Dutch Tool Box

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Project by Bill Lattanzio posted 02-17-2014 11:26 PM 2912 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Over the summer of 2013 I built a Dutch style tool chest for my hand tools. I found that while I loved the design, the chest I made was just too big, so I built a smaller version of it.

I used Aspen, which is nearly identical to Poplar. I went with Aspen because it was available in my area and because I was going to paint the project. The case is held together with dovetail and dado joinery. The back panels are tongue and groove joints and fastened with cut nails. The dovetails were sawn by hand, and the tongue and groove joints were made with a Lie Nielsen #48 tongue and groove plane. The dado was made using a table saw and dado stack, and the wood was prepared on the table saw with hand planes used to clean up the tooling marks. The paint is just a flat black craft paint. Cut nails were installed after the paint for decorative purposes as well as adding strength to the front panel and to the shelves/dado joint. Overall the case is 23 1/2” wide by 23 1/2” tall by 12 3/4” deep. The case took roughly 20 hours of time to build and assemble.

-- Bill L, PA, I don't believe in isms, I just believe in me.

4 comments so far

View MichaelT77's profile


126 posts in 2724 days

#1 posted 02-18-2014 12:02 AM

This looks like a very well done project. Very good workmanship. I’ve seen a few of these of similar design on LJ. I’m wondering about the purpose of the chest. It looks like it would be great for transporting tools across the country, or just from job to job. Is it convenient for in-shop tool storage, though?

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

View Grumpymike's profile


2439 posts in 2927 days

#2 posted 02-18-2014 12:05 AM

Nice tool chest, should serve you well for years to come … you have chosen time true and proven solid joinery.

I do believe that cottonwood, poplar and aspen are all first cousins (or more closely related). And are a good wood for many things … finished or painted.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Bill Lattanzio's profile

Bill Lattanzio

29 posts in 2531 days

#3 posted 02-18-2014 01:12 PM

Thanks. I believe that this chest is better suited to a person who is moving his or her tools often, or for a woodworker without a lot of storage space. Ideally, I would have a wall mounted rack or cabinet but the way my garage is laid out it would take some creative engineering to get it the way I want it. But if I had the proper wall space or the room for a stand-up cabinet I would definitely prefer using one of those over a box such as this one.

That all being said, for its size it holds a nice amount of tools and is inexpensive to build. I used just around $100 in material, parts, and paint on the box, and it is straightforward and fairly easy to make. If I were building it again I would make it a little wider; the depth and height are fine.

-- Bill L, PA, I don't believe in isms, I just believe in me.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3478 days

#4 posted 02-18-2014 03:09 PM

This will make a great addition to your shop and will serve you for many years.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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