Beautifully made tiny miniature 18th century toolchest with tiny, working tools

On The Toolchest Site, an astounding miniature replica of the 18th century Hewitt chest at Colonial Williamsburg, created by miniaturist William Robertson. Robertson's work is mind-boggling in its detail and virtuosity. The article notes that this was a 1,000-hour project.

There are also cast brass Rococo drop handles as well as beaded backplates. It should also be noted that the miniscule lock actually works, and the label on the underside of the lid is printed on 18th century paper — in lettering to perfect scale of course.

As you would expect from something so masterfully created, the tool chest was made with the same construction as the original chest. Tool trays and drawers are fully dovetailed with hand-sawn dust boards. The dividers are v-notched and crosslapped and the lid sides are tongue and groove.

Robertson’s tool chest contains all the same tools that were found in the original. All the tools work, even the plane’s tote (handle) is set a scale 1/8″ to one side as the original. The saw has 160 teeth to the inch. Robinson says that the hardest tool to make was the folding rule with 5 leaf hinge. It is about .030″ thick and hand engraved on boxwood. Things like the shears and dividers also have nice little joints.

William Robertson Miniature Tool Chest (via Make)


  1. You’re all so gullible. This is obviously a souvenir that Gulliver brought back from Lillliput.

  2. Hey, anyone who’s interested in looking at amazingly detailed miniatures like this should hit the Philadelphia Miniaturia convention this weekend in Cherry Hill. There are tons of gorgeous handcrafts like this to look at! 10-5EST today, 11-4 Sunday. Saw this post just as I was leaving to go there!

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