I’m back from vacation and want to get my tool chest finished up. The problem is that the temperature has been north of a century everyday here in the Valley of the Sun. And it’s not even Summer yet! The only time to work in my garage/shop is mornings before it gets so hot that I fear for heatstroke. But my mornings have been committed, however today I found my freedom and began working on the innards.
It took a little brain warping and some mock-up to get everything arranged properly. I wanted to have a tool rack (something Chris Schwarz did not include in his). The tool rack needs to rest on the bottom tray runners and the sawtills (not shown). The tray runners need to rest on corner supports and the sawtill wall. It’s all a little confusing at first but comes together before long. Once I’ve gotten out all the individual parts and made sure they all fit inside the chest it doesn’t take very long to knock it all together.
I made a run to Lowe’s and bought some of their S4S poplar off the shelf. Back home I built the sawtill wall out of two pieces glued together to give me an 11″ high wall. While this was drying I cut out the tills, ganged together, on the bandsaw. You might notice the enlarged notch on one of the slots, it’s for my tenon saw. The extra blocking that’s glued to the tills will help support the tool rack. Assembly was greatly sped up when I broke out the pneumatic nailer.
I nailed the wall to the tills and dropped the assembly into position in the chest. Then I nailed in cleats to hold it in place. I didn’t actually nail the sawtill assembly to anything, it will be held in place by the cleats and the tool rack once it’s installed.
The 4 corner supports are already nailed in place and the tray runners are attached on top of them. I made these runners out of some scrap pieces of red oak I’ve had laying around.
The tool rack is made by nailing the first piece to the shell wall. Then nail on some 3/8″ thick spacers. Then attach the outer piece. Now see how the sawtill is all locked down.
I want to try out the chest now by loading it up. All my saws fit nicely. The tills are at the maximum spacing to still hold my tenon saw. They are shifted slightly to the right of the chest leaving some additional space at the other side. My other backsaws fit in the tool rack.
As well as my chisels. I routed out notches in the rack for the chisels with a 1/2″ Forstner bit in a hand-held power drill. Don’t even start on me about using power tools.
My plane collection barely fills the back side of the chest. I’m still thinkin’ out what should go in here and how to best use this space.