WALL MOUNTED TOOL CHEST
No plan, no problem - just wing it!
SHOP OWNER: Jason Young
LOCATION: Austin, TX
After spending several years with hand tools strewn randomly about the garage… uh, I mean workshop, I finally decided to build a wall-mounted tool chest to get them organized in one convenient spot. I watched the New Yankee Workshop episode about a dozen times where Norm builds his tool chest and finally decided to have a go at my own. Without plans or dimensions, other than a quick sketch for rough size, I decided to just wing it!
Although a couple of weeks ago I started my wall-mounted tool chest, work got in the way of finishing it. Yesterday I put the final touches on the case and started work on the mounting system for the tools.
The case measures 2' wide by 3' tall closed and 4’ x 3’ open. The main case is 5 ˝” deep and the doors are 3 ˝” deep. I made the case from maple plywood and the accents are black walnut. I used walnut to cover all the exposed edges of the plywood (front and back). The doors have full-length brass piano hinges and the whole thing is finished with three coats of Tried and True Danish Oil. A French cleat supports the case on the wall.
This is a view of the outside detail of the closed doors. The door frames are walnut with birch dowels plugging the screw holes. These screws hold the half-lapped frames to the door bodies. These are the only screws on the cabinet. I wanted to do an all-wood cabinet but thought that attaching the frames to the doors with only dowels might cause problems later. Anyway, you can't see the screws and the flush-cut dowels add a nice contrast.
Here is a close-up of the main storage area. Eventually I'll have all of my hand tools here. I didn't want to go to all the trouble of designing this cabinet and then hang the tools on nails, so I'm custom fitting wooden supports for each tool. The supports are solid walnut and hard maple, laminated into striped forms. I then cut the forms into whatever shape I need and secure them to the case with brass screws. Each form gets a few coats of Danish Oil.
Here's a close-up of the chisel rack. Again, it's black walnut and hard maple laminated into the proper form. I had to cut the relief holes for the larger chisels by hand with a low quality Black and Decker jigsaw. The cuts aren't as neat as I'd like them because I don't have a bandsaw yet.
My next project will be a router table. I think I'm going to continue the maple/walnut look throughout my shop projects. I really like the way it looks, especially with oil, and the little extra cost for nicer wood is worth the final look it provides.. . . Jason Young
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