Dutch Tool Chest Build Done!

IMG_6603IMG_6599 IMG_6601All that’s left is some painting and working on the interior details. Can’t wait to finally clean up the mess in the background.

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Everything but the Lid

In the past couple of days I’ve been able to make some real progress on the tool chest. Let’s start from where I left off.

After I took the carcase out of the clamps I jumped a little ahead of myself and attached the lower lip.

lower lipWhen I finished I realized I forgot to cut out the notch where the fall-front locks fall. So I unscrewed the lip and marked my areas.

lower baten catch outlineA little sawing…

IMG_6554chopping…

IMG_6555waste clearing…

IMG_6556and I was on my way to a decent looking stopped rabbet.

IMG_6559It’s hidden under the lip so ugliness doesn’t matter. I also cut out the rest of the notches for the fall-front locks while I was at it.

IMG_6561It probably would have been easier to do the notches for the panel battens at this point as well but I did it once they were already installed on the fall-front.

I added the front to the carcase and took a step back to admire my work from the front

IMG_6564and the rear.

IMG_6565Next was getting the back attached. I used my skewed rabbet plane to cut a rabbet a little more than 3/8 deep across a 5′ board.

IMG_6568

I clamped it to the back of the chest and screwed everything in place using the whole board.

IMG_6570Then I used a flush-cut pull saw to get the right fit rather than measuring.

IMG_6571I added the opposing groove for the shiplap and finished up the back. At this point I was dying to see what it would look like with tools to I did some glamor shots.

IMG_6577IMG_6578This got me excited for the home stretch. After I fit the fall-front to fit vertically I clamped it and marked it out the same way I did the back panels.

IMG_6580I made the four lock catches out of one piece of wood that I cut the 2″ wide dado in…

IMG_6587before cutting them into individual pieces.

IMG_6589Like I had mentioned in the beginning, I used all dimensioned lumber from Home Depot and did basically no milling to any boards just so I could speed up this building process. I finally ran into my first snafu.

IMG_6590The board I used to get my full width for the front-fall had a little twist so I hit the catches when I tried to insert the locks. Speaking of which, up until today I’ve used pretty much every scrap and have not purchased any additional poplar. This left me short of wood for the lid, locks, and battens. Today I made another trip to Home Depot to get the remaining wood and decided to cheat in the thinner stock pieces and bought some already 1/4″ and 1/2″  pieces for the locks and battens. Anyhow, I took off the one catch and took off about 1/16″

IMG_6592I put it back on and everything fit nice!

IMG_6594One of the last things I did today was to install the strap hinges to the case itself. I measured the height at 9/16″ and marked my case to cut out the notches but when I fit them they were still too high.

IMG_6595I took off an additional 1/8″ and that made things fit just right.

IMG_6596Now all I need is the lid which is currently clamped and waiting. As much as I want to finish things up tonight I don’t think I’ll be able to. My loving wife has been patiently waiting for me to finish this chest so we can catch up on Breaking Bad and I think I owe her an episode or two tonight.

Sorry this post was so long but as this is really the accumulation of about 3 or 4 nights worth. If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with it to the end. Once the lid is installed all I have left is to paint. I am using milk paint and I can’t decided between slate or pitch black. Anyone have any suggestions?

Carcase Complete

A couple nights ago I wasn’t entirely productive but I did manage to knock out the remaining dados for the shelves.

finished dados

However, yesterday was a different story. After I finished up the dados I did a quick dry fit to make sure everything was good. Only one of the three dados fit good right from the first fit. The rest I needed to take a little off the shelves to get a snug fit.

fitting shelves

Another dry fit proved that things were coming along.

dry fit

I took everything apart and clamped the sides together so I could cut the 30° angle.

top angle

This was one of those times when I proved how much I need a tool chest. Somehow I managed to lose my protractor and spent about 30 minutes looking all over for it. I had just used it the previous day but somehow managed to completely lose it because I still haven’t found it. Either way I just used the measurements from the plan and connected the dots and cleaned up it all up.angle clean up

Once I was happy with everything I did another dry fit and prepped for glue up. glued up

At this point I happened to notice that I made a little error in measuring. It wasn’t a matter of measure twice, cut once but rather the location of the top shelf. In the plans its shows the location for the bottom shelf on one side of the chest and the top shelf on the other. I didn’t notice that the top shelf measurement was taken from above the 1-1/2″ lower skid so I made my mark from the bottom of the chest. Now instead of having 6-1/2″ of clearance on the second shelf, I only have 5″. Not a horrible mistake but one none the less. At this pace there is a good chance I will be done by this weekend.

