Tool-Chest Made by Hand

After coming to terms with my woodworking addiction last summer, I started seeking a way to get a fix while at university. Luckily I happened upon DIYode! My first project was a tool chest, found in Tom Fidgen’s book “Made by Hand”.

Finished Tool-Chest
It’s made with poplar and walnut. For anyone interested in this plan, you’ll need 8’ x 10” x 3/4” of poplar, 3’ x 8” x 3/4” walnut, and a 4’ x 10” of 1/4” plywood. Tom Fidgen makes his plan for this box available for free online, but I recommend his book!

All of the cuts were made by hand with the exeption of rip cuts (made on a table saw), and the initial dressing of the wood from 1” rough to 3/4” dressed. Instead of giving a step by step (boooooring), I’ll just outline methods I used in the project.


The bottom is 1/4” plywood slipped into a dado, about 1/4” up from the bottom.

Dado: After marking the stopped dado to be cut with a marking guage, it was emphasized with a cutting knife. This line was cut as much as possible with a backsaw. Following this, the bulk was removed with a 1/4” chisel.

Mortice and tenon: Quite a simple joint. The mortise was cut the same as the dados. The tennon size was simply a third of the overall thickness of the piece of wood. Ie. if the wood is 3/4” thick, then 1/4” is removed on either side of a 1/4” tenon.

Sliding lid: An innovative part of this chest is that the lid slides back and forth. Again, some 1/2” dados are cut to fit a rotating hinge available through Lee Valley.

Finished Tool-Chest, back


Well that’s all for this post! Now back to my Saturday DIY ritual: homemade bagels!


One Response to “Tool-Chest Made by Hand”

  1. mark Zander says:

    Great job Alex!
    I guess we know who to ask to run the woodworking workshops!


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