My Small Traveling Dutch Tool Chest Build ( Upper and lower tool chest joinery and assembly)

Lets begin with my take on the Dutch Tool Chest. This is the small traveling dutch tool chest from lost art press. I Chose this smaller version, because I like the two parts (Upper tool chest and bottom auxiliary) that make up the chest. The measurements I used aren’t the exact same but close to what Chris Schwarz wrote about, so I wont go into detail on any measurements.

These are Boards from home depot. These were 1″x12″x12′ but I cut them down at home depot to fit in the vehicle, cause there was defects in sections of the board I did not want to keep anyway.

First up was Choosing material for the case, and as you can see I went with pine. I was debating between poplar and pine, but pine is cheaper and I knew where I can find boards with exact sizes. For these boards I went to my local home depot. Once in a while they have great stock you just have to look through all the boards and be prepared for disappointment at times. That’s where I also found my Lumber for my workbench and nail cabinet. Two Pallets later for the workbench and two stacks of lumber for the nail cabinet lol. Home depot doesn’t mind , but lowes seems to. I went with two 1″x12″x12′. (I believe Chris recommended the home center lumber too, if you don’t want to laminate). one of the Boards was 11 1/4″ and the other less, so I went with 11″ wide for the final measurement. I don’t think it matters as long as the tools fit inside the chest.

First step was to rough cut the boards to length, and then sticker them for a while to let them adjust to the shops climate. (I let them sit over a week or so, cause I got busy with other things)

Since these boards where picked from the home center and where 3/4″ thick and pretty flat, I didn’t have to mess around planing the faces. I went straight to jointing the edges on both sides to get my 11″ wide on all boards, and then I proceeded to the shooting board for the ends.

Next step was the Joinery, I made sure all boards are ready for joinery (sides square to ends etc) and proceeded with marking the dovetails. Also the 27″ Sides of the upper tool chest were cut at a 30 degree angle before the joinery.

Most dutch tool chest I have seen online are build the same way with the Dovetails on the bottom and a dado for the middle shelf, that’s then nailed on . That’s the approach I liked, so that’s what I went with. The auxiliary cabinet is dovetailed on all for corners. Gang-cutting dovetails to make everything faster it was. Tails on the Sides and Pins on the bottom for structural reasons, especially if the chest is being moved around a lot and carried by the Chest handles. Don’t want to wreck any of those fancy tools because of poor Joinery choices.

The Dovetails turned out pretty decent and since this is a tool chest I wasn’t particularly worried about the outcome to much. Then again its always good to try your best. I also cut the slots for the Cherry keys, after the dry-fit of the dovetails. Makes it easier to center everything.

The Shelf sitting in a dado, in the upper tool chest was glued (hide glue) for extra reassurance and nailed using cut nails .

Dry fit of the Chest

For me this was the easy part of the build, whats to come is more intimidating to me then the dovetails where (nailing on the back boards onto something I have already put hours in always scares me a little).

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