I recently wrapped up all of the inner workings of my traveling anarchist tool chest including the tills, and a custom chisel holder that attaches to the inside of the chest wall securely, as well as on my tool wall. Like most woodworkers who would be in my position at this point in the project, I decided to give everything a trial run. I places all of my critical tools into the chest to see how things fit, and what might be improved.
My first reaction was damn, this is really heavy (probably 100+ lbs.), but that’s what you get for filling it with cast iron, steel and bronze. I know using a heavier wood like walnut didn’t help either, but I really liked the look of it, and if I was going to be cutting over 80 dovetails, I’d like to be able to see them. I can sense an “I told you so…” coming from Chris Schwarz, as I clearly have some level of infraction on Rules #4 & #12. Some sort of casters are definitely in order if I plan on moving it in my shop anytime soon.
What struck me the most after looking at the photos was that I have clearly been playing favorites with one particular tool manufacturer over the last 15 years or so. Lie-Nielsen.
Admittedly I used my share of power tools on this project, but I couldn’t have achieved the results, or improved my hand tool skills without giving some credit to Tom and his team up in Maine. Countless chisels, 2 saws and close to a half dozen hand planes were critical in the build of this project, not to mention Deneb Puchalski’s sharpening station. I’m glad to know that Lie-Nielsen, like a number of other great small batch tool manufacturers are still building things by hand, and propagating the craft of tool making and furniture making in America today. In my mind they deserve a proper storage vessel.
My hope is that they will be able to call this home for 100 years or so. I’ll sign and date the piece to be sure. 😉