It Begins at the Big Box Store

Today I finally got moving on starting the Dutch Tool Chest. My day started at Home Depot where I got all my materials and hardware. Why Home Depot? That’s simple; my purchase was mostly free all thanks to my Amex. Due to the fact that I use it for about 98% of every purchase I make I easily rack up enough points for a $100 gift card about every 3 months. Lately we’ve been using them elsewhere so this time I felt like getting some financial assistance for my chest.

I honestly don’t like buying wood from any home improvement store (mainly due to price) but when it’s free, why not. I bought 24 linear (or board) feet of 1×12 poplar. There where two 7′ pieces that were straight enough for me to take and then I had a 10′ piece cut in half. Add some casters, screws, a set of strap hinges, and a couple of handles (which I will most likely take back) and I was pushing close to $200. Throw in my military discount and $100 gift card and I walked out of there spending about $80. Even though the poplar was $5.32 a foot, I still look at it as a win. Since it’s S4S I don’t have to worry about the labor of milling and it’s straight enough where everything will end up (mostly) square.

poplar boardsThe seven foot pieces were perfect to give me the two sides, bottom, two shelves, the front, and lower skid with some material left over. After everything was cut to size I noticed that the boards were a little tapered in width. They were just over 11-1/4″ wide so I milled the boards to get them where I needed them to be so I could start the dovetails.

I clamped the two side pieces together and marked out the tails.

IMG_6524After I made all my cuts I kept everything together and cut the shoulder off the end tailsIMG_6526before I separated them to chop out the remaining waste.

IMG_6529I do wish I would have gone with a steeper angle for the dovetails but oh well. For marking the pins I had to pull my bench away from the wall in order to accommodate the length of the bottom of the chest.

IMG_6530When everything was all said and done and I attempted a dry fit. It was a little snug on the left side but a quick cleaning of the pins and another try and things were fitting well!

IMG_6534Next and last for the day was starting on the dados for the shelves. I currently have all four marked and ready to go and even got one started before I had to call it quits for the day. IMG_6537I’m real happy with the progress made today and can’t wait to get some more done tomorrow.

A Home For Tools – Why the Dutch?

Dutch Tool Chest PWWWhen it comes to woodworking design, I have none. Most of what I build (probably along with most hobbiest woodworkers) is modification/redesign of something seen somewhere else. I do have a couple of “original” pieces but I consider them frankeinsteins of many different elements seen elsewhere. Sometimes it’s just easier to follow someone else’s plan.

Since I’ve taken up the hobby of woodworking I’ve managed to start a decent collection of hand tools. The problem is that I have no where to store or protect these tools. My most used ones are kept on a shelf below the bench; during projects they are basically stored on any flat surface that isn’t at the time occupied. It seems I spend more time making room and looking for tools then I do using them.

Once we had settled in our house here in NC last year I began thinking about how I wanted to store them. Initially I thought about building the hanging tool cabinet from the video series on Finewoodworking.com. However, there was one issue. Cabinets require organization and layout and as I am still building my tool collection my OCD doesn’t agree with that. If I were to build a cabinet I would need to have a space for all my tools as well as future purchases and since I don’t know when or what I will buy, I just won’t do it.

So my next choice was a tool chest. Of course like many other woodworkers I was drawn to the Anarchrist’s Tool Chest. Great design, solidly built and tons of storage. The estimated completion time is 40-60 hours or so (more like 70-90 for me) and since my woodworking time is about an hour and a half at nights (when I make it out there) and about half a day on Sunday’s, that’s a couple of months of shop time. That’s more effort than I want to dedicate right now. Then Chris Schwarz came out with the two day chest. This really intrigued me for time constraint reasons however as I don’t own any power tools I would need to go to the wood hobby shop on base. Definitley fesible but I really enjoy working at home much more so I was just waiting on my last option.

For anyone that follows the Lost Art Press blog (along with many other blogs that have built one), the Dutch Tool Chest is where it’s at right now (at least for me). It’s quick to build, requires little material, is straight forward in joinery and has lots a space. The article was to be published in the Oct issue of Popular Woodworking so I’ve just been waiting around. Imaging how happy I was when I checked my email two days ago and my digial issue was waiting for me!

