Places everyone, places…

As it turns out, the best part of building a new tool chest is filling it up for the first time. Suddenly, you understand some small measure of the wisdom of the all the generations to have come before.  All the tools start falling into place like well cut tenons into carefully chopped mortices.

Ok, maybe that’s too far.

It is like a giant game of tool Tetris though. Long piece to the bottom right, and square bit over there. Wait, where does the plow plane go?


I’m sure there’s plenty to learn just by paying attention to the chest. I’ve already learned I have to ask myself which of my tools are really useful on a regular basis and which ones only get pulles out once in a great while. I’ve learned that I need a couple of tool rolls to really get the most out of the space. (I’m looking at you here Texas Heritage Woodworks)

I’ve learned that having too many planes might actually be a thing, but that for now my no.4 and my no.4 1/2 both seem useful enough to make the cut.

I’ve had to think about not just how I use certain tools but why I use them and more importantly why my hand reaches for them over other similar tools.

This chest is more than just a place to store my tools. It’s becoming a metaphysical adventure.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Brian Clites says:

    I’ve really enjoyed your posts lately Jim. Sorry I haven’t had more time to comment. (I’ve been travelling and I hate typing without a full keyboard). I really like the Tx Heritage tool rolls, but I’m trying to ween myself off the addition to using rolls at all. In the next few weeks, I’ll be trimming out the trays in my ATC to see if I just can’t give each and every chisel and screwdriver a dedicated spot.


    1. Thanks for the feedback Brian. And thanks for your work over at the LAP blog.

      I’m on the fence about rolls vs fitted racks. I like having my chisels in a roll because I can get the whole thing out, roll it out on my bench, and have any size I need at my fingertips. My screwdrivers will probably keep living in my metal craftsman toolbox across the room. The real problem I have is with extra blades for my router, and little things like that that tend to rattle around the edges. Maybe I just need a few little slots in my top tray to lock them down. I’ll be interested to see where you go with yours.

      Liked by 1 person

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