Dan Smith’s Dream Shop and Tool Chest


I’m Dan Smith this is my shop in Maine and this is a tool chest that I built to store some of my favorite tools. My idea when i designed this was to create a chest that had tools that were very accessible very easy to get to without multiple moves to get to my favorite tools. My two sons and I designed a tool chest that I’ve built in Missouri about 20 years ago. It sufficed for the tools that I had out there but I took the ideas from that tool chest and i created this one with another layer of allow me to access tools deep from within the chest without having to struggle to get to them. I like to have all my saws on the left-hand side. I like to have my favorite planes on the right-hand side and then I sort of designed it with majority tools that I use a lot close by and then as i get deeper into the chest I’m less likely to use the tools and I just keep them as I need when I get to that later One of the things that i came across both in this tool chest and my tool chest back in Missouri is that having large mallets on the outer cabinets requires that you cut a bevel into the drawers. So this drawer specifically is cut in. It has to be thicker in depth to allow the cabinet to close without hitting. Hand-cut dovetails were used to hold the shelves for each one of the planes. I’ve always liked the look of spline miters so I made sure to have exposed joints at the corners. When I looked at the type of wood to use I wanted a contrast between dark and light wood so we went with mahogany the darker colors ash for the structural part of the cabinetry the hardware is mostly marine grade i use brazo hinges and marine portal closing devices for the cabinetry I spent a lot of time out here in the summertime boat building and doing cabinetry in the wintertime it’s used mostly for storage of these boats it’s a pole barn construction I designed it with in-floor heating so that I didn’t have the dust being blown around by a forced-air of system it’s very important to shop like this storing boats to keep the humidity at a stable level so i actually added humidification system to add moisture in the wintertime and then in the summertime we have a dehumidifier as well when my boys were little I look for a project that would involve them was woodworking and I’ve been fascinated with boat building and built a canoe so i got them involved and helping me figure out a boat that we could build together as a family when they were about eight and twelve years old respectively we started building this boat and completed it about eight years later and

100 thoughts on “Dan Smith’s Dream Shop and Tool Chest

  1. Daaaannnnngggg Dan!!! I agree with Max Maker – absolutely gorgeous shop! "Craftsmanship" doesn't come close to describing it!! Something all woodworkers secretly dream of, I should think. I know I do.. Well done. You should be proud.
    Thanks for the tour!

  2. probably one of the cleanest woodshop i ever seen, does anybody ever work there?
    the tool chest, state of the art! again, there is not a scratch on any tool!
    kinda reminds me Frank Klausz new shop, except, I know what Frank is capable…
    it's nice, a bit too sterile for my taste…

  3. WOW Dan you're living the life. And what a beautiful part of the world you live in. I seriously hope you earn your living from carpentry as you are one very talented gentleman. I've always had parts of the tool chest I hope to build once of collected enough of the "right" tools and what you've built is and I hate to say it so much better. The design, detail and material contrast is magnificent. I love the dovetails on the plane shelfs. Also as a lover of all things marine your boat is just fabulous. Truly an inspiration and I wish you many more years enjoying your craft. One of the best I've seen on here.

  4. @Dan_Smith This video reached the other side of the Ocean as has the Magazine Fine Woodworking. I love the cabinet and would like to build a similar one. Is it possible to receive some basic dimensions or better yet, a drawing? I find it difficult to start, determine what dimensions to choose etc. Thank you for the inspiration. greetings from Holland. Jan Willem Kooi

  5. Doesn't look like those tools even get used, silly rich people trying to be woodworkers. I bet he plays polo on the weekends when he's not attending a regatta.

  6. Dream workshop. So I guess you earn your money in another business. I work on new build houses joiners dont buy hand saw much all battery powered. Nail guns all have first and second fix. They dont even have hand tool boxes anymore

  7. I just completed my pooch house using this woodwork plan [Check Details Here⇒>☞★☞https://paper.dropbox.com/doc/16000-Wood-Plan-TwnDRK7WAmtTJxiRw0Aas ]. The plan seems to have all that one have to take a shot at any task both in the home and outside the home. The best item ever!

