A Little to the Left

Once the seams on the traveling tool chest lid were leveled and nails were driven into the dust seal to lock it in place forever, it was time to think about internal storage.


If this dust seal comes off, we’ve got bigger problems.

I’ve read enough of The Furniture Record to know that a till goes on the left (unless the craftsman decide to put it on the right).  I’m nominally right-handed, and I keep my planes on the right hand side of the well, so I’m sticking with tradition.

The till will be constructed much like the sliding trays in my previous tool chests: a 1/4″ red oak bottom nailed onto a carcase of rabbeted and nailed 1/2″ pine.  The till will sit on runners of 1/2″ red oak, glued and nailed to the inside walls, and be held in place by some red oak end caps to the runners.


End caps not yet attached.

At roughly 9″ x 10″, and almost 5″ deep, the till should have significant holding capacity.  That leaves a little less than 14″ of exposed well on the right side of the chest: plenty for a No. 4 bench plane to go in and out without disturbing the till.  And the 6 1/4″ of clearance under the till is plenty for a tool roll with chisels and marking knives.

But enough about wooden tool chests.  Let’s talk about metal ones.  I took the plunge and purchased a new 41″ Craftsman tool chest that reminds me of a hybrid between a Dutch tool chest and an English floor chest.  So it’s time for a new rolling tool cart to keep the new tool chest off the floor.  And that means spruce 2×4’s.


Or “whitewood” as it’s called at the home center.

The frame will be lap jointed, glued and screwed, and topped with a sheet of 24″ x 48″ birch plywood.  With the casters, it will be overall 24″ high, 24″ deep and 48″ wide.  I may add some shelves (or even some wide drawers), but that will come later.


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