Penguin Tool Chest #11: Attaching the Lid and Final Sanding

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Blog entry by bobasaurus posted 05-13-2012 03:19 AM 2642 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Fitting Drawers and Making Mistakes Part 11 of Penguin Tool Chest series Part 12: Finally Finished the Tool Chest »

I’m finally about done with the tool chest. After sanding the inside of the lid smooth, I attached it permanently to the carcass by gluing in strips of matching wood (masking off other areas to protect against glue drops/smears) and sawing/sanding flush:

I then spent forever sanding every corner of this damn thing. Rounding all the edges and de-pointing corners took a while too. I stopped at about 400 grit, then buffed with 0000 steel wool. The turquoise inlay now looks pretty nice with a mineral spirits wipe:

And finally it’s ready for finishing! Here it is sitting in my spare room I use for finishing and glue-ups:

The picture isn’t great, but the wood is quite shiny and looks pretty nice overall. I wish I matched the colors of the walnut strips that make up the bottom a little better, as the abrupt sapwood->heartwood change annoys me a little. Oh well. Now I have to decide what finish to use.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

5 comments so far

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2567 days

#1 posted 05-13-2012 04:50 AM

That looks pretty dang good!

-- I never finish anyth

View ruddy's profile


543 posts in 2967 days

#2 posted 05-13-2012 05:38 AM

That is an impressive piece of work. Lovely toolbox.

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2718 days

#3 posted 05-14-2012 01:46 AM

I’ve been following along through the whole project and it has taken a while but it was worth it. That is absolutely gorgeous! If it is going to see actual use you may have to go with poly for durability but an oil finish would be beautiful, age nicely, and be easy to repair if needed. I’d probably go with several coats of oil and then wax but that’s me.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bobasaurus's profile


3488 posts in 3212 days

#4 posted 05-14-2012 02:20 AM

Thanks for following along, gfadvm. I just sanded two scrap pieces, one walnut and one soft maple, to the same grit as the tool chest. I’m trying out three finish combinations:

1. minwax tung oil / poly blend
2. satin wipe-on poly
3. one coat of the tung oil / poly blend, followed by the satin wipe-on poly for all other coats

Once I’m done with this test, I’ll see which one I like and go with it. All of them use polyurethane, since I need some added durability (the spalted soft maple is REALLY soft in parts) and I like the look. I’m avoiding glossy poly finishes since I think a matte/satin finish will look better. Maybe I’ll use some wax for the final coat… I have some minwax paste wax that might work, or I may invest in some carnauba wax or renaissance wax (any suggestions here?).

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2718 days

#5 posted 05-14-2012 02:48 AM

The wax won’t add any protection or enhance the appearance but I feel like it REALLY enhances the ‘touchability’ factor. The Renissance is pricy but lasts forever (use very sparingly) and it dries almost instantly. It requires the least amount of buffing of the waxes I have tried. I apply my Renissance with a grey or white Scotch pad depending on how much I want to knock the shine down. I tried steel wool but didn’t like getting all those teeny pieces of steel wool frags in my wax can.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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