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Tool Chest Refurb #11: Best Saturday Use of Mock-ups...

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 642 days ago 1331 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Drawers need Runners... Part 11 of Tool Chest Refurb series Part 12: Return from Obscurity »

Walked into the shop this AM to this:

And I want to get to a reasonable facsimile of this:

So setting the depth of each drawer is the action of the day. I have them marked as being 6”, so part of me says just jump in and start making drawers. The more practical side is telling me to do a something I hardly, if ever, do: Mock up the drawers. Why do that, you ask? Well, as has been discussed in this series, the chest is not square. But cutting at least the drawer bottoms I can be assured that what I build fits well and can slide freely from front to back. And, I’ve got a stack of 1/2” plywood that is perfect for this kind of thing. So let’s cut wood, first to rip some of the aforementioned material to width.

I traced a slight correction to be made to the back right side, then surveyed the situation. Not good.

The sliding shelf is extended fully, and with the bottom drawer in the ‘locked’ position, there’s a gap. That’s not what I had in mind at all. The idea of the shelf is to isolate the lower section from dust / debris when working with items in the drawers. So another workaround is in the offing. How about a wider bottom drawer?

I ripped a new pattern piece and moved on with the next couple drawers by marking left vs. right corners and tailoring each to fit as required. Note in the second picture below that a sanding disc makes a nice adjuster for cut angles at the RAS.

At the top ‘drawer,’ the fit was good but got way too snug at the back left side.

I figured the runner was to blame, so adjusted that piece, put it back in place, and had a good fit without fiddling with the drawer blank at all.

So I’ll have a bottom drawer with character, and overall a bank of drawers that should look smokin’ hot. :-)

One final thing to mock up was the height of the top drawer. Why is it a concern? Well, the plan is to have the top drawer extend higher than the side walls of the chest because it can. How high? Some testing will tell me if the plan is “too high.” So I ripped some ply scrap from the first shelf attempt and had a top drawer that was ‘no problem’ on height.

Well, not perfect.

The back board of the ‘lid’ is actually a thicker board than what makes up the original chest. So when the chest lid is closed on a drawer pressed to the ‘locked’ position, it doesn’t close effectively. What does that mean? I think when the top drawer is built, the drawer back needs to be inset about a quarter inch from the bottom so the top closes.

So again, thanks for coming along on what must seem to be a never ending project!

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



21 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4650 posts in 926 days


#1 posted 642 days ago

never ending project? Fine by me :-)

It’s fun to watch other people’s process. Thanks for sharing, Smitty.

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

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4119 posts in 1490 days


#2 posted 642 days ago

Smitty I see no mistakes, I see a great project :)

-- 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 Brit's profile

Brit

5127 posts in 1476 days


#3 posted 642 days ago

Nothing better than a good cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and a new episode of a Smitty blog. Looking good Smitty. That things gonna be hoss!

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14886 posts in 1201 days


#4 posted 642 days ago

+1 to what Andy said.

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

View mafe's profile

mafe

9492 posts in 1723 days


#5 posted 642 days ago

Smitty, you are not supposed to ever end, these ongoing projects is what keeps us all warm and you busy.
Big smile and happy sunday.
Best thoughts,
Mads

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9817 posts in 1252 days


#6 posted 642 days ago

Time to find drawer front material and get that dimensioned, I think. I’d love to use walnut, or even cherry. Hmmm…

The mock-up pieces slide easily with wax applied. Layout of the saw till, as well as it’s actual strength, is a question too. A certain joint awaits as well, if I can pull it off.

Thanks for checking in!

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

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

543 posts in 1133 days


#7 posted 642 days ago

Smitty,

As the runner are kept in place with scews, an alternative to a sligthly trapezoïdal bottom drawer could have been putting shims to get the left runner parallel to the right runner.
The drawback of the shim system is that the the weigth of the two bottom drawers would more or less be supported by the screw alone (shear and bending stress); with your solution, the friction of the runner on the side (due to the screw pressure) is the main force to keep it in place and the screw works only in traction.

