My moulding planes would not drop straight in or lift straight out. To get them in or out, I had to first lay them sideways so I could twist them around a bit. Not too big a deal while I still only have a few moulders, but I plan on making more. If my chest has a full compliment, I will not be able to get them in or out without removing the bottom till.
Definitely not ideal.
The moulding plane problem I could live with for a while. Although the first problem I mentioned really is a pain. I either have to get the plane in the chest and probably never bother to take it out again when I need it, or, keep the screw arm fillister out of the chest perhaps to get dirty, damaged, or lost when I need it.
After all, the rule is, if it doesn't fit in the chest, then you don't need it. Right? I think that means I must figure out how to get this gorgeous tool in the chest.
What did Chris do with his chest? Honestly, I don't know. My saw till is exactly 4 5/8" from the front of the chest to the side of the divider. The Till is exactly 9" deep. Both dimensions are right out of "The Anarchist's Tool Chest" book.
Perhaps my chest is overall not as deep, or perhaps it is because the stock for my dividers is too wide. Honestly, I only need another 1/2" for my moulding planes to go in and out easily.
My first reaction was to adjust the till. It looks great now, and will hold a lot. But, if it was only 8 1/2" deep, the moulders would fit perfect. I used hide glue, so technically I can take the till apart, saw off one set of tails, recut them and glue the till back together.
But, then I started to look at the saw rack. There is plenty of room between the saws. I could cut a new saw rack, with slots closer together. If the divider in front was closer to the front wall, the bottom till would have more room to travel, opening more space for the moulders to go in and out. This would have the benefit of holding the same number of saws, leaving that nice big tray, and give me more real estate in the bottom compartment for more planes and stuff down there.
I'll go with option 'B.'
I could have just made it 1/2" narrower, but I decided to see how narrow I could make the saw till while still allowing it to hold four saws. The new saw rack wound up at 2 11/16" wide. The divider now gets to move almost two inches closer toward the front wall.
I decided the saws didn't need so much space under them in the chest, so I lowered the rack a few inches. I thought this might give me more room for a chisel rack someday. Instead of 12" tall, the new is only 9", and the kerfs go down to only one inch above the bottom of the chest.
For some reason, I took only two photos of the process, and this is the only surviving pic. The rest is video.
I first planed the stock nice and square(ish), and sized it to the 2 11/16" wide. I left it in one piece, just over 18" long.
With my #24 brace bit, I drilled a hole directly in the center, cut it in half and cut the kerfs with my rip saw.
You can see the results in the video. It first shows the saws loaded in the original configuration, along with the restricted till movement. The middle clip shows the new saw rack installed, and the gained room in the chest. Lastly, you get to see me removing and re-inserting all the saws in the rack.
My appologies for the quality of the video editing. I am trying out a new open source video editing program called Kino, and haven't quite got the knack of it yet. It seems to be missing a few functions that I'm used to. Or, perhaps I just haven't figured it out yet. Anyone know of a different video editor that works well in Linux?
Overall, I am happy with the upgrade. The saws are not quite as easy to get in and out, but the advantage in access to the lower compartments more than makes up for it in my opinion.
I'll have to use it for a while to give you my full opinion.
If I don't like it, I can always change it again.