Machinist Toolcart #11: Almost there. The end of all marking and cutting

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 09-12-2011 05:48 AM 2117 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Drawers Part III: Decisions and Actions Part 11 of Machinist Toolcart series Part 12: Spoken Too Soon: A Lesson in Drawer Planning/Measuring/Fitting »

We had a beautiful weekend, blue clear sky, sun shining and smiling, birds were singing, even the temperature was behaving – just a beautiful weekend.

and I was sick.

I waited until I could regain enough focus since loss of focus in woodworking is a bad idea and can only lead to disastrous consequences either to the project or worse to ones self and trotted to the garage only to find that the material I had planned to use didn’t look all that fitting to the purpose of acting as drawer fronts. I wanted the front of the cabinet to have a balanced, even, and simple (no crazy grain flows) look to it but instead what a little plaining of the lumber I had revealed was some pretty wonderful grains that didn’t match if ones life depends on it:

So after pondering about I decided that those boards will be better served for other purposes where they can really shine (under a glossy finish that is), made a cut list plan to see how much material I’d need and drove to the lumberyard (was hoping to avoid this, but after putting all this effort and planning into this project I’d hate to mess it up with the drawer fronts which are all about ‘show’). I tried to keep expenses to a minimum so I chose to get some S3S 1/2” material hoping that if I get a straight enough board I can use it ‘as is’. I found a 9ft board that met my requirements (width, length, and simplicity of grains) and had it crosscut at the lumberyard to fit in the car and off we went for a ride back home:

Once home, I rough cut it to the faces parts which were found to be far from straight (for some reason I expected a surfaced board to be jointed flat… I guess I was wrong) and had to joint and plane it down some. I tried to keep as much thickness as possible, not ideal but thats what I have to work with:

took the parts to the cabinet and made sure it all fit (I actually had to trim some parts):

and so I was left with these faces:

And then the fun began. I ripped some 1”x1/2” strips of mahogany to make full width drawer pulls. to get a better grip I decided to route the bottom of the pulls. I setup my router bit at the appropriate height:

set my router fence at the appropriate distance to get a full cut (half bit wide) and stepped the fence back 1/8” (the Incra fence is a dream to work with for this purpose as it allows one to quickly move the fence at known and precise distances to sneak up on cuts or similar operations without fussing with anything). I then took 2 passes to get my pulls shaped up. Next I set a straight bit in the router table ,and routed a groove in the drawer fronts to align the pulls with. The groove was marked according to where the drawer slide is located per drawer so that the pulling force on the drawer will be in line with the drawer to avoid shear forces acting on the drawers and the pulls:

And then I cut the pulls to length per drawer (most are same size except 2 smaller upper drawers):

and I got these:

I wanted something that would fit well with the cabinet and be a full length pull. I think these will do well, and if not – I’ll figure something else out somehow.

It’s kinda painful throwing away cutoffs that you feel can still be used somewhere, but I just can’t keep everything around it’s just becoming very messy and overcrowded, and so I say farewell to some smaller pieces:

And went ahead and aligned and screwed the drawer fronts by drilling holes through the slots that would later accept the pulls. Currently this is just a place holder, and when I put in the pulls, the screws will be screwed in from the inside. I currently have 1 drawer that doesn’t open well and I’ll need to trim the drawer box itself as it’s just too high and too close to the drawer above it (causing the problem) but other than that things look good, and the next step after some trimming and cleaning up would be finishing the drawer fronts and pulls, and putting them up:

Very glad to be done with the cutting process. now just a finishing touch!

Thanks for reading,

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

20 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8539 posts in 3702 days

#1 posted 09-12-2011 06:39 AM

Pat, Thanks!

And yes! after building the top upper box I noticed that the pulls weren’t working so well when the drawers were full and heavy. This time around I wanted a pull that was more practical especially since these drawers will carry a much heavier load as well.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Lenny's profile


1607 posts in 3580 days

#2 posted 09-12-2011 11:22 AM

Hi Sharon. First, you are correct about the weekend weather. It had to be a 10+ on a 10 point scale. Sorry you were not feeling well for some of it. I have been following your posts on this project even though I don’t comment on each. You have almost completed a great, very personal, project. You put a lot of thought into each step of the process with wonderful results. It is coming out great. Best wishes as you begin the home stretch.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3485 days

#3 posted 09-12-2011 12:35 PM

That is one beautiful piece of shop furniture! Your selection of the drawer fronts was spot on.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2796 posts in 3491 days

#4 posted 09-12-2011 12:36 PM

I’ve been lurking on this project since it’s inception with the original top part sketchups. Lots of skills used in this build over time and new tools acquired to get it done. You have the singular focus of an engineer. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3248 days

#5 posted 09-12-2011 01:26 PM

Sharon that the nicest Toolcart I’ve seen. Excellent work. My old craftsman one doesn’t even compare to yours lol.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View SPalm's profile


5321 posts in 3935 days

#6 posted 09-12-2011 02:43 PM

Hey Sharon,
That is looking really great. I am jealous.
Good choice on the new pulls. I bet they will help a lot.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View 489tad's profile


3379 posts in 3065 days

#7 posted 09-12-2011 02:45 PM

Thats going to look great.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View PurpLev's profile


8539 posts in 3702 days

#8 posted 09-12-2011 03:16 PM

Thanks for all the comments. glad to see people were reading this.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View mafe's profile


11739 posts in 3142 days

#9 posted 09-12-2011 03:18 PM

It’s looking great!
You are going to have the most wonderful tool cart.
Nice details are now drawing the picture for us.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View PurpLev's profile


8539 posts in 3702 days

#10 posted 09-12-2011 03:46 PM

Thanks Mads

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Karson's profile


35128 posts in 4454 days

#11 posted 09-12-2011 03:54 PM

Sharon: A dices design and thanks for the details.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3290 days

#12 posted 09-12-2011 04:17 PM

You’re going to have a beautiful tool box! You may have to store it in the living room so you can show it off. It would be awful to hide it in your workshop.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View PurpLev's profile


8539 posts in 3702 days

#13 posted 09-12-2011 04:19 PM

Thanks Kason. and Thanks Hal – actually it won’t be hidden in the workshop – it’ll be worse – it’ll be hiding in the basement.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3040 days

#14 posted 09-12-2011 09:08 PM

The craftsmanship that you’ve put into this project will be a testament to your fine work. Have you switched to your basement to use as a shop instead of your garage?

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View PurpLev's profile


8539 posts in 3702 days

#15 posted 09-12-2011 09:25 PM

Thanks Lorna, and no I have not changed the shop location it is still in the garage, but I keep the metal lathe and mill in the basement which are the tools this toolcart is aimed to help with organization of.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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