I've now outgrown the six pocket leather case I got a while back from
Lee Valley. I'm trying to find a way to store my modest, but diverse
collection of chisels ideally in one container. I have at the moment
six Japanese bench chisels, about 9" total length, two slightly longer
chisels, one really short chisel (detail chisel from Lee Valley), and
two long chisels (Lie-Nielsen paring chisel and a mortise chisel) about
12" long. The Lie-Nielsen has an extra short handle that can be
swapped out for the long handle.
Hanging them on the wall or in some huge tool case is not an option.
Of course I could build a box custom fit to this collection, but then
it is hard to adapt to new chisels I might acquire.
Another traditional solution is to be the chisel roll. I have a chisel
roll for my files and gauges and another one for carving tools. They
seem to be working fine for those tools. In either case the handles go
in first and the blades are pointing out. The friction holds the tools
in place reasonably well, and all seems to be fine.
I tried these two rolls I have on hand (one is from Lee Valley, the
other is from Tools For Working Wood), and neither seemed entirely
satisfactory for my motley collection of chisels. It doesn't work to
put the handles in first, and when I put them in blade first the
chisels tend to fall out. At least with the Tools for Working Wood
roll the chisels don't fall out on the floor, but they rattle around
inside the tool roll, especially the little one.
It seems like a tool roll is really best suited to a collection of
tools that are all the same length or have identical handles (that fit
snugly). I could probably make this work by sufficient care on a
custom design (e.g. with pockets designed to fit each specific chisel I
have), but I'm not sure about extensibility.
So what alternative is there that is reasonably extensible should I
happen to come upon another chisel?
My current idea is to build/buy a shallow box and line it with foam.
Tools sit on top of foam. The foam would hold the tools in place when
the box is shut. If necessary the foam could be carved to give a
recess for a tool. Any better ideas out there?