I attempted the salvage of my toolbox mistake.

Cutting the back part of the shelf out was a joy, barked my knuckles pretty hard working in the close space leaving a lovely red dot to mark the occasion. I then installed what I’ve read is called a French rack? Two thin strips tacked together with 1/2″ spacers. All my chisels and gents saws fit in there along with a compass, small marking gauge and awl.

The shelf fits my square, big marking gauge, bevel gauge, folding rule and marking knife. Probably needs to be a bit more organized but it’ll do.

Jack plane , smoother, rabbet plane and block in the bottom. Mallet is in there, and the eggbeater drill can sit on top of those in a pinch.


So all the basics fit.

I was basing this off the Dutch toolchest from Popular Woodworking, but was going to do a flat top (rather than sloped) and fall front built with frame and panel for the practice.

I don’t think I’m going to bother.

I have learned a lot about the tools I own, what I might actually want (pistol grip dovetail and sash saws for a start) and how to do things one minuscule step above ignorance.

More importantly I made a few things.

Rather than finish the toolbox plan, I’m going to call this a basic tool storage solution and complete. Serendipitously enough, the overly complicated shelf is the same width as my bench.


Tools are now much more organized and close to hand. It isn’t what I set out to do but I got something useful and I learned a bunch.

Not a box
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