More Tool Chest Storage Ideas


Anyone know where I can get a nice handle like his? Preferably in polished nickel? It’s basically a recessed pull like you’d find on a campaign chest, but with a place to put your fingers rather than a pull that lifts out. All the ones I’m seeing look kinda chintzy.

Someone on IG asked about storing backsaws in the lid of a tool chest, which immediately made me think of my grandfather’s chest – he had all his saws stored on the underside of the lid, which, like the “Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” has a raised-panel lid.

When I first started woodworking, I planned to someday have the skills to build a replica of his chest. I have built (more than once) what is pretty much the same carcase, but I changed my mind on the interior (for now, anyway).

I always admired his neatly organized trays of tools in four layers (some of the trays had their own trays, to boot!). They are about half as wide as the chest, and slide left and right to access the stuff underneath. But once I started actually working out of a tool chest, I realized it would be (to me) a bit of a pain to have to slide quite so many trays out of the way to get to stuff. (And a lot of pain to stay quite that organized.)


So instead, I’m going with three long trays (half the depth of the chest), and as I’ve mentioned ad nauseam, storing my backsaws behind the chisel rack (I worked on that today, so I’ll soon have a closer-to-finished interior to post). And in my new chest, I’m not storing full-sized handsaws/panel saws (though I’ve left enough space for that above the top till…just in case); I have only two that I’d want in my tool chest, and they will continue to live on the underside of my tool chest at home.

But my grandfather had five saws on his lid, held in place with toggles on keepers on the handle end, and supports on the business end of the long ones (plus a carpenter’s square). The dust seal on his lid is, however, deeper than what is on the ATC, to allow the handles to fit without crashing into the trays below. He built his as a high school project (a trade school where he learned cabinetmaking), so I’m reasonably certain this was the prescribed interior layout, or at least it was in Louisville in 1932.



About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to More Tool Chest Storage Ideas

  1. johncashman73 says:

    From what I can see, is that pull simply a brass plate with an oval cutout? Should be pretty simple to make. If you knew someone with a CNC, you could make extras, maybe for classes, or friends….

    You’re really lucky to have that chest. Have you thought about stenciling your name on a chest, for future generations.

    I never thought about making the upper dust seal a little taller. It’s a great solution for using that space.

    • fitz says:

      The inside of the pull area is also metal. Brass, I can find. But all the nickel ones I’ve seen are a bit flimsy. (I hate chintzy hardware!) I don’t have the chest; it now belongs to his son, my Uncle Chuck (also C.E. Fitzpatrick).

  2. Phil Schempf says:

    Megan –

    Whitechapel has a similar pull in cast brass with a polished nickel finish here –
    They have them in several sizes. The link is for the medium.


  3. Chris says:

    I’ve gotten similar pulls in bright brass from a chandlery (boat store). Chandleries are also great for brass hinges and other brass fittings. Usually quite affordable too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s