Nothing says "class" like hand tools ... unless we're talking about my sweet tuxedo T-shirt worn in the workshop, but that is reserved for special projects.
I decided it was time to step it up a bit and get fancy with some wood chisels. They aren't top of the line ... they probably aren't even middle of the line. Truth is, I'll most likely ruin them with poor technique and even worse sharpening, so it's smart to start out with an inexpensive set anyway.
By now, you know my love for organization (OCD), as well as french cleats. You also know my love for plywood, but this time we're going 1/2" and no hardboard.
Step 1: Layout and Marking
I had some scrap 1/2" plywood and one of the pieces was just big enough to become the back panel. It's width was 7 1/2", so by default, that became the length for all the other parts.
First, I cut a dado towards the top of the panel, which will accept the top "holder". This will make more sense as we progress.
I spaced the chisels by eye and marked their centers on the bottom and top holders. Those marks were then extended to show me the centers for my holes. I wanted the centers to be 3/4" in from the back edge and I'll trim the front edge after assembly. For this, I used a shop made marking tool. I have 5 of varying depths (1/4", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", and 1") and they were made using scrap poplar, 1/4" plexiglass, and some screws.
Step 2: Drilling the Holes
I started the center points with my shop made awl, which I find to aid in alignment of the drill bits. All four holes were then drilled with a 1" forstner bit.
I could've exercised my brain with fractions and a combination square, but I chose to be clever instead. With the top holder inserted into its dado, I used the bottom piece to transfer the center marks quickly, easily, and accurately.
Since the chisels are different widths, the top holes also have to be different widths. For the most part (I don't have a 1 1/8" forstner bit), I made these holes 1/8" wider than the chisel in question.
Step 3: Assembly
The top holder was set into its dado with glue and a few pin nails. The bottom holder was also attached with glue and pin nails. A last solid piece is laminated to the bottom holder with glue and pin nails. Not only does this create the solid bottom, but it also reinforces the weak butt joint.
Using some scrap 3/4", I made a quick french cleat and attachdd that with ... you guessed it, glue and pin nails.
Step 4: Trimming, Sanding, and Oiling
Once the glue was cured, I determined my desired depth and then trimmed the top and bottom holders. I wanted enough depth to make it stable when standing, but shallow enough to hang on the wall out of the way.
Some quick finish sanding at the down draft table, and then a coat of 50/50 Boiled Linseed Oil/Mineral Spirits.
Step 5: Complete
All finished. The bottom set of holes function as recesses for the handles, while the top set of holes keep the chisels from falling off of the rack. I can easily take it to my work and hang it on my wall.
Note: This could easily be scaled up for more chisels and/or larger chisels. I actually have a larger one made out of scrap OSB, which holds an assortment of lathe tools.
Back Panel: 7 1/2" x 10 1/4"
Top Holder: 7 1/2" x 2 1/16"
Bottom Holder: 7 1/2" x 1 3/4"
Bottom Shelf: 7 1/2" x 2 1/4"
Bottom Holes: All 1" diameter
Top Holes: 5/8", 7/8", 1 1/4", and 1 3/8" diameter