A tool chest is never truly complete…

Yesterday, inspired by James’ recent baby anarchist’s chest build and the fifth anniversary celebrations of the Anarchist’s Tool Chest on Chris’ blog, I fitted a tool rack to the front of my anarchist’s tool chest.


I had intended to include a tool rack as part of the original internal fit out last December, but at the last minute decided to wait until I had lived with the chest for a while to see whether it was necessary. After nearly 9 months of working out of the chest, I have found that the two smallest sliding trays were becoming increasingly cluttered with marking tools, screwdrivers, gravers, and other assorted small tools. So the tool rack started looking like a necessary and worthwhile addition.


I still had some 1 inch square oak stock left over from fitting the trays and runners for the chest, and I cut that to length so that it rested on the middle runner at each side of the chest. The 1/2″ holes were drilled on 1 1/8″ centres, which did for the functionality of the tool rack. But as I have to look at the rack every time I open the tool chest, I wanted to pretty it up a little. First I cleaned up the show surfaces of the rack with a cabinet scraper, and then used my 1/8″ beading plane by Philly Planes to add a little visual interest. A coat of soft paste wax was the finishing touch.


The tool rack was secured in place using two No.8 brass screws, so that I can easily remove it if necessary in the future. All told, the tool rack took me an hour of time, but has added real functionality to my tool chest. Although most of the holes in the rack are still empty, I have managed to de-clutter the two smaller sliding trays, and have a more ergonomic storage solution for many of the smaller tools I reach for on a frequent basis. Which makes that good value for a piece of scrap and only 60 minutes of my time!

4 thoughts on “A tool chest is never truly complete…

  1. Great post Kieran. Ever since your Instagram post the other day I’ve been wondering whether one of these would work in the smaller size chest or not. I was worried about installing one and regretting it, but when I got to the part where you mentioned installing it with screws I immediatley felt silly for not thinking of that.

    You’re right. A tool chest is never done. Mine just got casters last night! 😊

    • Casters are essential, James. I’d be completely stuck without casters on my ATC. And yes, I like having removable fittings in my chest. With the exception of the runners (which are glued and nailed in) everything is either screwed or nailed, so I can remove and reconfigure as my needs change.

    • Thanks Brian! I love my Philly Planes beading plane so use it whenever I can (it’s a wonder my wife and daughter haven’t been beaded yet).

      You need to invest in some English oak, clearly 😉

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