Okay, last update.
Now that I have made the dovetailed sliding trays, the chest is complete. I built them from southern yellow pine that I sawed out of a 2X6. The sides came out to about 3/8" thick and the bottoms, which are nailed on, are about 1/4" thick. Chris Schwarz used oak for the bottoms because of wear resistance. I don't think my sliding trays will get quite the mileage that his will, though, so I opted for pine because I had it to hand.
[digression] Funny story about the pine for the bottoms, though. You know how some boards will cup badly right after planing? After I planed down the bottoms, I left one on my bench but tossed the other one inside my tool chest. The one that I left out did develop a major cup in a matter of hours. The one in the tool chest didn't cup at all. I managed to flatten out the cupped one with a couple of hand screws, but it had me worried for a minute there. It also got me thinking. I've noticed that tools kept in a wooden box tend to develop less rust than tools kept in a metal box. My theory is that the wood in the box acts as a humidity regulator, absorbing excess moisture before it can condense on the tools. I suspect that the wood movement issue is related. One more reason to store tools in a wooden box. [/digression]
Anyhow, the trays are both 7" wide and hold most of my smaller tools.
The top tray is relatively shallow–about 3" deep–and holds my layout tools and my sharpening kit. There's also a block plane and a few other items in there.
The bottom tray is deeper–about 5" deep–and contains files, card scrapers, gauges, and a couple joinery planes. The drawer sides and runners are waxed with paraffin so that they slide smoothly. As with regular drawers, the more snugly they fit, the easier they slide. I may add some pulls or knobs to the bottom tray later.
The top tray is just a little longer than the bottom tray, so as to make both trays easily removable. The top runner also serves as a guide for the bottom tray, which runs neatly over the top of the saw till.
Underneath you see my bench planes, mallets, and a few other larger items. I'm still deciding on where different tools will go permanently. My hammer and hatchets need to go in the bottom, too, and my plow plane may move up into one of the tills. We'll see.
The front rack holds chisels, gouges, and a few other tools of similar shape. My joinery saws go in the till with saw sharpening tools and spare tool parts underneath.
Now it's time to quit building stuff for my tools and start building stuff for my family again.
Tradition cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labour.
- T. S. Eliot
Tutorials and Build-Alongs at The Literary Workshop