Chisel Tray-Part 1

Well, it’s not quite as hot, but the humidity is still hanging on.  An hour at a stretch is about all I can take.  I know what the next project will be, but I’m struggling with the design.  So I’ve been looking over the shop and evaluating my current setup.  It has been just about a year since I moved into the new shop and I’ve built a few projects in it.  So a review of what is working and what is not is in order.

In general most things are working “as is”.  I need to work out some sort of clamp storage though.  I think I have had them on or under just about every surface.  My other issue is that I tend to end up with my chisels strung all over the bench while working on a project.  It is just a matter of time before one of them ends up getting knocked to the floor.  Not a welcome thought.  So I decided that a chisel tray of some type would be in order.  Plus it will help me in my quest to shrink the scrap pile.

The first step was to lay out my chisels on a piece of paper to determine the best arrangement for what I had in mind.  Beyond protecting my chisels, I want to be able to easily remove and replace each chisel.  If I don’t satisfy that latter goal, it will be just a matter of time before I’m back to plopping chisels on the bench top.


The basic construction will be based upon a Japanese toolbox.  A basic box with a sliding lid.  The outer frame will be from 1/2″ pine and joined at the corners with a simple pegged finger joint.  The interior will be built up piece by piece and those pieces will be held in place with a combination of glue and pegs.



It seemed appropriate to tune up my Japanese planes and use them to build this project.  Plus I have something else in mind for them.  More on that later.


That’s about all of the humidity I could take for the day.  I’ll plug away at this chisel tray during the week.

Greg Merritt Part 2

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7 Responses to Chisel Tray-Part 1

  1. Salko Safic says:

    Have you considered the tool box Paul made, I think it would work for you. I didn’t know you were into Japanese tools. I fully know what it’s like working in a humid workshop, I thank God that it still like winter here. Summer is coming close and I’m certainly not looking forward to that, it’s the only time I wish I could afford to have air conditioning throughout the house.

    I’m looking forward to your build and btw I too have clamps all over the shop, on shelves, on floors, in milk crates. So I will also be building a storage for them but the question is before the bench or after or something else. geez. I also need to build larger clamps for the workbench build. lol

    • Greg Merritt says:

      I really don’t need a full-on toolbox, just something to corral my chisels and a few odds and ends on the bench.
      This summer has been a rough one, but I think the weather is just about to break. I can deal with the cold much better than the heat and humidity.
      I have yet to come up with a solution for clamp storage that I like. So I’ll just keep moving them around until then.

  2. Coisas EM'adeira says:

    Interesting way to show your getting more out of the Japanese tools and ways…. 🙂
    The down side is, the bill you’ll pay to your narex chisels get some therapy because of the abandon issues… lol

  3. David says:

    Interesting to see your progress from WWMC to an easterly direction! I went from metal planes to wooden planes, but I do still love the no.4 plane. When you start out you want to buy every tool you could possibly need, but its better to wait. It can be surprising where you end up. I didn’t think I would be so deep into wooden planes. I’ll keep my no.4 and block but everything else is wooden.

    I think I built all the tool boxes from Sellers. I’m finishing up the tool cabinet. The other 2 don’t work well for my wooden planes since the are so much bigger than metal planes. I did get a lot of things in the joiner tool chest.The first tool chest he did is nice, but it just doesn’t fit my planes.That could work well with you. I think the key is having a specific place for each tool, and returning it. I’m trying to change my evil ways and do that!

    • Greg Merritt says:

      Actually I’ve come full circle. I’ve had the planes above for several years. I pull them out and tune them up the best that I can. I want to switch over to Japanese planes only, but have yet to reach a comfort level where that is possible. Western style planes are much easier to setup and adjust, at least for me. One day though I’ll get my head around the Japanese kanna.
      Like I commented to Salko above, I just need a tray to work out of on the bench. I’m good for actual storage.

  4. Pingback: Chisel Tray-Part 2  | BY MY OWN HANDS

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