  8. The sign of a master craftsman is the state of his workshop and his tools…and I have to say the signs here are of a true master caraftsman!!! That shop is astonishing! Just the craftsmanship that went into that one box is amazing!! I dont think they are tools…..surely they are wands!!! Fantastic!!

  9. I do not want to describe this work of beauty with words.
    I am very happy for you and the calling you have found. I work with woods.
    I only mention this to say that I admire your efforts in wood, however, the boat that you have built "with your sons" will be a difficult one to better.
    Thanks for showing me this work of art!

  10. Whats with all of the jealous haters and clean shops. If Fine Woodworking says they want to profile my shop, you can bet I am going to do my best to show it in its best light. Anyone who puts the attention to detail into that tool cabinet that Dan did, you can bet they also take care of their tools and space.

  11. Dan, this is a fantastic video. I just left my wood shop, I quit early since it’s family day in Canada. Now I want to go back and work some more after seeing this. Beautiful music too.

  12. Absolutely beautiful!!! It would also be interesting to see a video or find a book about the planning, design and placement of everything. That is a fantastic boat. I hope your family gets to put it in the water from time to time. Good times!

  13. I would like to get into hand tools. hybrid … I wounder how much it would cost to just buy all those tools at once?

  14. In Argetina we have a saying to describe surprise:
    "I'm with my mouth open!"
    Very clean, neat, beautiful and peaceful.
    Excellent music. The furniture of the tools … impressive … new compartments never stopped showing one, another and another more … EXCELLENT !!
    Buenos Aires.

  15. I havent seen anything like this so beautiful in my life ever- your mastery on the wood craft brings you respects & wish you a lots to do in the days to come- i loved your family made boat & pls accept my greetings from INDIA- Rahul

  16. Definitely a dream shop! Would be nice to see a video of the shop being used. Looks kind of sad with no wood shavings anywhere.

  17. A beautiful handcrafted useful and awesome cabinet ! Would you consider publishing the source of the hardware and share a tutorial on how to make the cabinet ?

  18. That shop is cleaner and neater than my HOUSE – by FAR! Gorgeous! The tool storage unit itself is an example of "fine woodworking" – built so well and very beautiful… Makes me envious of the skills Mr. Smith possesses!

  19. The tools are beautiful, have any of them ever been used are they just for showing the tool chest, The shop is also immaculate not a speck of dust.

  20. Mr.Smith this is a fellow Mo. resident, and woodworker since a very early age. I can see the love ,care ,though and work you put in your craft. It is a beautiful thing to see, very talented craftsmanship ,thank you.

  21. I have to say it looks a lot like a model home. Great to look at but you can always tell no one lives there.

  22. I never tire of watching this video. The shop is as exquisite as the boats you built with your sons and the ingenious cabinet you built with them.

  23. Damn, just want some short motivation videos to go fully charged in my german basement concrete wall tiny mini harbor craft tool shop. Now i cry and will go under my bed instead . Joke, this is really one hell of a nice shop and on top is this great tool cabinet. could be a piece to get your master in carpentery in germany. i would love to use this great hand tools, especially the western style planes, handsaws and man these so nice looking squares. where can i get those ones, custom made?

    thank you uploading this inspirering piece of video and craftmans art.

  24. Wonderful hanging tool cabinet. I come back frequently to watch and listen again and again. It NEVER gets old. The boat you built with your sons is exquisite! Thank you for sharing.

  25. I made a box organized like that similarly…not nearly as nice but the organization was there…
    My employer sent me off with a guy I wanted to work for more…”he was known to pay very well.” I knew my box and I would impress…
    But alas ! I asked: “so you think maybe I come work for you guys in the future?”
    He said : “HELL NO!!…look how anal and clean you keep everything, it’s very oblivious that you are crazy as fuck”
    😂 I always remember that when I see stuff like this now.

  26. Extreme Excellence ! I enjoyed immensely viewing your museum like shop and all within it. Your tool chest on the wall, one layer after another is the finest example I have seen. Have to view again !

  27. My dad and I have been estranged for 10 years. Not a single word spoken between us since he left. Watching this video made me want to reach out to him and show him this video. It was our dream project to start boat building together. We lived in Maine too so this hits close to home.

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