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A box chock-full of tradition. This tool chest, which was designed from time-tested examples, holds every hand tool you need, protects those tools from dust, and keeps everything just one hand motion away.

Don’t reinvent the wheel when storing your tools. A proper chest is still the best.

hen I tell people that I’ve worked out of a traditional tool chest for 15 years, they look at me as if I’m someone who has not yet discovered the joys of indoor plumbing.

They say, “Haven’t you tried a wall cabinet? Or built storage below your workbench? Why not a series of open shelves next to your bench?”

The truth is that I’ve tried all those methods yet I still return to my tool chest. It holds every hand tool a woodworker could want. It protects the tools from dust (which contains salt and encourages rust). And I can get to every tool in the chest with only one hand motion.

In other words, it’s tidy, protective and efficient. What more could you want?

The objections that most woodworkers have to tool chests are generated by people who have never worked out of a chest or who have worked out of a modern chest.

You see, most new chests that I’ve encountered are all wrong. They are usually too small to be useful. Most of these mini-chests were built in woodworking classes and needed to be transported home easily – hence their squat stature.

And the interiors of these modern chests are poorly divided. Either the woodworker has French-fitted every tool into a space, which is inflexible, or he or she has almost no way of dividing up the chest, so the tools are piled at the bottom.

For the last couple years I have studied many ancient chests. And what I found was surprising. Old chests are quite similar in size and in the way their interiors are divided. The other thing that is surprising is how plain most old chests are – inside and out.

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