Maple and Ziricote shop toolbox

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Project by Dan Lyke posted 02-21-2011 02:48 AM 3442 views 6 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the results of a learning process. When I made the desk-extension organizer for Charlene, I had some problems with drawers sticking. In fact, the drawers are now in the reverse order from how I first put it together (and the design I had in mind when I laid out the wood for the drawer fronts) because for some reason the combination of the top drawer with the top wooden rails just never worked.

So this piece was primarily a chance to play with drawer techniques when using non-mechanical slides (in this case, oak rails screwed to the side of the carcase, . A few lessons learned:

  • To prevent racking, drawers want to be as tight a fit on the sides as possible.
  • Use a soft wax, not just a melted beeswax, for drawer lubrication.
  • Do final fitting on the drawers after finishing. Finishing dramatically changes the thickness of the slide rails.
  • Even ¾” maple sides will bow out and change the fit on other drawers if the drawers are fit tightly.
  • I still need to figure out a good way to mill the countersink and attachment hole into the drawer rails so that I can do adjustment on the rails after I screw them in.

Drawers are Poplar, with Ziricote faces from the seconds pile at Luthier’s Mercantile, they were once destined to be guitar backs. The two pieces weren’t face matched, so I joined the sequence there in the center, it didn’t work as well as I’d hoped.

Handles are from a block pulled from one of the buckets of wood scraps donated by [ Griffin Okie] for Family Build Night. I’m not sure what it is. Of course those are sequenced down the face.

Sides are maple, and next time I think I’ll do an analine dye, or do my first few coats with an amber shellac, to make it pop more.

There are a bunch of flaws, somehow I ended up cutting the fronts shut a hair shy of where I wanted to, the dovetails got a little sloppy in the glue-up, but it was a great learning process, and it’ll look better in my shop (and store stuff more effectively) than the red metal toolbox that it’s going to replace.

Same content over at my personal blog

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

8 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 02-21-2011 03:02 AM

that is deffently an upgrade from a metalbox :-)
still looking good nomatter what you say

thankĀ“s for sharing it with us


View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4021 days

#2 posted 02-21-2011 04:01 AM

Great contrasting woods. You done good! ;0)


-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View swirt's profile


2731 posts in 2966 days

#3 posted 02-21-2011 04:52 AM

Thanks for pointing out the shortcomings, but it sure looks great anyway.

-- Galootish log blog,

View KMT's profile


603 posts in 2656 days

#4 posted 02-21-2011 05:56 AM

Nice job, looks really nice, and good tips on the rails and waxing. I am just now finishing up a set of drawers with wood slides and have had a hard time with final adjustments. I glued the rails in place.

-- - Martin

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4119 days

#5 posted 02-21-2011 07:37 AM


Martin: In fitting each of the drawers separately, I discovered I had that side flex thing going on. Next time I’ll build my carcase stronger (probably a rail and stile side, with the stile being thicker than ¾, or just with a face and back frame). For fitting, I made the rails thicker than they needed to be, and then carefully shaved ‘em with a scraper. I just went and checked, I used the “Minwax Paste Finishing Wax” that my Dad recommended for keeping tools in my unheated shop from rusting.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View steliart's profile


2595 posts in 2682 days

#6 posted 02-23-2011 11:21 AM

nice contrast on the piece

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions

View Savage Woods's profile

Savage Woods

16 posts in 2229 days

#7 posted 04-13-2012 02:15 AM

The Maple compliments the ziricote nicely – if you’re ever looking for more zir then let please me know – I have over 1000 BF right now available on the site;)

-- Rare & Elusive Ziricote @

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4119 days

#8 posted 04-13-2012 02:25 AM

I’m not sure how much ziricote I can afford [grin]. But damn you’ve got some gorgeous stuff.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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