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Tool Chest Refurb #5: Everything Below the Lid

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 741 days ago 1679 reads 0 times favorited 104 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Skirts are for Tool Chests Part 5 of Tool Chest Refurb series Part 6: Okay, This Time it's All About the Lid... »

Chest-like object has suffered a bit of neglect, to be sure, and for that there isn’t much of an excuse. Except for these two words: Family and Job. :-)

Where in the heck am I with this refurb? Last installment says I ‘completed’ the lower skirt, but what’s pictured includes a skirt that’s not yet permanently attached to the chest. Issue? Well, kinda. But that’s not what this installment is gonna cover. Instead of the base, I’ve moved to the middle of the chest to work the upper (or mid) skirtboards. So here we go.

The chest came with very little hardware: two handles, two hinges and a staple. (Per that fancy interweb, the ring of a hasp lock mechanism is called a staple. Who knew?) Well, because the upper (or middle) skirt needs to sit on or around ½” from the top edges of the chest walls, the staple is in the way. Sorry, but a couple of nipper cuts and it was no longer original equipment.

Went around and around re: the dimension of the middle skirt, but settled on what the donor material had to offer in context of some additional input from Carters Whittling and Chris Schwarz. (Narrow is the way to go for this band.) So the last of the blue board was measured, cut to width and thicknesses with the #6 (just to use something different) in prep for dovetailing and ultimate install as the bottom will be :-) .

Sounds boring, right? Well, smooth was not meant to be, as two events conspired to force deviation from the plan.
First was measurement. Because the chest itself is not exactly square at the corners or even flush at the faces, marking the baselines on the front pin board became an issue. What does ‘not square or flush’ mean? How about a picture…

Corrections done with the SW #18 block. CAUTION: Shameless tool porn ahead…

And after:

Dovetails for the corners went without a hitch, at first.

But only after the tail boards were cut and I got to final fitting of the front and two-side assy that the second problem hit me: the long, front piece was too long, and the side boards weren’t able to press tight at either of the front corners. So I took a page out of the original builder’s book and thinned the tail a bit.

This I’ll have to trim later.

With the fit challenge addressed, I moved on to cut the tail of the right, rear-side skirt piece. But instead of marking the tail and cutting material away from it, I remove the tail from the piece. So my plan to surround the upper part of the chest wasn’t going to happen, alas. So I marked the two sides and cut them each to length, then glued up what I had: a three-sided skirt.

It’s really okay, though, in that I would have had to dado away material where the surface-mounted hinges are and wasn’t looking forward to that at all. What it did force is the use of glue and clamps and seven screws, countersunk and driven from the inside of the chest for additional strength.

Now for the lid assy, starting with material choice: boxalder.

These are table extensions I paid $5 for at the sale the toolchest came from. It’s not pine, of course, but it’s clear, stable and very workable with hand tools. Cut it and it smells kinda sweet, although it has not red streaking. Anyway, on with jointing, then ripping and thicknessing.

A shot of dovetail layout…

then through the miracle of the internet, the top’s surround was done!

At this point I measured and cut and T&G’d four ‘sides’ for a center chest lid.

And I’m ready for the raised center panel. And my first choice is to press the former (crappy)bottom boards back into service.

Will it work? Tune in next time! Until then, thanks (as always) for looking!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive



104 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4119 posts in 1491 days


#1 posted 741 days ago

Yes Smitty, but it is progressing

I like the way it is going and utilising the

old floor is great. It sure will confuse the experts

in a hundred years time. LoL

Will the inside of the lid be flush to hold saws?

jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9823 posts in 1253 days


#2 posted 741 days ago

Hey, Jamie!

