I’d intended to make a simple chisel rack. Just a series of holes drilled in a leftover hunk of plywood, with a slot to be able to slide the chisel in, then have it hang from the socket. I made some experimental pieces, but I just wasn’t happy with the fit.
I googled for other ideas and found an article from Christopher Schwarz in 2003 that had a good idea, which I promptly stole. The jist of the idea, which you can read in all it’s glorious detail here, is to make a series of slots to contain the chisel by gluing spacers to a board and the adding a top board. The other nice idea was to have a cleat on the back. This lets me hang the rack on the inside of my tool cabinet door, or take it out and hang it somewhere else (like the back of my workbench). I made the base of it wide enough so that it can also stand on it’s own.
I started by planing some Alder I had to .400″ — which was the slightly thicker than the thickest part of my biggest chisel that would need to fit in the rack. Then I cross-cut this into 1″ spacers. I glued and pinned one spacer at the end, laid in my largest chisel, sandwiched a scraper for clearance, and glued/pinned the next spacer in place. Lather, rinse, repeat.
After the 1/2″ wide chisel, I made all of the slots the same width — .400″ — using an off cut from my spacer material.
After all the spacers were glued in place, I glued on a front strip. The front and back pieces are both 1/2″ thick, so the sandwich is about 1.5″ thick at this point. Not counting the clamping cauls of course.
Then I glued half of a French cleat onto the back, and a 3″ wide foot onto the bottom. I slathered it with a coat of oil/wax mix and put my chisels in it.
I glued the other half of the French cleat to the inside of my tool cabinet door.
And hung the chisel rack on the door.
I made a much simpler, non-removable rack for my mortise chisels.
And another simple rack for my paring chisel and lock mortise chisels.
I have a hammer hanger drying in in clamps now, and that will finish off my chisel area. I need to do the same for my small saws, drills and layout tools. Then I need to make the drawers for the cabinet and it will be well and truly completed.