I’m several generations removed from my Pennsylvania Dutch (Deutsche) ancestors, but even as I was growing up there were a few (derivative) German phrases that lingered in occasional use at our house. Mostly they had to do with quitting something. “Quit rutching” meant to stop sliding around in your seat (Rutschen is German for “to slide”). “Quit Fressin’ around at dinner” meant to mind your manners at the table (Fressen is German for “to eat” but usually applied to animals). Oh, and while we’re at it, dinner meant lunch and supper meant dinner.
There were also all sorts of curious English/German grammatical mash-ups like “Outen the lights before you outen the house” (turn of the lights before leaving), “The milk’s all” (there is no more milk) and the prodigious use of the word “once” as in “come over here, once” (really meaning “now”). You can only imagine the violence this did to my understanding of English grammar.
And of course, if you were babbling or you weren’t talking any sense, my grandmother would exclaim “You’re Dutch!”
That’s the long way around to saying this: I’ve had Dutch tool chests on the mind lately and I’m thinking about building one. I also think I may not be talking any sense. I’ve worked out of a small floor chest for more than a year now, am I crazy to want to build something else? Here’s my case.
There are two big issues:
- The floor chest holds most of my tools, but not all. It is not a full sized English chest so there is no room in there for my shooting plane or my saws. I can squeeze my backsaws into the chest, but not my full size saws.
- The floor chest means there’s lots of bending over involved. I had back surgery three years ago, but I still have to keep it in mind while I work and honestly, the less bending the better. Combine this with the fact that the limited real estate on a 6′ bench means I have to put things on and off my bench more and there is a lot of stooping in my life.
I feel like a Dutch chest might provide some solutions here. I’m not sure what the cubic storage capacity of the Dutch Chest is compared to my current chest, but there is always the possibility of building a handy add-on cabinet like this. If I built one of these I would likely go the route of building the smaller chest with the “campaign” addition. The modular nature reminds me of loading my bass rig in and out of clubs when I used to play in bands (also before back surgery) and I like that.
This chest also promises to put my most used tools at a more accessible height reserving the bottom shelves for things that only see use on occasion.
The chest would be made to fit here in my shop below my nail cabinet where my metal tool storage currently resides. The Craftsman holds all of my non-woodworking tools and my few remaining (gasp) power tools. (Yes there is a trim router and a circular saw in there.) I can find a new home for that.
So am I crazy? Am I talking nonsense? Or am I just finally going Dutch?