc. I like the idea of planes storage vertically leaning from front to back but it seems like a huge waste of space behind the plywood panel.
    Thanks in advance for photos and suggestions.

  2. Quote Originally Posted by John Erickson View Post
    Going to build a large tool chest in the near future, attached is a photo of a tool chest I found on Pinterest that appeals to me. I would appreciate seeing your creative storage solutions and ideas for keeping for tool chest organized while utilizing space, down to the smallest detail.
    Ideas and solutions like hand plane storage, bench/paring/mortise chisels, saws, layout tools, drawers, etc. I like the idea of planes storage vertically leaning from front to back but it seems like a huge waste of space behind the plywood panel.
    Thanks in advance for photos and suggestions.
    There are lots of photos around of the insides of people's anarchist tool thest and dutch tool chest builds (both popular plans from Chris Schwarz) - you could get some good ideas from those. You could also search for photos of vintage chests, Schwarz isn't the final authority on tool chests For example, Zachary Dillinger had neat blog post about his replica 18th century tool chest.

    Storing planes vertically inside a tool chest seems problematic considering you probably want to include a saw till, sliding tills, and a chisel rack. I think with tool chests the main priority isn't really space efficiency, but usability - you want to keep tools accessible and reasonably safe from damage.

  3. #3
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    "Drawers are where tools go to die." Adam Savage

    The tools I use every day are on, or under the bench.
    I put them back in the same place, so I don't need to search for them.

    Things I often use are on an open shelf in front of me, where I normally face the bench.

    The advantage of storing cast iron planes and carbon steel cutting tools (chisels, saws and knives) in a wooden box is proportedly humidity control. If you oil your tools before storage, or don't have a damp shop, it might not be necessary.

    To some extent it keeps dust off tools, too.

    In my opinion, avoid portable tool chests. Fully laden, they're no longer portable.
    Build in a modular fashion, such that drawer height can be adjusted. Stacked cabinets rather than a Studley homage makes more sense, and you might actually finish the project.

    If you're over 30, get the heavy stuff over 30" off the ground.

    Lastly - take an inventory of the tools you already own. If there's something you have, but rarely use, it doesn't need a storage space it needs a new home.

    "It's not people that need big houses." George Carlin

  4. #4
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    From a picture in WOOD magazine a few years ago..
    wood.jpg
    A bit too large, and fancy for my shop....

  5. #5
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    Stan Covington has an excellent series on design for a tool chest on his website that you may find useful.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Charles View Post
    Stan Covington has an excellent series on design for a tool chest on his website that you may find useful.
    Here is an old post of Stan's on tool chests > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?240099

    covingtonandsons (dot) com would be a good start at finding more information.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 11-29-2020 at 2:14 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
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    I work on my own workshop and when thinking of updates to my tool storage I think a cabinet is more appropriate. If space is an issue or one works in a shared space, a toolbox seems appropriate. However, when it's just me in the shop, I think it's more comfortable to pull tools out of wall hung tills and shelves, not to dig through a chest to find the tools I need. This is just my opinion, other people's situations may be different.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael Herrera View Post
    I work on my own workshop and when thinking of updates to my tool storage I think a cabinet is more appropriate. If space is an issue or one works in a shared space, a toolbox seems appropriate. However, when it's just me in the shop, I think it's more comfortable to pull tools out of wall hung tills and shelves, not to dig through a chest to find the tools I need. This is just my opinion, other people's situations may be different.
    I like the Husky Industrial rolling tool cabinets. They are IMO a really good value. I also have a lot of stuff on the wall and visible, but for that you may need hanging holes, which some people frown on.

  9. #9
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    Toolchest.jpgMy apologies guys when I say a tool chest I mean similar to Steven's post. I thought I posted a picture of one I seen on Pinterest but here it is. My idea is similar but will be on a app. 18" h table with tool chest 42" w x 62" h x 20" d.

  10. #10
    This is mine. It is wall mounted, but could be adapted to sit on a table (especially if it was attached to a wall to keep from tipping ). I have another wall mounted case with (most of) the rest of my plane collection.

    IMG_5269.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Erickson View Post
    Toolchest.jpgMy apologies guys when I say a tool chest I mean similar to Steven's post. I thought I posted a picture of one I seen on Pinterest but here it is. My idea is similar but will be on a app. 18" h table with tool chest 42" w x 62" h x 20" d.
    24 drawers?

    Yikes

  12. #12
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    Andrew,
    Nice idea to house your block planes together in the same pigeon hole. Thanks for sharing.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by John Erickson View Post
    Toolchest.jpgMy apologies guys when I say a tool chest I mean similar to Steven's post. I thought I posted a picture of one I seen on Pinterest but here it is. My idea is similar but will be on a app. 18" h table with tool chest 42" w x 62" h x 20" d.
    My wife makes super awesome salads. Shes a genius at it, Im in awe. (She used to do this professionally, BTW.) Every year she tries to grow heirloom tomatoes, and every year something goes wrong, sometimes comically so. I occasionally point out that you can go out and _buy_ these things (of equivalent quality, for a lot less than our sunk costs typically.)

    I guess it depends on what you want to do, and what your priorities are in life. I personally would rather make the salad, and leave the tooling to the military industrial complex, they are so good at it.

  14. #14
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    Perth, Australia
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    I like having tools close to hand, and for the past few decades they have been accumulating on the wall in front of my bench. Dare I say it .. a little more than is comfortable ...



    So, I am now building a cabinet under the bench, into which to store marking tools, chisels, and other delights.




    The cabinet will span as wide and high as it can go without being impeded by either hold downs or the sliding deadman.

    Dimensions: 660mm x 400mm x 400mm (26" x 15 3/4" x 15 3/4").

    Small drawers: 205mm x 70mm (8" x 2 3/4")
    Large drawers: 305mm x 95" (12" x 3 3/4")

    Most of the drawers will have internal sliding trays, doubling up the storage.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  15. #15
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    Here’s what I use. I don’t have a big set of tools, so I didn’t make a giant cabinet. I like how accessible my saws are, but this method does take a good bit of space. I keep small tools in the cabinet drawers and supplies like coatings, glue, and fasteners in the bottom compartment. I like this set-up, but I may make a chest with drawers I go under my bench one day.

    B5E15FA0-F94A-4809-BA65-8891E813C605.jpg

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