Machinist Chest

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Project by KE4NYV posted 07-07-2014 04:11 PM 2385 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started this project during the government furlough last year (I work for NASA). I couldn’t find any drawings, so I designed my own version of a classic machinist’s chest. The drawers are made from poplar and 1/4” birch plywood bottoms. Oak fronts. The separators are poplar boards with oak strips attached with biscuits.

I’m still working on this project and I’ll update this when I have more done.

-- Jason R.

7 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24774 posts in 3874 days

#1 posted 07-08-2014 12:25 AM

You’ve got a great start to it!! What kind of slides will you use?...............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View KE4NYV's profile


138 posts in 2230 days

#2 posted 07-08-2014 01:48 AM

You’ve got a great start to it!! What kind of slides will you use?

Thanks! Actually, I’m going to get them ride on the wood support dividers. That might make some cringe, but it was the only way I could make the drawers fit as tight as I wanted them and have them functional. Most of the wood machinist chests I have seen are built like this. No actual mechanical slides used.

I forgot to mention I found some nice mini brass knob pulls to mount on the drawer fronts.

-- Jason R.

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 3549 days

#3 posted 07-08-2014 03:50 AM

Nice work.

I’m working on restoring an old Gerstner machinists chest. It’s drawer glides are 1/4” by 1/4” steel screwed to the oak cabinet member.

Good luck as you go along.

View Hammerthumb's profile


3055 posts in 2743 days

#4 posted 07-08-2014 07:24 PM

Don’t worry about slides Jason. I did mine the same way. Works great!

Click for details: Tool Chest

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View KE4NYV's profile


138 posts in 2230 days

#5 posted 07-09-2014 01:18 AM

Beautiful work, Paul! The only thing I didn’t factor in was a top tray, but it’s not too late to add it. I have already cut the oak sides, but I can add to the top if I want to. Seeing your pictures is making me think about doing that now. I love the dovetails on the drawers. I chickened out and went with simple rabbet joints. Not nearly as strong, but should work. At least I used good Titebond glue :o)

-- Jason R.

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 3712 days

#6 posted 07-11-2014 04:17 PM

Hi Jason,
Good start.

Top tray has the advantage that you cannot put any junk on top of the chest. And also the disadvantage that you cannot put anything on such top

Without the top tray, unless your chest is sitting in the living room, it will collect all type of things on top of it.
All horizontal spaces in a shop are to be occupied. :)

-- Back home. Fernando

View John Lowell's profile

John Lowell

137 posts in 2750 days

#7 posted 07-31-2014 10:38 PM

Cool and very practical – will be a great set once done.

-- Trying, but lots to learn.....

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