Dutch Tool Chests

Christopher Schwarz is a big fan of tool chests. He’s such a big fan, he built a single chest, and then sold off all his tools that didn’t fit in the box and wrote a book about it. I certainly admire the discipline involved. He now makes all his furniture by hand using preindustrial tools. I only recently discovered him, but he’s apparently somewhat well known in the woodworking circles.

The Dutch tool chest features a slanted top that typically contains a rack for handsaw or squares, a central bay that contains a sliding till for smaller tools and notched till at the bottom for hand saws. Underneath the main bay is a shelf that’s accessible through a removable front panel for holding other large tools.

The primary reasons Schwartz prefers tool chests are their compactness, portability, and the fact they surround the tools and thus protect them more than racks. I understand why portability is important to him, since he travels to put on demonstrations and teach classes. I like the idea of portability, but it’s not super essential. I also appreciate the compactness, especially living in a small condo. My current tool chest, a Stanley Fat Max 4-In-1 Mobile Work Station I got dumpster diving, isn’t bad for storage, but it’s an absolute pain to get anything out of because you have to roll back the to half if it a good foot in order to reach inside any of the tills. It’s lack of accessibility is what really bothers me with my tool chest, and why I’m considering a better tool chest.