Hand Tool Challenge

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Project by MrWhit posted 07-08-2016 01:15 AM 1220 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My good friend for the past 20 yrs or so issued a challenge last year. We were to build each other simple one drawer/one door wall cabinets. Roughly the same dimensions, about 14×22 or so. We had to use hand tools only, and we both saw this as a self-imposed master class. I had to pause half-way through to build a nicholson style bench and even made a tiny hand powered lathe for the knobs. My friend chose a Mission inspired design, while I went for more of a shaker style. His was walnut and cherry, while I went with flamed birch, cherry and birdseye maple on the inside of the drawer. After a year and a half I finally made the trek from New England to South Carolina for the exchange. Apologies for poor photo lighting. The pic with them side by side is the truest color wise.

14 comments so far

View gsimon's profile


1217 posts in 1656 days

#1 posted 07-08-2016 01:23 AM

absolutely charming story – these pieces turned out really nice

-- Greg Simon

View jbee's profile


43 posts in 239 days

#2 posted 07-08-2016 02:02 AM

Great story of a great friendship.

And really nice cabinets.
Building a bench and turning by hand lathe shows a real commitment to the challenge.

Kudos to you both.

-- Life is good! Make the most of it.

View MrWhit's profile


5 posts in 297 days

#3 posted 07-08-2016 02:24 AM

View TheGreatJon's profile


320 posts in 777 days

#4 posted 07-08-2016 03:09 AM

Cool story. I think I need to find a pen pal. Or I guess this would be a chisel pal.

-- This is not the signature line you are looking for.

View SuperCubber's profile


918 posts in 1828 days

#5 posted 07-08-2016 03:33 AM

Great looking cabinets!

Oddly enough, I’m from New England (RI), and now live in SC. Each summer we visit RI and I do some wood turning with a buddy.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View CampD's profile


1499 posts in 3029 days

#6 posted 07-08-2016 11:39 AM

Love them! Well executed.

-- Doug...

View jbee's profile


43 posts in 239 days

#7 posted 07-08-2016 12:50 PM

Love the lathe!!

-- Life is good! Make the most of it.

View BurlyBob's profile


3971 posts in 1809 days

#8 posted 07-08-2016 03:41 PM

Those are both wonderful.

View Andre's profile


1105 posts in 1349 days

#9 posted 07-08-2016 03:43 PM

Woodworking at its best! True craftsmanship!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View JKMDETAIL's profile


174 posts in 1198 days

#10 posted 07-08-2016 05:42 PM

Love them both. I am looking at them thinking about Christmas is coming and i have some lady’s to do something for. Liking this Idea.

View Richard W. Hyman Jr's profile

Richard W. Hyman Jr

717 posts in 1215 days

#11 posted 07-08-2016 09:07 PM

Stories like that really add so much to the pieces. Thank you for sharing!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View Mean_Dean's profile


5280 posts in 2691 days

#12 posted 07-09-2016 12:35 AM

That’s a great looking set of cabinets—and an even better story! I love to see this kind of collaboration between woodworkers, and see the wonderful results!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View ScottyB's profile


1 post in 230 days

#13 posted 07-09-2016 01:24 AM

Enjoyed the challenge, MrWhit! Ready for the next build??

View majuvla's profile


9681 posts in 2411 days

#14 posted 07-09-2016 05:22 PM

You both done realy good job on this shallenge. It’s hard to compare them since those are different styles, but anyway, I choose the right one.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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