Mix of woods will confuse, but they’ll surmise ‘times were tough, so he used what he had.’ :-)

Inside won’t be flush, I don’t think. I’m thinking about a pull-up ‘drawer’ for three saws, like the example Schwarz recently posted on his Lost Art Press blog…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4119 posts in 1491 days


#3 posted 741 days ago

This one?

http://blog.lostartpress.com/2011/04/11/the-wrong-idea-about-%E2%80%98the-anarchist%E2%80%99s-tool-chest%E2%80%99/

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View SamuelP's profile

SamuelP

752 posts in 1281 days


#4 posted 741 days ago

Smitty – I hope you know how much good you are doing for the world. You are a vicarious avenue of dreams and hopes that I have for my self and my potential with wood working that I am unable to explore at this point in my life. Having a 4 year old and a 4 week old does not allow for a lot of time right now, but you help ease the nerves. Thank you.

-- -Sam - Tampa, FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9823 posts in 1253 days


#5 posted 740 days ago

This one:

http://blog.lostartpress.com/2012/08/08/your-complete-tool-chest/

Sam- Been where you are, loved it even though I may not have known it at the time! Brought my oldest to college over the weekend; time flies, my friend, and I know where you’re coming from. :-) Thanks!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View terryR's profile

terryR

3056 posts in 943 days


#6 posted 740 days ago

Chest is looking good…thanks for the lessons again!

Smitty, your photos have kept me mezmerized for 15 minutes at least…my brain isn’t sure whether to focus on the woodworking skills you’re showing…or just the shameless tool porn. Both are pleasing! :-)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Don W's profile

Don W

14899 posts in 1202 days


#7 posted 740 days ago

Smitty, you’ve got me stopping at all the old hardware bins in flea markets now, looking for anything stamped Stanley. You managed to take my insanity to a new level, but then, what are friends for.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Brad's profile

Brad

842 posts in 1375 days


#8 posted 740 days ago

Enjoying following along with your chest rebuild. Especially like the way you adapt to what the chest will “give you” meaning that you work with both the limitations and opportunities (reuse wood floor) it presents.

And Smitty—you don’t ever have to apologize for posting tool porn :)

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4650 posts in 927 days


#9 posted 740 days ago

Looks great Smitty. I like the idea of the pull up saw drawer

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9823 posts in 1253 days


#10 posted 740 days ago

Terry – Thanks for the smile! Not the most comprehensive update I’ve done – could have explained the thicknessing process a bit, for example, but didn’t want the blog to get too far behind the memory vs. photos curve.

Don – You’re welcome. ;-)

Brad – Duly noted, no more apologies forthcoming. And yeah, I’ve done a fair share of ‘rolling with the punches’ on this project. It’s one of the things I like best about refurbs, too.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

4576 posts in 1075 days


#11 posted 740 days ago

Always wonderful to see your work. Thanks Smitty.

-- ~Tony

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9823 posts in 1253 days


#12 posted 740 days ago

Mos, I’m already intimidated by all the tricks to be pulled in completing the interior of this chest. I hit a wall with my wall hung for (probably) the same reason. I know I want three drawers, plus this saw pull-up. I don’t have wooden moulding planes to worry about, and may even put a hinged lid on the top till. Not sure. It is clear, though, that I’m outfitting this chest for one of my kids, for the ‘someday’ he/she may be ready for it. Another? Who knows…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9823 posts in 1253 days


#13 posted 740 days ago

Thanks, Tony.

I’m wondering if not having a M&T joint at the corners of the lid ‘frame’ is a real concern. Somebody sits on the chest, will it collapse? Standing on it, same question… Build it and test the frame and panel before assy to the lid, perhaps?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

543 posts in 1134 days


#14 posted 740 days ago

In your previous post you spoke about a plinth of 1/2” being too much.
In this blog C. Schwarz also figured a way to make it more elegant :
http://blog.lostartpress.com/2012/08/06/something-on-my-chest/

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Don W's profile

Don W

14899 posts in 1202 days


#15 posted 740 days ago

Sylvain, I took a look at Schwarz’s link you posted. I would love a shop with finished hardwood flooring.

Carry on

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

showing 1 through 15 of 104 comments

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