The Tool Tills

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Project by Joe Brumley posted 07-24-2008 03:25 PM 2899 views 4 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have finally completed my toolbox with the addition of the tool tills. The two tills that are simply boxes were really straight forward even though I did manage to layout and cut the tails on the first one I made on the ends instead of the sides.
The saw till on the other hand took a little more working through. I managed to layout and cut the dovetails relatively quickly but then came the challenge of trying to figure out the most efficient method for fitting the ends to the ledger. I ended up using my table saw with my cross-cut sled and getting really close to the fit then bringing it home with my rabbet block plane. This is the first time I had worked with thin material and after resawing some of the wood bowed. This made hand planeing and putting the pieces together a little more challenging. Also the saw box does not rest flat against the sides of the case because the top of it bows out slightly. A minor detail since it is my tool box and it holds tools really well but if someone was paying me for it I would have gotten another board. Another thing that I did was under cut the dovetails on the saw box. I didn’t think about the fact that I would be removing material from the ends and how that might cause a gap to appear. Well that is exactly what happened and in a couple of spots there are gaps between the tail and the seat of the pin. If you look close at the second picture you can see what I am talking about in the second tail from the top on the right. Woodworking is a constant learning experience isn’t it.
For a finish I decided to try my hand at spraying shellac. My shop is not really a good place to spray a finish as the furnace is in there and the fumes end up all throughout the house. For my first time at spraying shellac it went ok, but I can see that I have a lot of practicing to do at spraying a finish. The spray gun I use is the Wagner Fine Spray that sells for about $100. I am pleased with how well it works, I just need to use it more often.
Well that’s it for now. Enjoy.

-- Joe, Indiana,

12 comments so far

View lew's profile


12061 posts in 3755 days

#1 posted 07-24-2008 03:36 PM

Beautiful Work!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3713 days

#2 posted 07-24-2008 04:01 PM

Wow, I like this a lot, very nice!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3687 days

#3 posted 07-24-2008 04:14 PM

Well , even after you’ve noted all of the “flaws” for us , it still looks beautiful to me…if you never make a mistake , you’ll never learn how to fix anything : )

Great work in my opinion…someday I hope to get brave enough to attempt dovetails on a project . Have a great day and thanks for posting this beauty .

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View gusthehonky's profile


130 posts in 3741 days

#4 posted 07-24-2008 04:33 PM

Wow! Sure to be a family heirloom.

These are my favorite projects, a great source for inspiration. I love the way they show off a craftsmans skill as well as revealing hints of the owners personality. Another item on my to do list, I’m still using one I built almost 20 yrs. ago from 1/2” scrap ply—time to upgrade.

-- Ciao, gth.

View Timber4fun's profile


218 posts in 3600 days

#5 posted 07-24-2008 05:04 PM

Very nice work Joe. Looks great. Flaws??? I call those character marks. :)

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View Texasgaloot's profile


464 posts in 3700 days

#6 posted 07-24-2008 05:17 PM

You know, it is said that the Shakers would purposefully leave a flaw in their work, the idea being that only God was perfect and they had no right to approach perfection. You can quickly get into a circular philosophical argument there, but I am always quick to pull out the old Pee Wee Herman movie, after a spectacular bike crash: “I meant to do that.”

Seriously, now that I’m admiring your work, I’m seeing all kinds of things I want to go back and change in my own toolbox. Sheesh.

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View romansfivefive's profile


302 posts in 3772 days

#7 posted 07-24-2008 08:23 PM

That looks great. perfection is an illusion, there is never an end to how we can improve things. My friend used to always say that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, until you have to mow that lawn. I guess that is the same as how we look at our own faulty work in comparison to the work of others. Any honest craftsman can point to features in thier work that could have been done better, regardless of how skilled they are. take pride, it is a great project

-- The CNC machine can either produce the work of art you imagined, or very decorative firewood.

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3901 days

#8 posted 07-24-2008 08:53 PM

It’s a delight to see work of this quality and you drew me back for another look at your lovely toolbox

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View PineMan's profile


71 posts in 3593 days

#9 posted 07-24-2008 09:54 PM

Interesting concept!

-- I never started a project I couldn't screw up.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4246 days

#10 posted 07-25-2008 06:48 AM

great job, give yourself a break, we are our own worst critic. Only God is perfect, as someone said.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Joe Brumley's profile

Joe Brumley

70 posts in 3781 days

#11 posted 07-25-2008 03:41 PM

Thanks guys for the kind words. I wasn’t necessarily pointing out flaws to be hard on myself. I hope you guys don’t think I am some masochist woodworker. I was just making note of them in order that next time I remember to take those things into consideration. I know there is no such thing as the perfect piece because there is no such thing as the perfect price.

I guess this is how I motivate myself to improve. If it’s not good (relatively) then I have to make it better. I am very happy with the outcome of the project because I have never done one before. I guess I equate it to Norm’s show. He builds two of everything. The second one he builds most likely has some improvements on it because he was able to work through the whole process already. That doesn’t mean that the first one is junk. Norm is going to note what he did wrong on the first one so that he can tell the viewer what to do right. I use these project posts as a sort of note environment to myself as well as to show my work. I could make a note of the good parts of the case but then you guys would think I was full of myself and never look at my posts again (maybe?). Anyway, I really do appreciate the feedback that I get on this site. Everyone is very encouraging and I love the support. It means a lot coming from other craftsman.

-- Joe, Indiana,

View steven8321az's profile


5 posts in 1824 days

#12 posted 05-28-2013 09:35 PM


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