Wood Chisel Holder




Introduction: Wood Chisel Holder

About: Mechanical engineer. Love to create, improve, tinker, break, and fix anything.

I recently bought a house, so I've been slowly building my collection of tools. While shopping online, I came across a set of Stanley Wood Chisels that I couldn't pass up. This particular set comes with three variations in the width of the chisel: 1/4" 1/2" and 1"

Since these have a sharp edge, and I want to keep them sharp, I wanted to build a simple holder to keep the blades from dulling while being stored on my work bench.

Step 1: Materials

Scrap wood. I basically used whatever I had lying around. For the holder I'm planning, I'm using two pieces of scrap wood 4" wide by 7" long.
Chisels. Either the new ones, or any you want to store better.
Saw. I got a table saw for Christmas, so perfectly opportunity to put it to use with the cuts I'm planning.
Wood Glue.
Peg Board pieces. I'm planning to have this holder hang on the peg board I have on my wall.
Clamps. The more the better. I used a couple 12" Irwin bar clamps, as well as some squeeze clamps
Wire Brads. I used 1.25" long wire brads.
Swanson and/or Stanley combo squares. Best measuring tool you can buy. Ensures square and straight lines.

Step 2: Plan/Design

How you want to design this, and what you want to incorporate is entirely up to you. Hopefully this will provide a good starting ground to be able to expand upon and develop to whatever might suit your needs.

Like previously stated, I have three new chisels that I'm building this holder for. There are many options for how to do it and how to design it. I've chosen to cut stopped slots in one piece of wood, creating the slots the chisels will be stored in. And simply securing another piece of wood to that to act as a back. After that, I have two options: desk storage, or wall storage. Since I have a peg board on one wall of my workbench (and plan to upgrade my workbench), I wanted to be able to hang this onto the peg board. You can easily make a couple legs to store this on a flat surface as well. Keeping in mind that this will go onto the peg board, I'd prefer it to not rest flat against the wall - might have problems getting the chisels out, depending on the space and where I put it. To help this, I will be cutting the bottom of the holder off about 15 degrees, in order to have this angled outwards from the wall. The "legs" will have to be cut the same amount to counteract this.

I've shown a picture of a 3D model of my proposed design. I'm a mechanical engineer, so if it's worth doing, I believe it's worth overdoing. This 3D model was probably unnecessary, but I love 3D modeling. This didn't take but an hour to throw together, anyway. Fun times. The components are colored as follows. This naming convention will be used throughout this Instructable.

Dark Orange - Front

Red - Back

Blue - Wall "Legs"

Grey - Desk Legs

Step 3: Measure/Layout

All of these measurements are subjective to the creator and how you are planning the design. I'll detail mine and explain what I did, but you definitely don't have to follow this explicitly. I've also attached a drawing showing the dimensions.

For the front of the holder:
I'm working with scrap wood from a previous home project that measures 3/4" thick. So my first line will be to layout what I'm planning to be the piece that acts as a leg to the peg board. Measure 3/4" from the edge of your planned front piece. That will be where the leg goes.

The second series of lines will be the spacing for each chisel. I'm not referring to the slots, yet. This is the total space each chisel has (think personal space). I roughly estimated that my chisel handles are about 1-1.25" in diameter. No need to be exact. After doing some eye-balling and laying my chisels on the board, I settled on a space 2" wide that's dedicated for each chisel. Using your square, mark a line every two inches. From the edge of your piece, this will be lines at 2.75", 4.25", and 6.75". Now you have the "personal space" of each chisel. If you have more chisels, repeat for as many as you need space for.

The next line will be for your other leg. Using your square, measure and mark a line at 7.5". This will allow your .75" leg to go after your last chisel.

Next, to prepare to mark the slots, we'll need the centerline of each chisel's space. Since I made each space 2" wide, it's easy to get half at 1". From the edge of your piece, measure and mark (I used dashed lines for centerlines) lines at 1.75", 3.75", and 5.75". Now you know the center of each space.

Next will we lines to mark where the stopped slots will be cut for each chisel to store in. I decided to go 1/8" over the nominal width of each chisel. So for the 1/2" chisel, the slot will be 5/8" wide. 3/4" chisel will be 7/8" wide. 1" chisel will be 1.125" wide. At this point in the process, I wasn't sure if this would be wide enough for each chisel, but it's easier to widen the hole after the fact. You can't easily go backwards. To mark the lines, I used a lot of mental math with fractions and the division lines of my square, so I'll save from trying to explain that. Mark the lines for the slots.

For the wall "legs" of the holder:
They're not really legs, as they're not being used to support on a flat surface. Rather, they're allowing the holder to be offset 15deg from vertical as it hangs on the peg board. A little geometry is involved to get the length of these angled pieces. These are right triangular pieces with one of the angles at 15deg. With the adjacent side at 4", the opposite will measure around 1.072" using the power of the tangent function. That's one wall leg. Mark a straight line and start over for the second wall leg.

