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Dovetail box for my Dovetail Tools

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Project by jaysuzi posted 04-04-2018 12:04 AM 1581 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been struggling with an idea for how to store my dovetail tools. A tool wall or tool cabinet doesn’t work great for me because I am very limited on available wall space. A tool box isn’t that practical for me either as tools may not be as easily accessible as I would like and my tools really don’t need to travel out of my shop. I actually do not mind having them in the drawer next to my workbench where they are now, but while working they would end up all over the bench and my drawer was not super organized either. So my solution was just to keep it simple and create a tool tray for them that I could take out of the drawer, have all my tools together and hopefully as I work I will place them back or at least near the tray.

I made this out of walnut and maple, which is better material than I usually use for my shop projects, but I love those two woods. I used this as an opportunity to get some practice in on hand cut dovetails, and I do need it. I have only been making hand cut dovetails for a couple months now and need all the practice I can get. They are not perfect, but each time I learn a little bit more. These were the narrowest pins I have done, which was also a challenge, but I like the end results. The liner is just some old foam floor tiles that I had around. I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to lay out the tools, so this is good for a first round. I may end up buying some new foam, but this is doing the job.

Now some of my other hand tools are asking for a home – it looks like I might just get some more practice.

-- Jay in Pennsylvania, https://www.facebook.com/Hobby4Charity





14 comments so far

View Gary's profile

Gary

1320 posts in 4501 days


#1 posted 04-04-2018 12:43 AM

Great work!

-- Gary, Florida

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2707 posts in 759 days


#2 posted 04-04-2018 01:02 AM

Looks like that’ll do the job. Nice work!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Andre's profile

Andre

2142 posts in 1983 days


#3 posted 04-04-2018 05:42 AM

Looks pretty nice, D.T.s are the one thing I have to practice a lot more often!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1765 posts in 2525 days


#4 posted 04-04-2018 11:32 AM

Nicely done. Walnut and maple always look great together. What did you use for a finish?

My next project will be similar to this. I need a nice box for my Leigh Dovetail and M&T pieces and parts. What better way to practice than to build a box to hold the tools?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Fiddy's profile

Fiddy

187 posts in 1488 days


#5 posted 04-04-2018 12:20 PM

Great job, I’m in the same boat right now – trying to pick some small projects to practice on. I’ve been contemplating a chisel box and I think I’ll do it. Nice work!

View WoodChuckWorkshop's profile

WoodChuckWorkshop

4 posts in 1331 days


#6 posted 04-04-2018 12:46 PM

Very nice, looks like it turned out great!

-- Longtime Lurker - New Poster

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32087 posts in 3044 days


#7 posted 04-04-2018 01:05 PM

This is a very nice box to keep your dovetail tools in. The box protects the tools from damage and also keeps them ready to do work so that you don’t waist time gathering your them up.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View Joe's profile

Joe

482 posts in 1264 days


#8 posted 04-04-2018 02:37 PM

That is a super nice box for your special tools. I really like the design with the lift out tray, makes for easy accessibility. The dovetail work with two distinct woods is a real eye pleaser. Great job! Thanks for inspiring

-- CurleyJoe, "You only learn from your mistakes"

View Steve_In_MN's profile

Steve_In_MN

28 posts in 233 days


#9 posted 04-04-2018 03:12 PM

Nice dovetails! Looks great and provides efficient organization. I like the pull-out tray and color contrast.

-- Steve, Minneapolis area

View jaysuzi's profile

jaysuzi

149 posts in 1977 days


#10 posted 04-04-2018 03:38 PM



Nicely done. Walnut and maple always look great together. What did you use for a finish?

My next project will be similar to this. I need a nice box for my Leigh Dovetail and M&T pieces and parts. What better way to practice than to build a box to hold the tools?

- EarlS

Earl,

I used my new favorite finish – 4 light coats of shellac and wax. This isn’t the toughest finish, but should be fine as I don’t plan on banging around this box. I have also become a fan of the look and feel of this finish, and you can’t beat that it can be done in a single day.

-- Jay in Pennsylvania, https://www.facebook.com/Hobby4Charity

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1765 posts in 2525 days


#11 posted 04-04-2018 05:39 PM

I’m trying shellac on my contribution to the box swap and I have to admit it’s not going on as well as I expected. Any tips?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Woodbie's profile

Woodbie

20 posts in 230 days


#12 posted 04-04-2018 09:25 PM

Very nice box.

-- look here : https://woodyworking.wixsite.com/woody

View jaysuzi's profile

jaysuzi

149 posts in 1977 days


#13 posted 04-05-2018 10:00 AM



I m trying shellac on my contribution to the box swap and I have to admit it s not going on as well as I expected. Any tips?

- EarlS


I might not be the best to ask, as I do not follow the recommended methods, but I will tell you what I do. My first experience with shellac was with Amber shellac and a foam brush. This did not go well at all and almost turned me off of shellac. However, I then switched to the following method and I have been happy with my results.

First, I use clear shellac that I buy right from the big box store and then thin it with a 50/50 mix with denatured alcohol. To apply it I use a folded paper towel and put it on almost like a wiping varnish. I use light long strokes trying not to repeatedly going over spots, however I worry more about this on the 3rd and certainly the 4th coat. The first coat, I may go over spots multiple times to make sure it is covered. After the first coat, I sand with 220 grit (typically well used so probably more light 300 grit). After the 2nd and 3rd coats I do a light sanding with 320-400 grit. After the final coat, I just tried a new approach that I heard on YouTube – instead of sanding, I apply the wax with a white synthetic (steelwood) pad. Using the pad will help knock off any of the dust nubs that might still be there even after the very light 4th coat. Wiping it on might be a bit unusual, but it has been working for me, plus no brushes to clean up, which I like.

-- Jay in Pennsylvania, https://www.facebook.com/Hobby4Charity

View Noskcaj's profile

Noskcaj

24 posts in 461 days


#14 posted 04-05-2018 03:16 PM

Very nice work. I am now setting up my “new” shop for the ump teenth time. This project may send me in a new direction for tool storage placement. You do very very good work. I’m looking forward to other ideas you come up with. Great job!
Rick

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