Tool Chest: The Guts

For the last couple months, I have been working intermittently on the shell of my tool chest.  Now it’s time to go inside the carcase and start dividing up the space.  Most of the components are made from Southern Yellow Pine.  No fine joinery here. It’s just dimentioning stock and sticking it on with nails and screws. For the record, it’s easier to sink pilot holes into pecan than it is to drive wire nails into it. In case anybody was wondering.

The chisel rack is complete. It’s simply two long bars with a spacer on each end. The wide, bottom board is really to protect my hands when I go fishing down in the saw till.  After I installed it, I noticed that it was bowing out significantly as the chisels wedged themselves downward.  So I put in a couple of spacers to hold the top bar in place (not pictured).  There’s no need to put spacers between each chisel, first because my chisel arsenal is still developing, but mostly because I don’t want to give up the space in the rack.  I already love how accessible each chisel is.

The saw till was the challenging part. First of all, how to space the saws? I guess I could have paced it off with dividers, or I could have done some fancy fractional measurements, but this is what I came up with:

Use the tenon saw to saw a kerf across a piece of scrap and set in your first saw. Stick one saw into the kerf. Then decide (by eye) how far apart you want your saws. Saw another kerf next to the first one, and so on and so forth, until you have your saws set out. Mine are pretty tightly arranged–four saws squeezed into three inches of width.  I don’t plan to keep my rip saw and panel saw in the chest permanently because I have a wall-mounted saw till.  So on a day-to-day basis, the saw till in the tool chest will hold only two backsaws.

In The Anarchist’s Tool Chest, Chris Schwarz suggests making each kerf 1/8″ wide. He doesn’t say how he did it, though. With a table saw? Carefully on a band saw? I didn’t feel like running down to my band saw, so I just decided to rip them by hand.

Very carefully. I used my big rip saw to cut a kerf on each side of a line, and then used a coping saw to knock out the middle piece. It worked pretty well.  I had to open up one of the slots a little with a wide chisel so as to accommodate my big backsaw, but that was easy.

Here is the saw till placed in front of the chisel rack:

My dovetail saw is small enough to fit into the chisel rack.

And the saw till fixed in place. I screwed battens into each side to keep the till in place. Low-tech but effective.

Next chance I get, I’ll be putting in rails for the two tool trays, and then I’ll finish up the exterior, specifically the lid and dust seal.

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This entry was posted in Build-Alongs, Wood and Woodwork and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tool Chest: The Guts

  1. mike siemsen says:

    Typically saw handles are 7/8 inch wide so I space the slots 1 inch apart.

  2. Pingback: Tool Chest: Lid, Skirt, and Dust Seal | The Literary Workshop Blog

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