Anarchists Tool Chest


I Had fallen at work and hurt my right arm. I was going to be in an arm brace for 8 weeks. Usually I do things that involve my hands. T.v. isn’t really my thing, so I had to fill my time with reading. I was well on my way to a hand tool only shop before I had hurt myself and decided to order some books to read on the subject. Christopher Schwarz’s book The Anarchists Tool Chest was one of them. It is a excellent read and would recommend the book to anyone interested in the subject to read it. After reading the book I decided once I was better I was going to build one. I did after all need a place to store my tools.


The chest was built entirely with hand tools from rough stock eastern white pine, with maple for the drawer bottoms and sliders. I found it to be a fun and challenging project, especially in my very small shop at the time (8’ by 10’) on a very small bench, but well worth the effort. It will give you lots of experience in hand tool woodworking, from dimensioning stock to cutting dovetails. There are a lot of dovetails for you to cut. Cutting the thin stock for the trays was quite a job in itself, they were ripped from the 4/4 stock with a hand saw. It was quite a task that made me look into getting a larger saw for long rips, which I ended up making a frame saw to handle them for me. The interior was left as bare wood, while the exterior was painted with General Finishes Milk Paint in the lampblack colour. I have been using this chest for several years now and wouldn’t want to store my tools for daily shop use in any other way, it is very fast and efficient. Plus is keeps out dust and has a beautiful scent every time you open it up. 

Above, a few dovetails. Below, the inside of the chest. All ready for tools.


Above. the trays open and closed. They provide a lot of tool storage. 

Heres a pic of it filled up with tools. 



© Shane Larson 2018