Chisel rack (Japanese chisels)

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Project by mafe posted 06-11-2011 02:08 AM 13138 views 13 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Simple chisel rack with a little twist
A home for my new Japanese chisels.

The story:
This morning I had a gift from my sister, she have been living for couple of years in Korea since her American husband was stationed there for the government, before they had to leave she asked me if I had some wishes from Korea, and I said of course some Korean tools, and I suggested local chisels, but after a talk with our Korean LJ buddy Poisson I decided to go for Japanese chisels, he advice this chisel set since he is taking wood working classes in Soul and the teacher had advised him this for cabinet making so the quality should be really fine. Poisson was so kind to offer my sister to meet her in the tool shop to help her, and so they found the Chisels a little Japanese hand plane and also a Korean made mallet and a marking knife so some would be Korean. Thank you so much Poisson for your help I appreciate this a lot.

The rack:
Last night when I was driving home I saw a ugly plant stand that was set out for trash, but did notice that it was some fine wood (guess teak) it was made of, so I throw it in the car, and today there were a project that fitted just for the wood; a chisel rack for my new chisels. I wanted them to have a stand that I could bring with me so it should take a minimum of space when set in the tool tote, also the rack should be able to be fitted in a tool cabinet later, so the foot should not be permanent and finally it should be a system that I could use as a model for stands for all my different chisels.
So this is what I came up with; a simple rack with a twist, the twist is the foot that can be turned so it disappear into the rack and so the rack can be stored easy or mounted in a tool cabinet without the foot being a space problem.
When I first made it, I was thinking it should have been a prototype, but I liked it so much, that I have decided to keep it as it is.
Finished it up with some dye, linseed oil and a coat of antique wax to remove the ‘new kid on the block’ factor.

1. The rack, with the wonderful chisels, read oak handles and laminated steel.
2. Trash to some, an old plant stand found in the street.
3. Clamping and gluing, trying to figure out a simple and versatile system.
4. The foot in line, joining of the rack by bamboo pins.
5. Tools, tools, tools – now the Japanese and Koreans can finally meet the English and French in my little work shop.
6. Thank you Nana and Greg.

Ohh yes I used the hand plane today, and this plane rocks, in fact so much that I was thinking if I will ever want to grab a metal plane again… – I also enjoyed a lot to pull the plane, a much more controlled and relaxed movement, than the push, so this is something I will have to look more into after some testing.

Now ready for some wood working.

Hope it could bring some inspiration.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

45 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19385 posts in 3130 days

#1 posted 06-11-2011 02:12 AM

nice chisels, nice rack (chisel rack that is)

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 3851 days

#2 posted 06-11-2011 02:14 AM

Thanks mads, I needed to make one of these for my shop.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4660 days

#3 posted 06-11-2011 02:15 AM

Well executed. Very nice set of tools. BTW I bought my first Ashley Iles chisel on ebay today…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View tdv's profile


1202 posts in 3633 days

#4 posted 06-11-2011 02:15 AM

What a wonderful gift Mads & a fine chisel rack you have some amazing tools & a good eye for re-cycling wood I’m glad it got to live on rather than the bonfire or landfill (by the way I can’t sleep either)
Best wishes my friend

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 3203 days

#5 posted 06-11-2011 02:18 AM

Simply elegant. It looks like it should have held the tools all along. This is on the favorites (copy) list. Thanks, Mads

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Don W's profile

Don W

19385 posts in 3130 days

#6 posted 06-11-2011 02:42 AM

mads, you have somehow overcome the quantity versus quality dilemma. You manage both! Thanks for ALL your sharing.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View mcjibbin's profile


44 posts in 3250 days

#7 posted 06-11-2011 04:09 AM

I love it – very beautiful rack. Especially the upcycling / reclamation of the plant stand wood. I love doing that. And, it’s quite fitting since Teak is an Asian wood – perfect fit for a Japanese chisel stand.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4437 days

#8 posted 06-11-2011 04:23 AM


-- Happy woodworking!

View prompt's profile


340 posts in 3156 days

#9 posted 06-11-2011 04:25 AM

Your rack for chisels very functional and looks nice. Thank you.

-- Elhan, Azerbaijan

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3400 days

#10 posted 06-11-2011 04:31 AM

Mad – Very nice design for a fine set of chisels (probably my most popular workshop tool when sharp), especially since it’s made of recycled wood. A few years ago, I made myself a nice chisel box, but I like yours more because it is open and lighter. Like your box, I used spacer boards to separate the tools but I only have a small open space on the bottom to let the chips fall out. What I really like is the rotating foot – great feature.

If I could be so bold to offer a design feature I have that you don’t have. My design was from a magazine (probably ShopNotes). It would be easy to add to your design – a cleat. If you cut the top back piece with a 45’ angle along the length of the board so the angle would look like this \ . My magazine design instructed me to cut and opposite piece of wood I have mounted on the end of my workbench so when i look at it sideways, it looks like this /. The back of the box falls into the mounted / piece off wood and I can move it around just by picking it up or hang it by dropping it into the cleat

Again, I like your design more, but offer you the magazine idea as a suggestion you might like add.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4236 days

#11 posted 06-11-2011 06:02 AM

Nice chisel rack.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23609 posts in 3668 days

#12 posted 06-11-2011 06:28 AM

Very nice home for those nice chisels! I like the swing out foot! Nice design as usual!! .....Jim

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

View Bill J. Griffin's profile

Bill J. Griffin

99 posts in 3114 days

#13 posted 06-11-2011 07:35 AM

Made beautifully Mafe as always, and a very nice set of chisels, plane and mallet.
I noticed you used bamboo pins (nails?) to hold it together. I really like that idea of using wood instead of nails or screws. Just seems more artistic somehow. :)

-- Shop's too small :( ... hey the decks pretty big :)!!!

View Brit's profile


7871 posts in 3406 days

#14 posted 06-11-2011 08:22 AM

Nice work Mads. Now that I’m working in Denmark every week, I’m going to find out what day people put all this wood by the side of the road and go cruising. As long as I can get it in my suitcase, I should be fine. So if you see an Englishman jumping up and down on some hardwood, it’s probably just me. LOL

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3419 days

#15 posted 06-11-2011 09:42 AM

Mads that is a nice combination.
I like that the chisels are not exposed yet still visable.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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