Dutch Toolchest #2: Layout (Sorry this should be First)

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Blog entry by AnthonyHbm posted 06-10-2016 03:32 PM 10093 reads 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Case Part 2 of Dutch Toolchest series Part 3: Fitting the Tools »

For three years I’ve been storing my woodworking tools in cardboard boxes. As I started relatively small, the box held most of my marking, layout and measuring tools. The planes were stored in the boxes they cam in. I knew I needed to build a toolbox eventually, but couldn’t decide which style.

I liked FWW's Essential Tool Chest by Michael Pekovich because of its beauty, but I knew it would be too small for my needs. Next I looked at Christopher Schwarz Tool Chest. It was certainly large enough but I didn’t like the idea of bending over to grab tools. Then I saw his take on the Dutch Tool Chest and felt as though this design was right for me.

I’ve scaled up the size to accommodate my tools and thought I’d share a little about how I came up with the options I chose to employ.

First, I spent quite a few weeks perusing the Web (Pintrest, Flickr, Instagram, etc.) for images of Dutch Tool Chests, recording the features and designs that most appealed to me aesthetically and pragmatically. I especially appreciated Jagebo's beautiful version because he employed a dust seal to keep out moisture. Equally, I was grateful for Brandon's exhaustive building blog. Thanks to the sharing of these two and numerous others, this is what I’ve come up with thus far.

I started, like Brandon, by laying out my tools to get and idea of the footprint I’d need on each shelf.

I determined the size needed based on the #8 Jointer Plane and how I wanted to layout the planes on the main shelf. Here is a SketchUp drawing of the size that I required.

-- Anthonyhbm

5 comments so far

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2671 days

#1 posted 06-10-2016 03:59 PM

So, you’ve laid out storage for all the tools you have today. By the time you get it built it’ll be too small. Or are you planning to never buy another tool?

The way the old timers did it is they boxed items separately or in small groups. Then the chest was filled with boxes instead of everything in one giant tray

self centering hinge pilot drills in walnut

plane storage box with center bar to keep the blade from contacting the base

Then build a box to hold other boxes and more boxes for those boxes and on and on until your shop is in one big box! Sounds silly I know, but it works!


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View AnthonyHbm's profile


67 posts in 2906 days

#2 posted 06-10-2016 05:06 PM

Hello Madmark. Thank you for your comment and advise. Certainly there are wiser ways to go about this then I have chosen, but I had to make a choice that seemed best to me at the time. With experience comes wisdom…hopefully, but we must choose a starting point that best suits our current need and acceptable future growth all without blowing the budget. So taking the many constraints in mind, i.e. no dedicated workshop, limited budget, limited storage before I annoy my wonderful wife, I chose this option.
To your point I did have some of the tools in temporary tool racks. Although I didn’t have a photo of this, I laid them out on a sheet of plywood to understand the footprint I’d need to for the main shelf.
I am grateful for the LJ community for its wisdom, support and encouragement in this fulfilling hobby/vocation.

Thanks again.

-- Anthonyhbm

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3410 days

#3 posted 06-11-2016 12:26 PM

Looks like a nice build. Seems you built to roughly same scale as i did mine.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View rhybeka's profile


5066 posts in 4340 days

#4 posted 06-11-2016 12:50 PM

Nice job, Anthony! I’m contemplating one of these myself so I’ll be interested in following your blog. :) Still trying to decide if I want to do a tool chest or just hang everything on the wall. Good luck and godspeed!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View AnthonyHbm's profile


67 posts in 2906 days

#5 posted 06-11-2016 01:00 PM

Hello rhybeka. Yes, I imagine that is a tough decision for many. For me, not having a dedicated shop made the choice simple. I think with a shop I’d make a wall tool storage with inspiration from FWW's Michael Pekovich, Jeff Miller, and others.

-- Anthonyhbm

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