Tool tote travel
a learning travel in tools and techniques.
Yes some of you will say: ‘come on Mad(s), we heard about this, and you will never get done with those dovetails’.
And I have to admit: ‘I have been a chicken when it comes to dovetails’.
The project is a tool tote or tool box (many opinions on the name), a mix of some wonderful pine wood boards from an old closet, and a branch from the forest!
Here the design I did, a simple but ‘hopefully’ long, slim and elegant tool tote.
The challenge for me is to make all the processes, in different ways.
This means that I will be able to test my skills, and also that I will be allowed to use some of those wonderful old planes I have bought so I can live up to my title as rhykenologist!
With both power (modern), and hand tools (old),I will compare the difference in the work with both types, and to get on a travel in learning, both for my limits (due to health), and for what I can do that I thought was not possible (due to skills).
Part of the challenge is no nails or screws, old techniques, and glue, gravity or wood pins to hold it together (I do know nails are not a new invention, but this is woodworking jungle style, in the suburbs of Copenhagen).
First step was to make a tongue and grove in the boards, since they were too narrow for the project.
For this I had the chance to use my tuned up Record no 50 planes, and they run fine and smooth along the edge on their new wooden fences, it was so easy that I had no reason to start up any power tools, the fresh smell of wood that hit my nose and the wonderful shavings, was worth all the sweat. (I need to buy spurs, these were missing).
I made the job on my Festool MFT and as you can see the clamping was easy, and since I added ballast under the table, it was completely steady, so I was happy while listening to Marvin Gaye.
Glue the tongue and grove, and make a flat clamping.
Again the table was a dream to work on, as you can see the clamping could provide pressure from all sides needed. I put some newspaper under to provide me from getting stuck on the table after…
Now I just have to get rid of the newspapers… Dahhhhh!
Finally time for some shavings again!
First I ran a tour de Stanley 4, then the 62 and ended up with a scraper.
This was where I realized I had to make the scraper set up tool…
You can see on the photos the shavings I produced with the different types, and yes – I love that 62, she is a babe (if my health would allow me, I could just stand there and make shavings for hours until the tote was all gone).
It was the first time in my life I really used a scraper seriously, and I loved it, especially the finish it leaves.
And just for pleasure a close up of the shavings.
The scraper is also excellent for removing glue.
So time for a cut with a Japanese pull saw, this saw really impressed me, I put nothing under to avoid tear out, but still there were almost none. I made a cut with a knife first on top and bottom.
The cut was clean and sharp, and it was easy to cut with.
(But these little moves go right to my nerves, and give me pain, so hand sawing is a luxury).
So time to call in the cavalry.
Festool TS55 EBQ-Plus, on the MFT table makes cutting such a easy task, it’s really like putting butter on bread. I simply love that saw, and the cuts are perfect.
Fist set up! It looks awfully high, and the planes so small… But I’ll trust my instincts.
Time for a walk in the forest.
Then home and use one of my home made knifes, a curved pocket knife, and spokeshaves that also are a new tool for me – I simply loved to run the spokeshaves up those curves, and to feel how smooth they cut after my refurbish of them. Wauuuuu!
I was lucky to find a wonderful branch, and also to be reminded of the beauty of the forest – this is after all where the travel starts, when we talk wood. The trees I mean!
(I even found one to make me a walking stick, one with a natural made handle).
And so she was stripped until completely naked! What a sight.
After it was the scraper that made her completely trimmed and shaved.
Cutting out the ends of the tool tote, here with a coping saw.
(Again this is not the best for me, but I enjoy the ride).
So we take a tour at the band saw, with a narrow blade, so I can get into the curves.
Both sides are identical.
Test set up with all four sides, it seems to be the right proportions, so I’m kind of happy.
Time to cut holes for the branch handle, I use a Forstner bit.
I know I was supposed to cut one by hand, but I had used the coping saw enough, so I took the fast road…
And another set up to determine the final proportions.
I have cut the sides roughly to size.
Sketch of the way I will attach the bottom of the tote.
Marking up the bottom.
Review of the Veritas gauge.
And the side!
Cutting the rebate, with a Stanley no. 78 rebate plane.
It’s a fine plane, even the fence are short, and therefore lack of accuracy, but the job is fast done.
Cleaning up with a Record 311. I have said this before, but to me this is the most wonderful plane I ever had in my hand.
As you can see the MFT table really do the clamping job again.
The rest of the rabbets I cut on the table saw, to spare my now tired arms.
And you can see my grease box of course was at use to smoothen the ride of my hand planes.
Grooving with a Record 43, another of my favorites, this little baby are so easy to control, and when sharp, a real pleasure to work with.
The groove. (Sounds like a funk band!).
And yes I cut to deep on that table saw – I’m really ashamed…
The groove corner close up.
Another set up!
Realizing the disaster!!!
The grove will become visible on the tool tote end. Ahhhhhhgggggg….
Sides cut to length.
Buying time to think!
The tools for dovetails (especially the pipe and the tobacco are important).
My Squarerulerbevelangelbandit can get into use.
I reviewed the little Razor saw.
And a good book to learn it all from is The complete dovetail.
Here we are in dovetail heaven, my first dovetails ever, provoked by my brother Div, and I needed to drink a big cup of espresso to gather the nerves.
First dovetails ever!
Yes they can be improved, but I was happy, and only the visible grove still haunted me.
This marking was fantastic… I think I had a meltdown, or perhaps I just had too much espresso…
But at the end I succeeded, not only with the dovetails, but also to solve my head ache with a mitered corner. So I was back on the happy branch again.
The solution to my prayers!
Oh yes, and I almost blew it, by cutting of the wrong part! You can see the chisel mark…
And here that I cut the hole dovetail, before I realized the solution.
So now it was just to repeat, and when I made a million they will be perfect.
My Hansen mallet was just perfect, but I will have to try and make a smaller one of brass, to make it more handy.
Here it is, after assembly with no glue.
Almost ready for the road!
I’ll split the blog up here, so it does not become too long for a ISDN connection…
In the next part I will make the glue up and finish.
Hope this little travel can be to inspiration, or in best case a tool tote
-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.