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New Tool Chest, Part 2

Sheer, snow-mantled peaks of the Front Range frowning down on verdant valleys; a high rolling plateau carpeted with dwarf tundra plants: these are the hallmarks of Rocky Mountain National Park.

from Rocky Mountain National Park Map, National Park Service, c.1974

I have noticed that many of you are going to a 2008 posting I did about my new tool chest, it's not "new" any more, I still use it, though in the near future it may be replaced by a cabinet style tool chest to free up floor space. Here are a few notes about it.

The design is based upon the famous tool chest of Duncan Phyfe, the plans I used were the ones drawn by Carlyle Lynch. (The plans are available from I didn't want the box to be as big as Phyfe's, I measured the longest saw that would live it and then sized the exterior dimensions accordingly. I think the Phyfe chest is 36 inches long, I subtracted 2 inches from all dimensions to keep the same ratio for the entire box. I made the case from birch plywood ripped down with a Skilsaw and finished on a table saw, the corners are fastened with glue and finish nails fired from a pneumatic trim gun. The bottom piece is set into rabbets and the entire box is trimmed with white fir (abies concolor). The lid is not like Phyfe's and are attached with some butt hinges. I never did get around to filling in the nail holes and painting the exterior, which, when I do paint it, will be Prussian Blue.

The interior trays are based upon a chest that is in Jim Tolpin's, The Tool Box Book, published by Taunton Press. It is a great book for ideas. The wood is yellow pine that I ripped by hand with a Disston rip saw and hand planed to final thickness. They slide back and forth on rails. I have no problem with this, some might not think it very efficient to move the trays back and forth, I know time is money, I'd rather have the time then the money these days. This tool chest works for me.

The saw till is made from pine and slotted to take 2 rip saws, 1 E.C. Atkins crosscut saw and 1 Disston D-100 18 inch crossut saw.

The box holds some of my planes, chisels, sharpening stones and jigs, and miscellaneous tools for guitar making.

If you have any questions about this tool chest, feel free to ask me.


  1. I have just seen your post, I am learning to make a tool chest for my big tools. thanks

  2. Have fun with your new tool chest! If you haven't look at it yet, get of hold of Jim Tolpin's book on tool chests. The plan for Duncan Phyfe's tool chest is available at Tools for Woodworking.



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