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I/8th scale Machinist's Tool Chest c. 1880

Wm. R. Robertson

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A couple of years ago I made 6 Machinist's Chests in 1 1/12" scale, this started as a project I did for a "private" Boys class taught in Alabama to a group of antique tool collectors. I decided to make some and fill them with tools (the tools will be covered in a separate post under Metalwork). The chest is 2 5/8" long, some were made of mopane and the others cherry. They were trimmed in blackwood with interiors in pearwood. They are fully jointed with dovetails on the outside corners, drawers and trays. One thing about this scale is you can really do very crisp work. The hardware is all hand made and is much harder to do than 1/12th scale. The lock works. If you notice the chest is sitting on period rules. 


I also should say that I collect antique machinists tools and the chest has details copied from a few in my collection.








Here is the chest full of tools…… BTW that is my Grandmother and Aunt in the photo in the lid, a common practice back then.



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Love it! The detailing is just all over the place!


These sort of chests were a very neat practice in the old days. My grand dad had one too and he carried it with him all his life (he was a passionate wood worker). When he passed away it was all split up for reasons I've never understood. But later i've received some of his tools through my Mom. My dad, who was a plumber had a large leather trunk as well, in which he carried all his stuff. The clever storage solutions to maximize the content of these mobile workshops make them very appealing, i think!


There's no comparison to your scale chests! But here's a similar tool chest like my dad's; it's Alan Hamer's



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