Tool Chest by Paul Sellers Part 1

Having collected some hand tools, mainly planes and spokeshaves, I needed a place to put them other than the tool well. Where was I to go, I tried to find one, but the plastic cases at the big box stores had no appeal and just were not practical.  Even my favorite Festool had nothing that appealed unless I could combine a max systainer with a sortainer and it still would not have any style. So left with out a purchasable choice I had what I considered two options:  The Anarchist Tool Chest by Chris Schwarz (a very good book btw and you should pick up a copy here)  and the  Paul Sellers Tool Chest.

I had to rule out the Anarchist Tool Chest due to my shop being on my front porch, I needed something portable.  Not that my neighborhood is full of thieves but I am not leaving a tool chest out there. I’ll save that for a later build when I get some molding planes.

I searched through Paul Sellers WoodWorking Master Class Site and found the tool chest gallery.  A shameless plug for Paul’s site, if you have any interest in hand tool woodworking or woodworking, his site is 15 bucks a month if I remember right and that gives you access to ALL videos and the ability to download the ones since you joined.

So off to Paxton Lumber in Denver to find an appropriate wood.  I checked out Mahogany, $$$ per board foot, not a good first big project wood for me.  Pine, almost went this route since that was used in the Anarchist Chest but I thought it would be too soft and I had worked with a lot of pine already.  So I went with Ash, it was cheaper than Mahogany and more expensive than Pine.


I sized most of these up with the hand saw.  Actually a Gramercy 14″ sash saw from Tools for Working Wood (my favorite store after Lost Art Press).  I am short a good crosscut saw but the sash saw did fantastic.  The stacks below are ready for ripping.  My hand saw for ripping needs the teeth set so I opted for my bandsaw.  Who am I kidding, even if the teeth were set I would have used my bandsaw.

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All ripped down and ready to go.  I re-sawed a few pieces on my bandsaw for the drawer sides and backs then cleaned them up with my #4 Bailey.  I did thickness plane down the raised panels with my #5 set up as a scrub and cleaned up with the #4. I only used my surface planer for some 1/2″ x 1/2″ strips to hold the drawers and panels.


Next post, I try dovetails in hardwood.

Hand Cut Nails You Say?

My hand cut nails arrived today!  Yes, hand cut nails, the old school way from the Tremont Nail Company.

What inspired hand cut nails to be ordered?  Chris Schwarz wrote the book The Anarchist’s Tool Chest, which is less about anarchy and more about making a hand tool storage chest.  Now when I read the book I had the intentions on making the chest but since reading I realized I have no room for it and need something more portable.   The book on the chest is a great read as Chris is a very engaging author and is worth it whether you build it or not.

The requirement of moving tools up and down stairs pushed me to the portable configuration.  I now plan on making a Paul Sellers portable tool box first, then as I find room the chest.

I ordered the nails also to make the packing box in the Joiner and The Cabinet Maker, also by Chris Schwarz and Joel Moskowitz.  This is a basic shipping box for back when we didn’t have cardboard.  Should be a fun project and will be a future post.


You can see in the photo I have Fine Finish, Clinch Rosehead, Decorative Wrought Head and Headless nails.  The main advantage to these over wire cut nails from the big box is they hold better. The other advantage is they look way cool!  You can make period furniture or even new designs an incorporate a bit of old school style and strength.  These nails won’t pop out.  Soon to be some projects where you’ll see these in practice.