There was a time back in the day when all new apprentices were assigned to make their own toolboxes and tool chests primarily to give them experience on working on their own projects.
But why were they so important?
Well firstly what most people don’t realise is that those wooden boxes were not just for straight forward storage. They created a micro-climate which protected a craftsman’s tools from those damp places often called home and later the garden shed. So if you find you are having trouble keeping your tools in good condition it may be worth considering making or buying one.
They also doubled up as a low work surface and somewhere to sit when a much deserved cuppa comes your way.
The boxes were often painted with blackboard paint and waxed which produces an ebonised finish, this adds to the moisture resistance. Some antique craftsmen’s boxes were more elaborate than others notably made by apprentice cabinet makers which helped refine their inlaid marquetry skills, it always astounds me how little the prices are for these boxes considering the work involved. I guess the days of central heating has had an effect on these underappreciated essential accessories of the past but you will never be in doubt of their true value until you own one.
Engineers boxes are brilliant for keeping odds and ends organised without taking up too much space whist those old carpenter carry boxes so often seen are perfect for hobbies such as leather working or even painting.
If you can get one with a good lock or if you can refit one yourself it’s far harder to remove than individual items due to collective weight and adds another aspect to security.
Many won’t be aware of the rare Mehuish tool cabinet which doubled up as a piece of furniture and with today’s small homes being built may be a project worthy of recreation for those looking for something different to create.
Just thought it was worth mentioning that’s all.