Did I really need the plans to build this chest? No, of course not. It is a straight forward and simple design and I could have come up with my own dimensions based off the numerous articles and blogs as well as to accomodate my own needs. As I mentioned in the beginning, sometimes it’s just easier to follow plans then to come up with my own. I bet you’ll never guess what I’m starting on this weekend.

Indentity Crisis!

For quite some time I’ve been going over the idea of completely changing my blog. Not only the theme but the title/domain as well. I was never really happy with “Project Severed Cords” but it sounded good at the time. As you may tell, I finally made the plunge.

Although I’ve never been a dedicated blogger I’ve neglected this blog for the past couple of months quite more than I should have. I have completed a few personal projects since my last post but nothing documented. I think that part of my reason was how I originally wanted to handle this blog. Since that’s all in the past now it really doesn’t matter how that was.

So what’s new? Well besides the name, nothing really. I do plan to blog more often and cover more than just projects I’m working on. While I don’t feel my opinions or techniques matter much, my new title shows where I stand on that. I work some wood, I write about it and whether or not anyone reads this doesn’t change the fact that I’m gonna do it all over again.

I hope to keep up on this blog more so than I have in the past and hope at least one person can gain a little something from my inevitable mistakes to be made.

A Home For Saws

As I’m still in the progress of getting my shop organized there is one thing that I’ve been putting off and on the back burner to other projects; finding a home for my saws. Currently they just sit where ever they fit and that’s usually on top of the cutoff bin.

saw clutter

Even after I used a good portion of the wood from the bed for the assembly table, I still have a lot left so I thought it would be a good project to use a lot of the smaller pieces I have.

saw case pieces

I first thing I did was make four panels with three 1×4 pieces. I’m not even sure what the overall length was but I managed to get three panels flattened to 5/8″ and one to 9/16″ thick. Before I moved on I began to think about design. My initial intent was to make a typical saw till. One where you stand the saw on their handle vertically and rest the blade in the kerf of another piece of wood. I had laid out my pieces and used my saws to get an idea of the overall size and shape but my pieces were looking like they might be too short for what I was wanting. I could have made it work but I started looking for other ideas. Long story short I found an old Popular Woodworking article about storing saws. In there I saw this picture and knew where I wanted to take my design. sawcaseI don’t know why but I just liked this type of stroage better. Following this design the first thing I needed to do was get the angle that would best fit for the saw to hang. The first number to pop into my head was 22°. This was not steep enough for the angle of the handle so I tried again. I used a protractor to best determine the angle and came up with 35°. To test it out I laid a ruler until it made contact along the handle of the saw and lined it up with the 35° line I made on the panel. Looked vertical enough to me. saw angleNow that I had my angle set it was just a matter of figuring how I would put it all together. Two of the panels that were 5/8″ think would be used as the side and would be rabbeted into the front 9/16″ panel and the last 5/8″ panel would be the top. I decided not to enclose it completely and leave the back open. Keeping it all together I used a 2″ wide piece and connected the top by dovetail (don’t mind the horrible rabbet)

sawcase top dovetailAnd also about midway down the backside.

sawcase back dovetailAfter a couple of dry fits to make sure everything fit together properly it was time for the glue up.

sawcase glue upFitting the top actually occurred after this even though there is already one picture of it a little bit ago. For this I cut the rabbets and then kept planing away material until everything fit. That probably doesn’t make much sense but it worked for me. Once I had a snug fit I needed to make the kerfs for the saws to rest in. I currently have 6 hand saws that need a home and since the wife told me I was cut off from getting anymore I space everything out evenly for only six and no more.

saw case spacing

This was actually perfect because it gave just enough room for each saw without overcrowding. The cutting of the kerf wasn’t wide enough to allow all saws to be seated at once so I used a thin file to widen things a bit until every saw fit without being forced in. sawcase dry fitThe last thing to do was glue the top on. To keep things evenly spaced I used pennies between each kerf.

pennies in kerfsWhen it was all said and done my saws seem comfortable in their new home. IMG_6297sawcase backBefore you ask, yes a couple plates are a little bent but I wanted to try my hand at straightening them (at some point). Like most of my shop gear, she may not be pretty but she gets the job done!