Having cleared some general carpentry projects from my plate, I got back to doing what I do best: picking up projects I hadn’t thought about in weeks (months?). In this particular case, it was the travel tool chest. It’s been lidless for a long time. So I made a lid.
It’s probably clear from the picture above, but that’s just a 1/4 piece of home center birch plywood face glued to a 3/4 piece of home center birch plywood. It’s a trick from Christopher Schwarz’ A Traditional Tool Chest in Two Days and it is fantastic. I can use plywood here because the chest has a proper dust seal (that works like edge banding and hides the ugly plywood edges).
The benefit of plywood (in addition to the ease of “raising” a panel) is the full length glue-up on all three sides of the dust seal. There was a bit of twist in the dust seal, but the weight of the clamps was enough to press it flat while the glue dried.
Even with the strength of a full length glue up, I plan to nail the dust seal into place. I am also yet to level the top seams and fill the back edge of the plywood (with water-based wood putty). Then it’s painting time.
What I haven’t figured out is what to do with the inside of the chest. On the last incarnation, the full length sliding tray didn’t really have room to slide and totally blocked access to the tools below when in place. On this version, I might hang a stationary (but removable) till on the inside left. Something large enough to hold all the odds and ends for on-site woodworking, but not so big that it blocks the well entirely. That plus a wall rack with 1/2″ holes on 1 1/8″ center should be plenty of storage.
And there is the small matter of how to attach the handles. Oak runners for sliding tills usually reinforce the side walls enough to use iron chest lifts. I either need to attach more wood to the inside of the chest, or make rope beckets to screw in from both outside and inside.
Neither option is ideal, but one is clearly easier.