Here’s my progress so far on my Traveling Anarchist’s Tool Chest. I got a very good deal on some wide Sapele so I decided to go with that. It’s starting to become one of my favorite woods. It stays dead flat, saws beautifully, and responds to the chisel very well. The interlocked grain, while a bit difficult to plane, I think will prove to be worth the effort in the long run. The crazy widths you can find it in are nice too!
For the most part I lifted the dimensions from Chris Schwarz’s tool chest. I tweaked the height slightly by adding two inches. The case is 38” long, 16” tall, and 18” deep. He posted this drawing and I think the dimensions, proportions, and functionality are great.
Squaring up the chest front and back. I always get the best result squaring both boards at the same time. Here’s a short video of breaking down the stock http://instagram.com/p/yBDHt1F3Ot/?modal=true
Laying out the dovetails. I went with a 1:6 angle for a little extra strength.
Dovetails are ready to transfer to the pin boards!
Transferring the tails to the pin board with my dovetail alignment board, Moxon vise, and Blue Spruce Toolworks marking knife.
Ready to chop out some baselines
The carcass is glued up with Old Brown Glue. Went together really nice. The clamps aren’t necessary but I like to have them there for insurance.
Here is how I set the depth of cut on my tongue & groove plane. Place two strips of paper on the edge of the board. Rest the sole of the plane on the paper leaving a gap where the blade projects. Rest the blade on the bare wood. Tighten the lever cap. This leaves a 0.003” depth of cut – a good compromise between getting the work done and taking a fine shaving that will leave a nice shoulder line. Here’s a video of the plane in action: http://instagram.com/p/yh3SE1F3IS/?modal=true
The boards overhang the edges by 1/8” – they are planed flush after install.
Bottom boards are done and installed. The offset is the thickness of a quarter. Ready to make and install the wear strips.
These are the wear strips. They keep the bottom of the chest from being damaged. Much easier to replace one of these strips than a bottom board. I planed a nice chamfer on the edges in case the chest gets dragged over anything – that should help negate some of the damage. Next up is to flush everything to the carcass and clean up that as well.
A 50° frog and a high carbon blade have left a beautiful surface on this Sapele. Ron Brese told me that high carbon blades always perform better on ribbon striped stuff. He said A2 tool steel doesn’t like the changes in density present in the grain of boards like this. That’s why most people have trouble planing this kind of wood. I’ve planed the two ends, now to do the front and back. Planing the bottom boards flush took a lot longer than I anticipated.
Before planing the carcass I set up a bunch of little “spring clamps” so I can take nice shavings.
Not too bad! I usually leave the scribe line but since this is a special occasion I decided to remove it. Finally ready for some moldings.
Thanks for taking a look! I’ll make another post once I get the moldings and a few other things done!
-- Luke, http://www.AddingtonFurniture.com