Step 1: Supplies
Circular saw (table saw if you have one)
Drill bits for drilling various size holes
Finish nail gun
Wood, birch, pine, whatever you want
Aluminum trim pieces
Step 2: Cut the Wood to the Size of the Chest.
Step 3: Make the Drawer
Step 4: Make the Inside Sections.
Step 5: Brush Holders
Step 6: Attach Sides and Bottom
Step 7: Pvc and Epoxy
I needed to have the utensils confined into the holes they are set in, basically they needed to have walls so that if something falls in then it won't be sliding around inside.
So I cut different size pvc pipe to fit the holes. Some I had to cut a bit of the pipe off to fit up against the side. Of course I didn't think about the hole size so finding the correct size wasn't possible so I had to just get what was closest to the hole size. Then spray painted them just so they'd be a uniform color and slid them under the holes. (this is why I only put two walls up at first.) I tried to glue the pvc into place, but that was about as effective as trying to kill a cockroach with one hit. So I improvised, which worked out well. I got some epoxy resin and mixed it and poured in a very small amount into each hole, just enough to come up about a quarter inch into the pvc pipe, holding it into place. Once it fully cured (72 hours later) the pvc was firm in place. This also is great because now the bottom of each hole is highly waterproof so any wet brushes he drops in, it won't be an issue.
I then screwed in one of those bolt things with the hole in the top to serve as the handle.
Step 8: Making Removable Tray
I wanted to have a tray he could put his oil paints on that he could also take out and put on his desk while working. This would only fit at the top of the chest, so I screwed some 1x1 into the sides of the walls about 3 inches down for the tray to sit on. I didn't make the tray the entire length of the chest because the brush holder needed to be removable and the 1x1 would have gotten in the way trying to pull it out. So I just made it large enough to come to the edge of the brush holder.
The tray is made out of 1/4 inch birch plywood and it's just a basic tray with 2 1/2 inch walls. I attached two small knobs on both sides. They were actually the pieces that attach to the top of a lampshade to hold it into place. I just screwed a bolt through the bottom of it and screwed the knob on then I poured some more of that handy epoxy I had to make that waterproof as well. And because it will be holding his paints it will help protect the wood and be cleanable.
Step 9: Attach the Outer Hardware
I just used some construction adhesive to attach it, but I could still pull it off so I drilled holes in it every couple inches and hammered in some silver furniture tacks. It adds a bit of support and decoration.
Step 10: Handles and Latches
I got two chest handles that collapse so they don't stick out so much. The chest is so heavy with all the crap I put into it. (40 lbs) so it's not practical to use the top handle because it's so large to hold with one hand. Which is why I attached the side handles.
I also put a simple handle on the drawer.
Now the chain hanging awkwardly on the side is an unfortunate necessity. I needed something to support the lid so that all the weight isn't on the hinge. But I didn't save any space to attach any hardware on the inside or it would get in the way of either the tray, or brush holder and they wouldn't be able to be removed. So I had to attach this eye sore to the outside of the case on one side to hold the lid.
Step 11: Fill'er Up!
Sorry I didn't have the best pictures to show the process. If you have any questions about how I did something feel free to ask.