For the actual legs of the holder:
I made them 1.5" tall, with 75deg interior angles. The height can vary, but to match what I cut the holder at, the angle of these had to be around 75 to sit flush.

For the back of the holder:
Simply measure out a piece the same length as the front of the holder. Since I was using one long piece of wood, I measured this after I cut the required length for the front.

Step 4: Cut the Pieces

Now is time for the fun part, to cut the wood. Be safe when working with any tools, but especially power tools like a table saw.
First two cuts are to cut the front and back pieces. Set the board the required length from the saw blade, remembering to account for the kerf of the saw.
The next cuts I did were to cut out the triangular legs. Be extremely careful, since these are small. Since I only have a table saw, I had to free hand the small front legs.
The last cuts were for the blind slots to hold the chisels. I've never done anything like this before, so it was some learning required. Set the saw wall to the inside of either line for the slot. I chose to have the slot being 3/8" deep, so I set the saw blade to the required height. The bottom of the slot is 3.25" down, so measure from the start of the blade to 3.25". I used a scrap board to act as a stop and clamped it in place. This allows to run the front on the blade, but stopping when it hits the stop. Repeat for the other side of the slot. For the remainder of the slot, I free - handed the remaining cuts. Be sure to keep the front as square to the blade as possible. Repeat for all the slots.
Once the slots are cut, a little clean up is required. Time to put the new chisels to work! Scrape the messy wood remains out from the slots. Try to get the area smooth, and chisel anything that's needed in order to clean up.
Just for fun, and to check my work, I clamped the front and back together and put the chisels in their slots. Success!! It looks good and so far works as planned!

Step 5: Assemble and Detail

Before going to work on assembling, I had to do a lot of sanding. Since this was scrap wood used for a cabinet, it was painted white. I planned to repaint this, so I need to sand away all of the previous paint. I used a random orbital sander with 100 grit discs for the first pass to get the paint off. Tedious, but it makes for a cleaner looking and better finished piece. Sand all the paint off and the edges to clean up. Then take a 220 disc to make everything extremely smooth.

Finally the time comes to start assembling the pieces. I mainly used wood glue, since this won't see much load or abuse. Just to be safe, I did use a handful of wire brads 1.25" long hammered into the front.
As a by the way, about midway through I changed up which pieces are used as the front and back. Previously, the slots were in the front piece, but now it will be the back. I did this for two reasons. One is because when I laid out the slots, I didn't realize I had it backwards when it assembled (e.g. the chisels order would go 1", .75", .5" which is backwards for my OCD brain). So I simply flipped it around. All better, to me at least.
Apply a thin layer of wood glue to the piece with the slots. Align the front to it. Clamp it tight. I used 6 clamps, just to be sure I had even/enough coverage.
After a few hours, the glue is dry enough to move on. In order to have the tilt I wanted, set the table saw blade to 15deg and space the guide so that the bottom corner is just even with the blade.
Next was to clean up the edges. Because I'm not perfect, the edges didn't perfectly align after the glue dried. So cut a thin amount off from the remaining three sides. This gives a nice clean edge all around.
The last steps are to glue the front and wall legs to the holder. Use the same method. Glue, align, clamp.

If you plan on using the holder as a desk piece, you won't need this part. I planned to hang this on my peg board, so the final step for assembling is to drill one hole on each of the wall legs to fit a peg board piece in. I used a
two spare straight pieces, and drilled the holes with a 1/8" bit. I wanted the hole to be a little bigger, so that I can remove the pieces if I ever needed to take it off.

Step 6: Admire Your Work!

For me, since I used scrap wood, I wanted to paint the holder to make it all look nice. I didn't do anything fancy, just used some leftover paint to make it look nice and protect the holder and bare wood.
Other option would be to stain and/or seal the wood. You would need good looking wood, otherwise paint works just fine.

Last, but certainly not least, take a step back and admire your work. I know I definitely admired the finished product!

I really appreciate anyone that has read this Instructable that I've put together. This was my first one, so I hope you enjoy it. Go forth and build!

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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Great idea & workman ship


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Your Instructable enticed me to finally start on my belated chisel holder. I'll glue spacers between the chisel shanks instead of grooving wells into the wood. Thanks for the encouragement.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Your Instructable enticed me to finally start on my belated chisel holder. I'll glue spacers between the chisel shanks instead of grooving wells into the wood. Thanks for the encouragement.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is awesome! I love the idea. I can relate to your need of a chisel holder. I ended up making one out of leather that can be rolled up and thrown in my toolbox.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks!! I like your idea as well. It all depends on your specific need.