A Temple for Tools

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A tool-case tour de force. Matthew D’Avella’s tool chest showcases his woodworking skills and wood species that are indigenous to his Hawaii location –mango, sedua, and sapele.
Veneered drawer fronts conceal compartments designed to hold a variety of hand tools.

Now that I have more time to spend at my second home in Hawaii, I’m getting better acquainted with some of the woodworkers in my community. The amazing tool chest shown here was built by Kona-based Matthew D’Avella. When I asked Matthew about his creation, here’s what he told me:

“After storing my tool collection in several tool boxes around the shop and in my 12-drawer workbench, I decided two years ago to build a chest that kept my marking tools, mallets, chisels, planes, and more in one tidy organizer. A second reason for the project was to always have a piece in the shop that showcases the woods and techniques I use in my custom furniture business.”

Because Matthew’s pieces ship out as soon as he builds them, the chest serves as a reference for visiting customers who want to see Matthew’s special talents firsthand. “For me it recalls the time when woodworkers showed off their toolboxes as a way to market their skills,” says Matthew.

This temple for tools measures 75” wide x 65” tall x 21” deep. It took Matthew over 250 hours to build. It features sliding dovetails in the sapele drawer boxes, spalted mango grain in the veneered drawer fronts, and precision inlays in the purpleheart and sedua starburst. Added to this are the machine- and hand-carved tree motifs in the sides. For more of  Matthew’s work, go to KonaWoodworking.com.

–Jim Harrold


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