28 June 2013

Open toolboxes - 6

I presented my unfinished bench top tool box last year,  time for a few extra pictures.  The box was mainly build to be used in a communal workshop with lots of machines but not much about hand tools, the workbenches having limited clamping possibilities.  So I needed something to bring in my hand tools,  and a good excuse to put the box on top of the workbench.  That's why it includes a bench hook, a basic shooting board and some clamping facilities.  After adding (recovered tire) rubber anti slip mat's at the bottom,  I also used them for the front and the top.

Two mobile racks allow to move chisels and marking tools close at hand, they are fixed to a sliding dovetail in the back.

The other side is about planes and saws. It's big enough for a #4 and most wooden planes.  The access to the saw is not a full success. To reach for the dovetail saw I need to move square first and only then I have access to the coping saw.  For the rest it is easy to grab blindly most tools and put them back afterwards.

All of them (missing the folding ruler), the whole weights 15kg (33#).

It's usable as a bench on bench on a low work bench where on a high bench it feels too high.  The material used is reclaimed wood (from the fifties) and a thin piece of plywood as bottom to keep the box low.  The rubber is impressive,  no need to clamp the box and holding pieces on the top is comfortable.

Design: sized to my tenon saw (20x50x30cm - 8"x20"x12"), it lost its doors underway, the ability to house a Stanley #5 and removable handle in the top,  for the rest I discovered many options while building.  I am sort of left handed,  so an unlikely right handed emulator could think about mirroring the box.

Is it a good tool chest?  Using Chris Schwarz 13 rules as a touchstone:  But let’s say you just want to build a tool chest. Should you buy this book? Nah. In fact, I’ve boiled down the entire content of the book into a one-page .pdf that you can download by clicking here.

Rule No. 1: As Long as Your Tool Plus Some
As long as my tenon saw plus some

Rule No. 2: High Enough to Make a Human Tripod
... I put it on the bench,  getting the perfect height to put a drink on it.  After a few drinks I start leaning against the bar achieving the human tripod.

Rule No. 3: A Depth to Match Your Reach
No it's only half the workbench depth,  but it's a bench hook and it matches the reach of my saw.

Rule No. 5: Reduce Weight; Increase the Joinery
Joinery?  I could have increased the number of screws but the weight is already minimal.

Rule No. 6: Make a Thick Shell
3/4" but with the rubber lining that's 7/8"

Rule No. 7: The Bottom can Be Nailed. But Why?
The bottom is screwed.

Rule No. 8: Skirts and Dust Seals and Miters
Yeah the doors,  no sealed doors,  but it will catch less dust than an opened floor dweller.

Rule No. 9: Don’t Blow it on the Lid
Fixed lid,  that's plenty strong

Rule No. 10: Divide the Bottom Layer
Yep saws,  planes, others; all divided

Rule No. 11: Trays or a Till?
No trays or tills,  two mobile racks here

Rule No. 13: Finish, Inside & Out
Check. The exterior is mainly (anarchist) black and the interior unfinished.

12 out of 13, but for the absence of doors the box could have been a 'perfect' match, ... unless I read the book and learn what I missed.

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This post is part of a series about open toolboxes

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