Slow progress I know…have been debating back and forth on the tool rack at the front of the chest. Have decided on a simple rack using some walnut scraps and pine strips. I cut some walnut and sketched a curve I was happy with, then cut a couple of notches on the top with my radial arm saw and dado blade to hold the pine strips:To attach the brackets to the inside of the chest I counterbored them for brass screws and screwed them to the inside of the chest. Once I had them attached I cut and a planed two pine strips to fit in the notches I created with the dado blade. The back strip is just a press fit with no fasteners required…the front will be drilled and pinned with a small finish nail and a dab of glue.The rack will hold some of my smaller saws and marking gauges, awls etc. and only limit the travel of the trays a small amount.
Now that the saw till divider was in place it was time to install runners for the three sliding trays. Originally I had just planned on using pine for the runners, but seeing how the trays would be quite heavy I thought hardwood would be a better choice. My first thought was to use oak for the runners, but the lack of any in the shop prompted me to have a look at the local home centre where I quickly came to my senses when I added up the price tags…$80! Back to the drawing board. A friend at work offered me some walnut offcuts to make runners with…I gladly accepted.Originally I planned to glue the runners to the chest, but decided to attach them with countersunk brass screws instead in case I should ever decide to retrofit the chest.Next step is to design and install a tool rack along the front of the chest. I’m planning to use pine for the rack with some of the leftover walnut for the mounts. The mounts will also act as a stop for the sliding trays to prevent them from sliding into the tools in the rack and damaging them. I plan to keep the trays fairly shallow in order to avoid having to rummage, and have left room above the top tray for items that may be higher than the tray…this avoids damaging either the tools or the lid.