A Dutchman at work

I just finished building a Dutch tool chest in the style of Chris Schwarz. I also built the accompanying auxiliary cabinet.


I haven’t said much about the build, and that’s primarily because there’s already a ton of great information available. A quick search will bring you no shortage of step by step build threads. My favorite one can be found here.

Rather than repeat all of that I thought I might pick up where some of the build threads leave off and that is fitting out the tool compartment and offering thoughts on the chest as it is in use in my shop. Over the next month or so I’ll be adding detailed shots of the inside along with commentary on the process as I learn to make this chest work for me. I want to add to the conversation if I can.

I want to do something else as well. I want to feature your stories and experiences with these chests. My friend Tom O’Brien gave me this idea when he and I started trading thoughts about how to work out the bottom storage cabinet. Tomorrow, I’ve invited Tom to show off his build and tell you a little about the unique features of his Dutch tool chest as a way of inviting others to do the same.

If you’ve built a Dutch chest and have something to add to the conversation, I invite your stories, pictures and comments. Please send them to thedailyskep@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to publish them over the next month.


12 Comments Add yours

  1. flatironjoe says:

    Great idea, Jim. Yours is looking great, by the way, but as someone who is still on the fence about building a different tool chest (when I already have one that’s pretty functional and a long list of other projects waiting), I’m very curious to hear how you, and others, find working out of it, and whether it would be worth making a switch. I look forward to hearing more.


  2. I really like the idea of the Dutchie for home use and the mini ATC for traveling. I think I’ll add both to my bucket list. I’m looking forward to everyone’s commentary as well. Looks good Jim!


  3. Greg Flora says:

    Your DTC looks awesome, Jim. It inspired me to get back on the ball and wrap mine up after a bit of a hiatus. Such a great project and I have really enjoyed seeing the variations folks come up with based the original design.


  4. momist says:

    I am becoming more and more frustrated by my ATC. My workshop is currently over-stuffed with ‘things’ in the way, and the ATC is _always_ covered with ‘things’ that have to be moved in order to open the lid. Then, when I open the lid there is acres of wasted space that is needed to slide the tills across. I’ll be very keen to follow your commentary on the Dutch approach, at least you won’t be leaving ‘things’ on top of it.
    One thing; is it likely to be as effective at preserving your tools in a cold damp environment?


  5. Brian says:

    It looks great! You can never have to much storage.


  6. Ron Pritchard says:

    Hey James, Great build. I’ve been following Schwarz’s Lie Nielsen build video which doesn’t have the breadboard ends. Is there an article or blog post where the breadboard lid is covered?


    1. Honestly, I’m not sure. I’d be happy to write a post on it if you like. The battens are probably just as effective in some ways (I used them on my small floor chest) but the breadboards are nice.


  7. Ron Pritchard says:

    If battens work, I might just go that route. My set of tools doesn’t include a plow or shoulder plane yet.

    There are a couple resources I’m aware of but it couldn’t hurt to have more, especially if your approach is different.

    Here’s what I’ve found:


    And Fidgen has a nice video but he just pegs (instead of drawbores) the ends:


    1. I was going to point you to the tektonguild build, but it looks like you’ve found it on your own. I will say that the plow and shoulder planes factor heavily into making breadboards. I’m sure there are ways to work without them, but they’re definitely the tools for the job.


  8. Marilyn says:

    Wow! I’m on The Daily Skep .. I’m a celebrity! 🙂


    1. Oh man, I was just honored to link to your page!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Marilyn says:

    Your chest turned out spectacular. Can wait to here how using it goes.


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s