Travelin’ ATC: Interior Designs Needed


By last Friday at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking, most people got about as far as shown above on their chests – which is awesome. And a couple folks finished the lids completely, which is amazing, because…everyone was so far ahead of plan that I got a wild hair up my youknowwhat on Thursday and decided we’d do the lids by hand: hand-cut grooves for the rails, stiles and panels (yay – grooves in end grain!), hand-chopped 3″-deep mortises and hand-cut haunched tenons. My plan had been to run the lid joinery (and the rabbets for the shiplapped bottom boards) by machine, then send everyone home ready to do the interiors. But these guys were so fast!

Should I have stuck to my plan? Perhaps – but I didn’t want folks to be bored, and there was time enough to learn some new skills (plus hand-cut tenons are fun)! And everyone who still needs to knows how to complete the lids at home.


pssst…don’t forget that angle cut on the back ends of the lid’s dust seal!

So now, I’m working on suggestions for the interior, based on Christopher Schwarz’s blog post here, and his article in the August 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, and recommendations on paint (milk paint – either real or faux), hinges (I’m partial to  the Horton Brasses PB-407 in nickel) and lifts (these cast iron ones from Lee Valley Tools) to send out to the 10 students.

But if you’ve made a small version of the Anarchist’s Tool Chest and deviated from the plans, I’d love to see what you did, so I can share options. For example, I changed the saw storage and tool rack in my full-sized “Anarchist’s Tool Chest” from what Chris showed in his book. (It’s one of the few times I have, in fact, “disobeyed him” – and I’m glad I did.)

rack copy

I added a row of slots behind the chisel rack for backsaw storage, and my tills are slightly narrower front to back than what’s shown in “The Anarchists’s Tool Chest”…


…and my panel saws are stored on the lid.

So if you made similar changes (again, to the smaller version of the chest), please send me snapshots in an email, to; I’ll put together a post (with credit, of course!) when I have a few, and add to it as more come in.

P.S. A happy birthday to one of my best friends – without whom I would not know how to clock a screw, sharpen a plane blade or chisel, flatten a board, edit a woodworking article, enjoy beer, build a tool chest…

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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2 Responses to Travelin’ ATC: Interior Designs Needed

  1. Bob Jones says:

    I think you would have been better off not learning about clocking screws. 🙂

  2. afoundsheep says:

    Did I miss the follow on post, with lots of interior designs?
    Having not built a chest before, I am curious what others have done.

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