Full Chisel Blog

October 21, 2008

Dealing with my Chisel Problem

Filed under: Of Interest,Proper Tools,Tool Cabinets & Tool Boxes,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 11:16 am

When I first built this Tool Cabinet, I built a three tier rack that held all of my chisels at the time.  Well I have sold a couple and picked up several, so there was a need for a change.  My chisel rack is full (he he).

Chisel Rack before

Besides I could not see what tools were what as all of my chisel handles match.  The original design was to alleviate the sharp ends of the chisels and gouges from cutting me.  Well it is a bad design and was in need of a remake.

So I decided to utilize the unused space behind the doors to the base of my Tool Cabinet.  I decided to put the chisels on the left side and I will put the gouges and carving chisels on the right hand door.  I cut up some pine, planed it and did a layout of the chisels.  I drilled holes for the screws with a gouge bit and cut the slots with a cross cut hand saw.

New Chisel Rack

This is the first iteration and the lower rack for the large chisels was mounted too high, so it had to be repositioned down an inch and a half. (I still need to replace that hooped chisel handle, as soon as I figure out how to remove it without damaging the handle, I give all my replaced handles to a friend).

The lower rack works fine and holds the chisels by their sockets, the three narrower chisels are in holes in the base and the others are in slots.  I will probably add leather tabs, similar to a Billiards Stick Rack, to hold them in place.

The top rack has a problem.  I was worried about a chisel falling from the rack when the door is open, and sure enough one of my chisels landed on the floor point first.  I am going to re-do the top rack with holes instead of slots as all of the tools have narrow enough blades to fit into a hole and be removed easily and will prevent the tools from falling out if the door is opened too quickly or slammed shut.

After I figure out all the problems I will tackle the gouges and carving tools.



  1. If you were to simply cut the hoop off of that handle it would look pretty much like your other chisel handles.

    On my chisel racks I cut holes and then join them to the edge with slots that are smaller than the holes. That way they are held tightly, but they are easy to remove, as chisels normally have a waist that will fit through the slot. So they’re secure, but you don’t have to lift them all the way out of a hole.


    Comment by Metalworker Mike — October 21, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

  2. Great improvement to a difficult storage problem. I made similar racks a few years ago and found that the piece between the slots had a tendency to crack along the grain. To overcome this, when I made the replacement, I drilled and glued in 1/8″ dowels, one either side of each slot. The opposing grains seem to be working as the new rack shows no signs of letting go. A larger hole at the back of a narrower, angled slot, as Mike suggests, does work well for shank chisels and a blind collar the size of the bottom of the chisel handles with a smaller through hole the size of the blade works well for chisels without a shank. Also, strips positioned above and below the mount that will keep the chisels from tipping either forward or back also keep the chisel in place when the doors open and close. You post great stuff on your site, by the way. Peace, Mitchell

    Comment by Mitchell — October 22, 2008 @ 5:18 am

  3. M.Mike,

    That is one of those inexpensive Czech chisels and I worked off the oval handle into a tapered octagon to match the others, some of the black stain still remains.


    Welcome, and a good suggestion, I may have to do that reinforcement with a dowel. And the hole with a slot is probably the best way to go, as you and M.Mike suggest. I can also see the need for a strip to keep the chisels at the same tilt.

    Good suggestions.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — October 22, 2008 @ 9:49 am

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