Fair Woodworking

February 9, 2012

I hate chisel rolls!!!

Some people think they are great, and I do have to agree if you are doing site work and need them  to be portable, but in my workshop? Not many things frustrate me more than the amount of space that is required to lay the roll out flat.


Years ago in a fit of frustration, I made a box out of MDF to hold my first set of chisels. You can’t see it in this picture, but it has a  sliding lid with a false end on it that you could flip upside down and slide into grooves in the bottom. The end result was that it looked finished when open or closed. Sadly the box did not make the move a few years ago across the country since MDF is heavy, and I was paying by the pound for shipping.

My new chisels came in a very nice, but equally hated leather tool roll. These chisels needed some kind of box as well. Having just completed a short lived 30 day challenge, this project was what distracted me from it.


The first thing I wanted to try was building a small carcass, and with that build some drawers. What better project to house my new chisels? Before you ask, I’ll tell you, the screws hold the oak strips that the upper drawer will slide on. As soon as I’d done it, I’d wished I’d used clinched nails. Ah, well…

That’s a whole lot of dovetails!!! It’s made out of scraps of old 2×4 that I ripped down, dimensioned, and laminated together.


If you look closely, you will notice that I staggered the lamination’s so that they don’t line up on the joint? I don’t always remember to do stuff like that.


I also tried a number of different spacings in the dovetails. The many, many, dovetails. I guess you could say, I hadn’t stopped practicing.


The carcass has no back to it because I needed every inch for the drawers, and still fit on the shelf.


A whole bunch more dovetails on the drawers, plus my first try at grooves and drawer bottoms with raised panels. I’m not going to show them cause they ain’t too pretty!



Inside, you can see the smaller drawer is for the new chisels, and the larger is for odds and ends.


If you want some really great instruction on building drawers and fitting them to the carcass, you need to watch “Dovetail a drawer” by Frank Klaus. It’s available through both the Lee Valley, and Lie-Nielsen website. I’m sure you could find it elsewhere as well.

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