Another solution, as you did for the top runner, would have been to reduce slightly the left runner thickness at the back (the side against the chest to keep the middle drawer support width as is),

You choosed two different solutions to a similar problem.
But maybe once you had cut the lower bottom you did not want to cut another one.

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

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1494 posts in 906 days


#8 posted 642 days ago

”The Ark of the Cabinetshop” by Smitty the Cabinetmaker.

This tome should be required reading for all apprentice and novice woodworkers. In order to instill in them the mindset involved in the thought processes of creativity, in the absence of a true mentor.
Wouldn’t it be a boon to a youngster picking up that first handsaw to design or yes, even to repair his first project, albeit his own or his craftman employer.
After weeks of dancing with the broom in the sawdust, for him/her to understand what we feel as we accompany Smitty on his Journey to restore this ‘Ark’ to it’s original Glory and purpose would, or should, give them the insight to their lifelong romance with woodcraft.
With the state funded school systems dropping woodshop from their curriculum, the opportunities for exposure to this passion are dwindling.

...and Smitty, you probably thought you were just blogging your repair of and old ‘tool chest’.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9817 posts in 1252 days


#9 posted 642 days ago

Sylvain, you are of course correct and have rightfully called me out. I could have done for runners 1 and 2 what I did for #3, namely shave to accomodate a truly square drawer vs. fudging said sliders. Why for only one of the three? I didn’t commit to doing it from the start, because quite honestly didn’t know for sure how out of square the inside chest was from bottom to top. Hence the mock-up plywood.

Once I got started, and saw how little had to be trimmed to get a ‘drawer’ to slide with equal gaps at each end, it wasn’t a big deal. The top drawer, though, was easy to fix via runner adjust 1) because there’s no handle hardware to work around, and 2) because the chest walls were consistent at this point in their ‘variability’. Finally, I want a hinged lid on this top drawer, and building that out of square (vs. some block plane adjusts on the other two) didn’t appeal to me at all.
.
.
Len, I do hope that enthusiasm is the main point of these blogs. Technical ‘best practice,’ though, is a different story. Gluing breadboard ends, not allowing for movement, is likely not a good thing. I figure the wood is 75 years old already, though… How much more can it move, and honestly, do I care? :-) The chest itself demonstrates movement in the face of integrity already. :-)

Romance with wood… That is a wonderful turn of a phrase. Don’t tell me wife of this second mistress, pls. (Second mistress, you ask? Meh, the first is tools! :-) )

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

View Dave's profile

Dave

11159 posts in 1473 days


#10 posted 642 days ago

Now you have me looking for that ole chest in some dusty corner of an antique shop. I will find one. Good inspiration Smitty.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View bhog's profile

bhog

2078 posts in 1324 days


#11 posted 642 days ago

For the top hitting the top drawer, you could cut a “rabbet” in the drawer back to give clearance,may simplify things.

I have some cherry and walnut that would work.Both been air drying longer than I have been alive-if you want,let me know.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9817 posts in 1252 days


#12 posted 641 days ago

Super, the chest will find you if it goes like mine did.

Bhog, that is a solid approach, and I may do that. Have to decide on hinging the top drawer lid first, as that will decide a lot too. Maybe more mocking, huh?

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9817 posts in 1252 days


#13 posted 641 days ago

Oh, and the wood offer is incredible, thanks. I have to check inventory!

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

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

543 posts in 1133 days


#14 posted 640 days ago

Smitty,
thank you for the answer, it is always interesting to learn “why and how”.

Hollowing the back of the runners to make them sit against the side more easely is also an interesting idea.

For the upper drawer, one option would be to make it slightly less wide (I mean the smallest horizontal dimension) and put a stop in the back of it in such a way that all 3 drawers are aligned when pushed against the back of the chest.

It is funny to see that the CS drawing is incorrect, it shows a common back for the 3 drawers.

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9817 posts in 1252 days


#15 posted 601 days ago

This guy needs tills yet… Maybe progress today?

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

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