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Shop Organization #1: Chisel Rack!

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Blog entry by RaggedKerf posted 11-17-2012 01:11 PM 1187 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop Organization series Part 2: Clamp storage. »

For all the version with pictures, please click here.

I guess I got a bug to get more organized as the projects I’m working on get more complicated, storing all the tools in the rolling tool chest o’ many drawers is getting awkward.

Plus it seems like all the cool kids have a chisel rack….

I came up with this a few days ago in my head, but I’m sure it’s just an amalgamation of all the cool designs I’ve seen out there. I’m pretty sure the slots and holes for the chisels are just common practice. I’d love to give credit where credit is due but who knows who developed this thing.

It’s a fairly simple thing, since it’s made of out scrap cut-offs and would have been done in 2 hours had I not jacked it up.

It’s about 8 inches high and 24” long. The top is made of a 1” x 4”, as is the bottom. First thing I did was cut the top and the sides to length. I had contemplated making through-tenons for the legs and even went so far as to chock the 2×4 leg in the leg vise, make the marks and cut one tenon free (30 minutes later). I was quite happy actually, because it was the straightest, sharpest tenon I’ve ever cut. Then I thought about the actual project some. This is a chisel rack, not a piece of furniture. This thing is made of scrap wood (which isn’t necessarily a reason to not do fancy joinery but…c’mon). This thing will live it’s life near the bench, likely getting abused and/or replaced in the near future. That was when I realized, you know, if I damage the top somehow, I can just unscrew it, replace it and screw it back down. No morticing to be done, done in 5 minutes.

That and I made one leg too long anyway, so the leg that had the fine tenon got the tenon chopped off in the end to make the thing a good height.

So I clamped the top to the legs (I love how this bench allows me to clamp ANYTHING) and screwed everything together.

The sides are cut-off 2” x 4”s and the backing is hardboard. The front/blade guard is two strips of off-cut (I have a pretty large pile of this remaining from when I sliced the sides off the 2”x 4”s for the workbench top….still…) nailed on with finishing nails. No glue—-except for the Oops.

The Oops, or when I realized, you know, I could have used the scrollsaw (thanks again, Dad!) to cut out the little slots for the chisels if I hadn’t just attached the legs, bottom and back to this thing, is what happened next.

I drilled 1/2” holes 2” apart for the three chisels I have and left the rest of the thing empty for the chisels I’ll get! I used the coping saw to slice out the slots for the first 2 holes, then got impatient (that same theme again…sigh…) and used the backsaw/miter saw (which, to my dismay I discovered was bent slightly…read on). That was a mistake. The saw made short work of the first cut then promptly broke off the whole middle section of wood around the hole.

However, this design is so simple, I fretted not, just glued the piece back on, clamped it and let it sit overnight. The hardest part was the waiting: the shop, being around 40 was under the manufacturer’s suggested temperature of 60 (for the glue, the material and the shop) so I had to bring it all inside and let it warm up for a few hours first…then glue it up and clamp it…then let it sit overnight.

But, one thing I’m getting good at lately (of necessity) is gluing things without leaving a mess. After I removed the clamps the next day and then took the completed rack to the belt sander (thanks again, Dad!) for a quick smoothing out and trimming the top to be flush with the sides, this little chisel rack looks pristine.

Even better, once I set it up on the little window ledge next to the bench, I was inspired to sharpen the chisels, something I’ve been neglecting to do for about a month now since I haven’t had much use for them lately. That’s about to change as I dive back into Jim’s lamp mounting plates again so I need me some sharp tools.

Now I need a screwdriver rack…or something. I’m tired of digging through the drawer looking for the right size screwdriver. It’ll have to be taller than the chisel rack, because we have some monster drivers. That’s the reason I didn’t make one long rack like a lot of people (including the Schwarz) have done. Might just copy the design of the chisel rack and learn from my mistakes…that might be cool looking…a two level rack.

Maybe with a little path in between…

A path, a path!

Again, the pictures are here.

-- Steve http://vaughtwoodworks.wordpress.com



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