I asked Christopher Schwarz what he thought about this, since I was using his overall concepts to build the chest. I figured if it were a good idea, he would have mentioned it. While awaiting his reply, I looked at every image I could dig up of traditional tool chests, and did not see much evidence of drawbored lids. However, I found this photo from Peter Follansbee:
If you view the image full size, and pay attention to the corners, drawbore pegs are visbile. While this chest is only a few months old, I do trust Peter's understanding of traditional joinery and his use of the joint backed up my hunch that it might be a good idea.
Christopher then responded with his ten cents:
Before glues became reliable (think early paste glues) drawboring was very common in furniture, regardless of its position in a project.As the work became thinner in frame-and-panel constructions and hide glue became the norm, the joinery changed a bit. Instead of pinning the joint, the joiner would make the joint a through-tenon and then wedge it from the outside. This created a good mechanical bond – if not as fantastic as drawboring. But it had the advantage of being able to be easily disassembled and easily reassembled.Why the switch?I don't know for sure, but I can guess. I've tried drawboring everything -- even lightweight joints. As the material becomes thinner, the joint is much more likely to self-destruct when you drawbore it. For example, in about 2003 I built a seed cabinet from the Enfield community. I drawbored all the joints in the frame-and-panel door. If the six joints, three exploded. I had to make a new door.When I make a bench with heavy components, it's almost impossible to destroy it via drawboring. And I have tried.I wedged my through tenons on my tool chest's lid. If that's not in the book it's an omission on my part.It's a thoughtful question.
and then this update:
I took a different approach to wedging the tenons – one that is found in heavy-duty doors. You wedge from the outside of the tenon. Against the edge cheeks. If the primary wood is soft, the oak wedges will compress it, making the mortise a bit trumpet shaped. See the attached photo. This shows an interior panel for the chest that I decided not to use. But it shows the wedging clearly.You can split the tenon with a chisel if you like. This method has the least risk of all of the options. It's traditional. Reparable.
He supplied this image:
It clearly shows the wedges on either side of the tenon. I decided to use this approach, although I was glad to know that at least one studied woodworker had also decided to use drawboring.
In the end, I was just cruising along with the joints and completely neglected to do the wedging step. I guess in 15 or 20 or 50 years I will know if that was a mistake.