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Patriot’s Tool Chest Day 2


I hit the garage early this morning to do a little more work on my Patriot’s Tool Chest. Fittingly, today is Independence Day here in America, and that doesn’t mean the day when we fought off an army of extra-terrestrial space cruisers, but when for all intents and purposes, The United States of America decided that it would be a good idea if we governed our own affairs and that those doing the governing would be answerable to the people, and not the other way around. Just yesterday my daughter asked me what ‘Independence Day’ meant. I did my best to explain that here in the United States we were once governed by another country, and in that country what mattered more than anything was how much money you had and to whom you were born. Our founding fathers decided that here in America, no matter who you are, how much you are worth, and who your parents were, your voice and vote are equal to the richest man in your state, and even the poorest of families has a chance to succeed if they work hard. Maybe in today’s world that is nothing more than rank idealism, but it was such a beautiful sentiment that I nearly teared-up as I was telling her. In any event, in my own small way I honored our day by woodworking, and remembering that I have this privilege because of the great country that I live in.

My time in the garage this morning was brief. I wanted to get the back panel of the chest installed and ready for the lid hardware, which should arrive tomorrow. At first I was going to rip the plywood into three separate pieces and use tongue and groove joints, but I felt it was completely silly to rip a perfectly good, and wide, piece of plywood in half just to put it back together again. So I cross-cut the wider sheet to length, and marked the lid angle with the bevel-gauge. I then cut the bevel angle on the table saw and installed it to test the cut. The fit was perfect, so I placed the case on the ground and marked the sheet to width. I wanted the first sheet to stop half-way between the middle shelf. I quickly got that piece ripped to width on the table saw, and I sawed the bottom sheet to length and width to finish off the back.

Before I did any installation, I sanded both sheets: coarse, medium, and fine again. I made the smart decision to hook the shop vac to the dust port of my sander and that helped a great deal because it was already hot and sticky in my garage at 8am. I installed the sheets to the back of the case using glue, and finish cut nails, 1 1/2″ in length. I of course pre-drilled each hole, and the cut nails installed brilliantly. Again, I cannot stress enough how great they have worked out on every project I’ve used them on. I also used the decorative head cut nails to fasten the tool chests’ back to the sides. I used a somewhat symmetrical pattern, but not so much so where it looks like it was completely planned out. I want it to appear somewhat random.

With the back installed the chest seems much larger. In fact, the top compartment is cavernous, and I have no doubt it will easily hold everything I had planned on putting there and then some. The only major components left to finish are the glue ups for the lid and front panel. I will also have to saw out a few notches in the middle shelf so the cleats on the front panel will have a place to sit. The glue ups should go easily enough. The only thing left to do that is remotely difficult will be installing the hinges to the lid, and I cannot imagine that being very difficult. I also re-adjusted the casters for about the 5th time; once the back panels were installed the chest was a little tippy. All in all I spent just over an hour on today’s tasks. I’m still withholding any judgments until the case is finished. With the installation of the back panels the case looks a little more refined and not so much like a plastic tool cart made out of wood. I think more than anything the lid will set this chest apart; so I promise not that despair until the lid and front panel is installed. But, so far so good.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

The top compartment is wide and deep

The top compartment is wide and deep

Back panels are in!

Back panels are in!

View of the nail pattern

View of the nail pattern

Cut nails used for back panels

Cut nails used for back panels



  1. Jeff Branch says:

    Your tool chest is looking great!

  2. billlattpa says:

    Thanks. The front compartment is huge! I could probably fit most of my hand tools in there alone. The lid and front panel will obviously give it a much more finished look. I also have some corner brackets that I need to install. But it’s shaping up quickly.

  3. That’s looking great Bill!

    • billlattpa says:

      Thanks! This is one of those projects that I can’t envision until it’s finished for whatever reason. Unfortunately I probably won’t get much more work done this weekend. I may install the hinges but that’s it. It’s supposed to be hot the rest of the weekend.

  4. Art Watson says:

    I agree with the others, this chest is looking plenty fancy and will be a stunner with the lid and front! I’m still thinking red, white and blue 😉

    • billlattpa says:

      I definitely have to figure out a way to get the red, white, and blue in there. I love the idea of the star like on Captain America’s shield, but I’m not enough of a carver to do that . I’m going to see if I can find something pre made. We’ll see what I come up with. Thanks.

  5. Art Watson says:

    Something along the lines of

    Although this is only the photo of the item.

  6. Jonas Jensen says:

    It is a really good looking chest.
    I am looking forward to seing it with the paint job finished.
    Have a nice weekend.

    • billlattpa says:

      Thanks Jonas. It’s starting to look like a tool chest now. I have no idea how to paint it as of yet. Either way I have to incorporate the stars and stripes on the lid somehow, as Art had suggested before.

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