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?
Why not make a box with grooves in the side with changeable dividers. This
would allow you to change sizes in the future. Some places sell the grooved
sides for the dividers. Can't seem to remember where just now though.
I'm guessing these are User chisels and not Decorations.
Use some of them, in conjunction with a saw, to make
some tool racks, finger joints or dovetails for the joints,
a dado or sliding dovetails and a little forstner bit drilling
and you'll have custom chisel racks that can either go
in a wall cabinet door or inside a box.
If you do a two door wall hanging cabinet for the rest
of your stuff - make the doors deep enough to store
tools in them. AND - if the doors have the same
dimensions you can move the racks around - OR take
a rack to your workbench, use them, then put them
all back in the cabinet. Think "modular" - then you
can rearrange things as you go.
There are some nice pictures there of different racks, some of which
would work with horizontal storage. (Unless I rethink and rearrange
considerably, I don't have room for vertical storage.)
Do you have any ideas about how to be modular on a single tool basis
rather than on a set by set basis? I mean, if I build a rack that
holds my current collection then if I someday get a 3/4" chisel I'd
like to be able to put it between the 1" chisel and the 1/2" chisel.
That might require that other chisels move over to make room. And
adding the new tool requires working on the already assembled rack
which might be tricky.
It also seems like accomodating the range from 5" long chisels to 12"
long chisels with racks of this sort is tricky. (Magnets to the
As I noted below, I tried two chisel rolls. With one, the chisels fell
out onto the floor (literally). With the second, flaps prevented the
chisels from falling out, but some of the chisels would fall out of
their pockets and wander around inside the roll. The solution is not
obvious to me, but I suspect that making pockets of different depths
might work. However, then the chisel roll is custom sewed to my
current chisels and can't be easily adapted to future acquisitions.
Is there some way around this problem?
sweet sawdust wrote:
I keep them in drawers:
with the exception of the ones getting hauled around to jobsites- for
those I made a tool roll out of canvas with a bit of thick rope in the
bottom for the sharp edges to bury into.
I guess it sounds a little crude, but I just keep my chisels standing
vertically in a simple wooden box about 4" square at the open end (the
top) and about 8" deep. The simpler it is to put something away, the
more likely it will be.
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - firstname.lastname@example.org
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