Built a tool I can build another tool chest

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Project by Andy Panko posted 07-01-2014 08:20 PM 2748 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This weekend, I’m going to the hand tool mother land…Lie-Nielsen’s factory in Warren, ME. There I’ll be doing a two-day weekend workshop taught by Chris Schwarz. In particular, over the two days we will be building Schwarz’s trademark Dutch toolchest shown here.

I did one of Lie-Nielsen’s weekend workshops last summer and had such a good time I wanted to come back for another. When I saw Schwarz was doing one this year, I jumped on it. He is my favorite woodworking-related author, and I think he is one of the more influential figures in the resurgence of modern day hand tool usage. Lie-Nielsen is responsible for modern creation of high quality hand tools, and guys like Schwarz are responsible for informing the woodworking masses on how to most effectively use said tools.

Anyway, I do all of my woodworking at home, and I already have a full blown fancy pants hand tool wall chest that I keep all my tools in. As such, I don’t have the need for a tool chest like Schwarz’s. Who knows, maybe I’ll find a need. But regardless, my two main motivations for going are: 1) to gain more hand tool knowledge/skill and 2) to meet Schwarz. It was his book on building workbenches that was 95+% of the inspiration and education I used to build my workbench. And his book The Anarchist's Tool Chest a seminal piece about hand tools usage in modern times. I’ll be bringing both book with me, and hopefully he’ll be kind enough to sign them.

The majority of tools needed at the workshop are already available at Lie-Nielsen’s shop. They have multiple sets of their full line of tools on full display to be used by the workshop participants. That is what I did last year – relied on all their tools. This year, I decided to bring my own. Why??? I’m not really sure. It would be easier to just use theirs, instead of lug mine up from New Jersey. But there is something about the thought of using my own tools that really adds to the whole experience. At least that is what I’m telling myself.

I obviously can’t just throw all my planes and chisels in a duffle bag, so I had to make something to safely and easily bring the stuff up there. But since a) I don’t really need a mobile tool chest and b) I am going this weekend to build a tool chest anyway, I didn’t want to spend much time or money on this one.

The wood is all scrap that I had around my shop, and it took me only about 5 hours all in. The top, sides and bottom are all 1×12” pine salvaged from old shelves in my basement. There are some miscellaneous pieces of other pine, MDF and plywood used as well. The bottom panel is rabbeted into all four sides. It’s not pretty and it’s not fancy, but it is solid and was a fun little build. If I end up doing another Lie-Nielsen weekend workshop, now I have the perfect no-frills carrying solution!

Thanks for looking!
- Andy!

-- Andy Panko, Edison NJ,

2 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile


11646 posts in 3228 days

#1 posted 07-01-2014 08:38 PM

Andy, looks good. I’ll see you at the workshop! He’s very good about signing books and the like as well.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View CL810's profile


4040 posts in 3765 days

#2 posted 07-01-2014 11:20 PM

Man oh man is that a nice chest! Well thought out!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

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