|Project by GeBeWubya||posted 04-25-2014 04:57 PM||2566 views||3 times favorited||9 comments|
There’s no such thing as a $25 Stanley #45 Combination Plane!
There are always more cutters (plane irons) to buy—plough cutters, bead cutters, fluting (cove) cutters, reeding cutters; there are always more sizes from 1/8” up to 1 1/2”; there are slitters, hollows and rounds, sash cutters, matching (tongue and groove) cutters. The rods that the fence rides come on 2 standard and who knows how many custom lengths.
Once you have a bunch of cutters and other parts, how do you keep them organized? I’ll leave you in suspense for a moment, and talk about my back gate. I have a 20’ wide electric gate across the driveway on the alley behind my house. It has a steel frame faced with cedar pickets to match the rest of the back yard fence. Some of the pickets were broken, rotted or just ugly, so I decided to replace the wood on the gate. I bought about 50 6’ western red cedar pickets for the job, but when I figured out what a pain it was to reattach the wood to the steel, I just replaced the worst ones. So now I have 40-some-odd 5/8” x 3 1/2” x 6’ pickets in my shop.
A cedar tool chest for the #45 attacks both problems.
I milled a few pickets to 1/2” x 3 1/4”, glued up some 6” wide panels for the sides and built a 12” x 18” dovetailed box with a 1/4 ” groove 1/4” from the bottom. I ploughed and dadoed a 1/4” rabbet on the loose boards for the bottom to fit into the grooves on the sides. That made the bottom come out flush with the bottom of the sides. Before assembling the box, I dadoed for dividers to separate the body, slide, fence and rods, and made a compartment on the right for a set of slotted racks for the cutters. I made two 1 1/2” x 13” x 19” open, dovetailed frames, one for a reinforcing band at the bottom of the box and one for the frame of the lid. I grooved the lid frame the same way as the bottom of the sides, and beveled the ends and outside edges of some 3 ” and 3 1/2” wide slats to make the raised panel for the lid. The panel slats had some warp, so I added battens on the inside of the lid to flatten and reinforce it. The lid made a nice, snug fit around the top of the box and I thought of leaving it like a shoe box, but in the end, I mortised into the inside edge of the lid and outside edge of the back of the box for hinges. When I installed the hinges, the screws were longer than the 1/2” thickness of the back of the frame, and the weight of the lid when fully open threatened to pull out the hinges, so I added blocks to house the screws and support the open lid against the box.
With a block for the hasp, a couple of handles on the ends, magnets epoxied into a lid batten to hold the extra nickers, and a coat of boiled linseed oil, I declared it finished.
I used the 45 for the grooves, but discovered that it did such a poor job on dados, that I used my table saw to do all the cross grain dados.
It was a fun project, and I learned a lot—especially that I need a lot more practice dovetailing!
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