Tool Chest Till Cubbies

Eooouuuwww. I’m a slob, but I’m not (usually) dirty. This till is disgusting.

Chris mentioned in his Sunday post that since The Anarchist’s Tool Chest was published, he’s nailed in a few till dividers to corral small tools. After I showed my chest last week, people asked for a look at my tools and tills…so I’m scrambling to clean them and make them slightly more organized – and divest my chest of the stuff that really shouldn’t be in it – before showing what made the cut.

Ah – that’s better. (I’d forgotten I’d used fancy wood on the till bottoms!)

Chris cleans out the offcut bin regularly, and we’re selective about what goes into it in the first place. We have severely limited space here for storage, so we don’t save much (a contractor friend takes all the small stuff/bad stuff to burn). But I am a hoarder…so I sometimes squirrel away under my bench and on my office shelves pieces that Chris would certainly pitch. And it finally paid off. I had the perfect 3/8″-thick walnut to cut up for dividers – it was almost no work to get it ready for use. I just had to cut it to length, then shoot it for a perfect fit.

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Arguable a bit too anal-retentive for a cubby wall. But I’m arguably more than a bit anal-retentive about many things.

To set the wall locations, I plopped the tool for which each was intended in place, then added a bit of wiggle room with the nearest thing to hand that seemed of about the correct thickness – a half-used Post-It pad. After marking out center lines on tape (with thin material, it’s best to be dead-on), I nailed the walls in place (two pins on each end) with the 23-gauge pinner. Yes, the walls will come out easily – that’s on purpose. And all the tool racks in my chest are screwed in place. I want to be able to easily rearrange things if my needs change (or for whomever inherits my chest to be able to easily re-arrange things to fit their own needs. If they don’t burn it or sell it for $50 at an estate sale).

A little protection for my new and already beloved No. 60-1/2. (As I’ve mentioned before, the No. 60-1/2 is a bit large to feel comfortable in my hands, but that adjustable mouth makes it worth a little discomfort.) My long-time love, a No. 102 (which fits my hand perfectly), got an adjacent cubby.

On the other end, I used a coaster to locate a cubby wall for confining pencils, a silly cat-head tape measure I won’t use (but love) and my most-used safety device – a hair clip.

That’s one down, two to go. (I’m afraid to find out how much cat hair and sawdust is in the bottom of the chest proper.)

Chris and I do have a lot of the same tools, but five years ago, our in-chest tools kits were a lot closer to identical (’cause I learned much of what I know from him). But since Chris’s uptick in chair building and my penchant for teaching all things dovetailed, our kits have diverged somewhat. I’ll clean out the rest of my chest and show its contents in full this Sunday.



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