Just Right

Things are weird right now. Well, now and for like the last couple of fiscal quarters. But one of my happy places is casual dovetailing with whatever scraps I have hanging around. Often, that casual dovetailing ends up in a toolbox which gets gifted to a friend or loved one. This one, though, I’m keeping for myself.

Why does everything look like a casket?

This particular tool chest is for outside woodworking, so one of the important things is making sure the rot strips hold up. So I went to the MAX with some sort of plastic that is used in boat building. They’re pretty slick when sitting on engineered surfaces, but they work great on grass and concrete. Plus they (and the stainless screws) will never rot away.

That’s a lot of nails!

The inside of the chest is pretty utilitarian; essentially, it’s a gentleman’s chest. The well is big enough for both a No. 7 and a No. 4 or No. 5 bench plane, and the saw till holds one back saw (a carcass saw) and one hand saw (a modified Simmonds that I cut 4″ off the toe and re-toothed at 11tpi rip cut). I also added a sliding till for holding chisels and marking tools, although a combination square sits on top of the saw till at the back of the well.

I actually use my Narex spare chisels and my Veritax spare carcass saw.

All in all, I think I’ve hit the right balance with this tool box. Some prior versions didn’t quite work out, for various reasons. But this one is easy to carry, holds the right amount of tools, and best of all, it used up the last of my Driftwood paint from General Finishes and cleaned out some of the scrap pile. I didn’t get a good shot at it, but I also got to use a few pieces of scrap cherry as battens along the edges of the lid to keep it flat.

The lid is the nicest piece of pine in the entire build.

So if you’re wondering why it’s been so long since I last posted, it’s because I’m rather displeased with the new wordpress blocks system. They’ve removed some basic functionalities that I’ve relied on since the beginning and it’s so dumbed-down it’s clearly meant for non-facile folks. It takes far longer to do basic posts and I’m really sick of it. They even got rid of the click only autofill on tags. It’s fucking bullshit.

If anyone has a recommendation for another platform, let me know.



  1. I like what you have made there. I have not been following long your blog after coming across it via the WordPress reader when I was looking up woodwork.
    I love wood and the idea of making things with wood, but as I live in an apartment, I have no where to do it.
    I have had interest from such a young age, but only made something once in my teens.
    If I ever had the opportunity to maje something, the traditional hand tools would be the way I want to learn.
    I would be fascinated as a child watching an uncle who was always in his shed making tables and chairs and whatever else. All would have carving designs in them. I could have watched forever, but I didn’t, as I didn’t want to intrude my uncle.

    As for that block editor. I am not happy either. Only posts I have going are scheduled posts I had set in advance, I have already gone back to blogger with a new one and shall just pop into WordPress when visiting blogs I follow and acknowledging commenters on mine.
    I already wasn’t happy with WordPress before the block editor announcement. Which it’s a shame, as I have been blogging here for many years. Had other blogs here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I save scraps of wood that are a good size to make small boxes. I like making dovetails. I am in the process of a small tool box build myself. I wanted one that held not bare bones minimum but essential tools so that if I am at my dad’s place an hour away I can work comfortably with what I have. It looks to be similar in dimensions to what you are showing (i.e. wide enough for two saws, a number 5 jack, a plough plane, and a router, and a coping saw and spoke shave handing off of screws). The top will hold chisels, layout tools, etc. I am basically making a mini anarchist tool chest. I like your rot resistant plastic idea. Where did you purchase it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it’s helpful, The outside dimensions of the case are 26x11x8. The walls are 9/16, and the floorboards are 3/4-in tongue and groove and the top is 3/4-in as well. I don’t know where the plastic came from but I would imagine the marine supply store. They were just scraps my brother gave me.


  3. How computer savvy are you? There are ways to code your blog in a fairly straightforward manner, although usually you’d relinquish most WISIWIG convenience. One way I know if is using https://pages.github.com/, which is a (now microsoft-owned) platform for programmer to store code. There are a few guides to help get started with it. I think you can even do most editing from their webpage, although I never tried.

    Thanks for the content on your blog though, I find your work very inspiring. I just moved out of a small apartment, into a suburban house. I still prefer staying away from powertools (so liberating). Just put legs on my roman workbench, maybe tonight I’ll tackle my first project on it! Also made myself a Dutch toolchest, so much better to work from than my small hexagonal toolbox!


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