A pocket tool chest

As highlighted on The Toolchest Site, and bought to my attention by Joel on the Stu’s Shed Facebook page (thanks!)

This is not a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman (the typical pocket toolbox), but instead is a stunning replica of an 18th century gentleman’s tool chest, packed with tools. The whole chest is a massive 2 inches long. It is a 1/12 scale in stunning detail of the Hewitt chest at Colonial Williamsburg, by miniaturist William Robertson.
The tool chest was made with the same construction as the original chest from a timber that looks like the original mahogany when seen in scale. Tool trays and drawers are fully dovetailed with hand-sawn dust boards. The dividers are v-notched and crosslapped and the lid sides are tongue and groove.


Robertson’s tool chest contains all the same tools that were found in the original. All the tools work, even the plane’s tote (handle) is set a scale 1/8″ to one side as the original. The saw has 160 teeth to the inch. The most challenging tool to make was the folding rule with 5 leaf hinge. It is about .030″ thick and hand engraved on boxwood.


Also included in the tool chest are a Kent-style hatchet, claw hammer, a riviting hammer, marking gauge, five gimlets, a smooth plane, backsaw, saw wrest, divider, awl, round file, burnisher, inside/outside calipers, bevel gauge, try square, three turnscrews, four brad awls, an oilstone in its case, three tanged chisels, a mallet and a beak anvil. All the tools are fully functional, with blades made of steel. Other parts are made from brass with handles made of pearwood, boxwood, African blackwood, Bolivian rosewood and maple.

The chest and tools took about 1,000 hours to complete. I have no idea of its value, but if you estimated it as cheap as $50/hr, that is a LOT of toolchest.

…and a free set of steak knives!

You know the line, used in infomercials without number to try to get the vulnerable buyer across the line of the sale. But sometimes the steak knives are the sale, not some throwaway added bonus.

Had a nice lunch with Grahame and Michael from Professional Woodworkers Supplies today, and got an early Xmas present – a set of steak knives.  What makes these different is they are not finished – they are high quality, polished stainless steel, and have a particularly sharp edge, but the choice of handle is yours to choose, and make.  The kit is not yet available in Australia, but if you are interested, definitely contact Professional Woodworkers Supplies and let them know, so they know that it is worth adding these to their product range.

Steak Knives

They have good heft, so the handle will need some weight, and also a timber with good figure.

The blades are Sarge, a well respected US knife brand.

It will be an interesting project.

One Swiss Army Knife to Rule Them All

Wenger Giant Knife 2007

The largest Swiss Army Knife I’ve ever seen.  At around $2300, you’d probably need to spend a fair amount on reinforced pockets in your pants to carry the monster.  Is it practical?  Of course not!  But I bet you’d do a double take if you ever saw one in person – I certainly would!

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