by Carlyle Lynch
I remember Master Cabinetmaker Duncan Phyfe's tool chest from way back, when I was a kid. It was the only interesting thing I found on display when my parents dragged me to the New York Historical Society. (It's still there, by the way, in a different location and with better lighting.) I've always wanted one.
My own toolbox, which is of similar, but simpler construction, is roughly the same size as the Duncan Phyfe chest, but my chest reflects the type of work that I do, rougher stuff then Phyfe's fine furniture. By the time Phyfe built this chest (about 1799), he was already successful and would have spent most of his time running his shop and doing the difficult bits, and would have left the rough milling - which I have to do - to his apprentices. In that context, his toolbox might be very well appropriate for a modern craftsman, who wants to store all his hand tools in one easy-to-reach place. As you can see in the three-dimensional sketch of the chest, there is not a single drawer, till or cranny that cannot be reached easily with one hand.
The chest is 26" high x 39" wide x 23 deep. Courtesy of The New York Historical Society.
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