Tool Chest with Surprise Storage
This wall-mounted tool chest has space for every conceivable hand tool.
Synopsis: This wall-mounted tool chest has space for every conceivable hand tool. Four layers of storage, to be exact: in the deep main doors, on a pair of shallow inner doors, on the back board of the cabinet, and in a shallow, removable tray that sits behind the inner doors and in front of the back board. To keep access quick and straightforward, the tray slides side-to-side in dovetailed tracks.
Fifteen years ago I built a wall-hung tool chest much like this one. But in the meantime my collection of hand tools had outgrown that chest, and I decided to build a larger one.
My original chest had storage in three layers: in the deep main doors, on a pair of shallow inner doors, and on the back board of the cabinet. But for this version, I increased its capacity with a fourth layer of storage, a shallow tray that sits behind the inner doors and in front of the back board. To keep access quick and straightforward, I made the tray so that it slides side-to-side in dovetailed tracks. When you open the chest’s inner doors, you can access any of the tools on the sliding tray. Or, using the wooden handle at the middle of the tray, you can slide the tray aside to reach the tools on the back board.
More from FineWoodworking.com:
When you do slide the tray aside, it travels right out the side of the chest. This means you can also access the tools in the tray without ever opening the doors: Just pull the brass ring on either side of the chest, and the tray slides out. The wooden handle on the front of the tray acts as a stop, so the tray slides just halfway out either side of the chest.
To determine the placement of tools, I cut scraps of plywood to the size of the various components and laid out the tools until I had arrangements I liked. I placed the heaviest and deepest tools in the front doors. I put some of my most frequently needed tools on the shallow inner doors. The sliding tray, with no extra depth to spare, became home to carving and bench chisels and some layout tools. I reserved the back board for tools that I use less frequently.
Knowing how my tool kit continues to grow and change, I built the chest so its main components can be disassembled, and I made all the tool mounts removable—screwing them in from behind—so I can alter their arrangement when I need to. I made the handle on the front of the sliding tray removable too, so the tray can be slid right out of the chest if need be. I used French cleats top and bottom in the back of the carcase to secure the chest to the wall.
From Fine Woodworking #258
For the full article, download the PDF below: