A present to myself

wooden tool boxI don’t smoke. Or take drugs. And I only drink moderately. What I do have a weakness for is…


I’m a sucker for a tool, especially small precision or vintage types.

There’s nothing better than browsing the stalls at local boot fairs looking for old tools or looking through tool catalogues.

As a result I have a LOT tools and this creates a problem.

Where to keep them.

In my man-cave, I have a hanging pin board for powered and electric tools such as the Dremel and Antex soldering irons, hot glue guns etc and in the past I’ve splashed out on an engineering shop tool storage chest. The sort found in mechanics shops.

But this didn’t have enough drawers to keep all the different types of small precision tools separate. But I’ve yet to find something that works for me.

Until the weekend that was.

While visiting Chilworth Gun powder mills (a local industrial heritage site) we stopped by a nearby antiques shop where I spotted a vintage wooden tool box.

It had a hefty price tag, even after a bit if negotiating, but it was just what I’d been looking for.

It was lovely but what really attracted me was the 18 slim drawers. These are deep enough to keep the various small tools I have and there’s enough of them for each type of tool:

  1. Files, riffler and needle files
  2. Tweezers
  3. Micro squares, bevel gauges
  4. Pin vices & micro drills
  5. Punches and reamers
  6. Craft knives, scalpels and blades
  7. Fine screwdrivers
  8. Caliphers & Micrometers
  9. Clamps
  10. Fine saws
  11. Cutters – wire, sprue and track
  12. Pipettes
  13. Pliers
  14. Carvers and picks
  15. Brushes
  16. Scribes
  17. Hammers
  18. Dividers, compasses and tramels

It’s perfect.

All that remains is to find a way of remembering which drawer contains which tools, I don’t want to damage the lovely wood by sticking labels on it and to make space for it on my workbench next to my paint storage rack.

That and kicking my tool habit of course 🙂


Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of modelrailwayengineer.com. He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.

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