The H.O. Studley Chest. Photo courtesy of Taunton Press. Photo by Randy O' Rourke.

There’s a restaurant I like to frequent with a large, framed poster in the bathroom that is strategically positioned to allow a visitor a solid minute to take in its contents. I always linger when I’m in there, as the poster is of a truly amazing piece of woodworking: the H.O. Studley Tool Chest.

I’m certain many of the folks visiting this site are familiar with the chest. It was featured in an early 90’s issue of Fine Woodworking as well as a book published in 2001 titled Treasure Chests by Lon Schleining.

As the picture illustrates, the Studley Tool Chest is an outright work of art and certainly a treasure. A Freemason, Studley incorporated hidden nooks and compartments as only of his kind could–although, disappointingly, none have yet revealed any clues as to the true nature of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Studley would have made the chest in the mid-to-late 1800s. Although it measures only 19 1/2 inches wide, 39 inches long and 9 1/2 inches deep, it houses over 300 tools.

I found this great clip from a New Yankee Workshop episode which featured the Studley Tool Chest. You can get a great look at all the chest’s fascinating details.

Truly inspirational, wouldn’t you say?