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post #1 of 106 Old 10-01-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest

Today marks the beginning of the 3rd project in the Alternative methods challenge. I have to say, that the shop time today was filled with measuring, test cuts, dry fits and a huge thought process that I thoroughly enjoyed. It all started like this..........................



I've decided to make this tool chest from red oak so with that decision out of the way, I pulled down a rough sawn 8/4 piece of red oak from the wood rack.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9550.jpg



I then installed my ripping blade and made sure that it was square to the table. From there, I ripped the piece of oak down to a rough size. In this case, I cut it down to 8" wide, which also happens to be the maximum size that my jointer can handle. How convenient.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9551.jpg


In all of the previous tutorials and build threads that I have done, I always stress checking the fence or the blade to make sure that it is 90 degrees to the table. This next photo illustrates why. I'm not sure what happened here. I could have knocked the fence when I was setting up, or bumped it "just so" with the heavy piece of oak, but either way, this fence is in no way, shape or form, 90 degrees to the table. It only took about 10 seconds to check and another 30 seconds to rectify, but it saved me a great deal of frustration down the line.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9552.jpg



Once I got the fence of my jointer 90 degrees to my table, I face jointed the oak, checked for flatness, then edge jointed and checked for square. Once I was happy with the results, I moved on.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9553.jpg


I then set up my band saw for some resaw action. Mounting my home made resaw fence and checking that the blade was square to the table. You can see here, that I have used my set up blocks to set the distance from my fence to my blade. You will be seeing a lot of these blocks in this thread. They are another one of my best buddies in the shop and I love my setup blocks.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9554.jpg

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post #2 of 106 Old 10-01-2011, 08:17 PM
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Oh man, Ken. I haven't even begun to think of starting any of these projects, and you're into the third build already.
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post #3 of 106 Old 10-01-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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After setting up my bandsaw, I ran the oak through the saw to provide me with 3 pieces of 5/8" stock. 1/8" is a little excessive, but I like to joint the pieces after resaw, and the extra 1/8" gives me a little more to play with.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9555.jpg


I then headed over to the thickness planer and planed the boards down to the required 1/2". You may notice that the board that is going through the planer in the photo, is nowhere close to flat on the top. This was the last end cut of the resaw and there wasn't enough to resaw again, so I jointed the one side and got it flat and planed the opposite side.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9556.jpg


Here we can see the boards planed down to 1/2" and ready to go.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9557.jpg


I then set up my miter gauge and installed my fine cross cut blade and made sure that it was square to the table. I then squared off the stock and cut the parts to length for the sides and the bottom of the chest.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9558.jpg


At this point I had to prepare to do the finger joints of the chest. I made a finger joint jig out of 3/4" MDF and some scrap walnut and attached it to my miter gauge. I also installed my dado blade in a 1/4" width configuration and made some test cuts.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9559.jpg

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post #4 of 106 Old 10-01-2011, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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After cutting a set of test joints, I wasn't really happy with the results. The fingers were a little loose for my liking. So I made some adjustments to my jig and tried again. Here we can see the loose joints.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9560.jpg


After adjusting the jig, I recut the finger joints and this time, I was content with the fit of the joints, so I moved on.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9561.jpg



It was not time for the real deal. I cut one side of the bottom board, then used that board as the spacer to start the finger joints on its mating piece. Once I finished routing the mating piece, I tried for a dry fit and repeated the process with the other side of the bottom board.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9562.jpg


Here, we can see the quick dry fitting. The edge of the boards are not lined up, because they have not yet been cut to there final dimension of 7 3/4". You can also see a lot of chaulk marks on the board. I use the chaulk markings to help me in keeping the boards properly alligned and to make sure that I don't accidently reverse a board.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9563.jpg


Seeing that I already have my dado blade set up at a 1/4" thickness, I set the height of the blade to 1/4" and set my fence to cut the dado for the front retaining board of the chest. Once I got this dado cut, I installed my ripping blade, squared it to the table and ripped all of the boards to their 7 3/4" width as called for in the plans.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9564.jpg

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post #5 of 106 Old 10-01-2011, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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It was now time to use the router to cut the dados required to house the top shelf and the front rail board. I took some extra pictures of the router set up here because I wanted to show the ease of setup, using my set up blocks. So, here we go. The router bit is required to be set at a height of 1/4", so I use my 1/4" setup block, with a different block on top of it. I raise the bit until it touches the overhanging top block. The router bit is now 1/4" above the table.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9565.jpg


The dado is required to be 3/4" down from the edge of the board. It's as simple as grabbing the 3/4" setup block and placing it against the fence of the router table. The fence is then moved in until the setup block touches the bit. Lock down your fence, and you have the bit 3/4" from the edge of the work.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9566.jpg


The stop block is required to be 2" from the back edge of your bit. Using the variable set up block (1", 2" and 3" settings) lay the 2" side, flush with the back edge of the bit, and slide your stop block up to the setup block. Clamp the stop block down and there you have it.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9568.jpg


From there, I routed the dado to accept the tenon of the front rail. I then used the 2" block to set up my stop block on the opposite side and routed the dado for the opposite side.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9569.jpg


With those two dados being done, I needed to rout the dados that will accept the top shelf of the chest. In order to set the stop block, I placed the bit into the previously cut dado, slid the stop block up to butt against the board, and clamped the stop block to the fence. The longer dado has to end at the same spot as the shorter dado, so using the shorter one as a guide is perfect. As far as setting the fence, I used the 1" and the 3/4" set up blocks. I placed them against the fence, and slid the fence until the bit came in contact with the blocks. I tightened down the fence and viola.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9570.jpg

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post #6 of 106 Old 10-01-2011, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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At this point in time, you should be looking at something like this. If you look at the plans and cutting list, you may note that the top shelf calls for a 1/8" thick piece of stock. I wanted a thicker piece for a little more stability and less sagging, should I choose to place heavier tools in the top. I had to adjust some of the measurements for the dados here for those who might think that my measurements are not the same as the plans. There were just a few adjustments to allow for a thicker shelf.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9572.jpg


I then used my 1/4" chisel, sharpened to a stupid sharp state, and cut the rounded dados to a sharp corner. You may notice some fuzzy edges on these boards. At this point in time, there has been no sanding done at all.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9573.jpg


I was now time to cut the front rail piece. I cut a piece of 1/2" stock to the required 2 1/4" width and cut it to length at 16 1/2". The front rail requires a dado to accept the top shelf. The distance from the top of the rail to the dado is the same as the previously routed longer dados that we did in the side boards. Seeing that the router table is already set up for this, now is a good time to rout the dado.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9574.jpg


I now had to set up my dado blade in the table saw. The width of the blade wasn't important to me here. I was only concerned that it be more than 1/2". I also set up my miter gauge and started to cut the various rabbets needed to form the joinery of the front rail.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9575.jpg


At this point, we have the front rail completed and ready for a dry fitting.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9576.jpg

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post #7 of 106 Old 10-01-2011, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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And here we are, with the dry fit of the cabinet. There is still a lot to do here, but it is nice to see that the walls are square and that the front rail fits nicely. The dados to accept the top shelf are all alligned beautifully and I'm quite happy with the fit of the joinery. Tomorrow, there is a lot of sanding to do and I have to continue on the interior of the cabinet, including the drawer rails and supports. This has been a great project so far and I'm really enjoying it. I have to say, that the final dimensions of this tool chest are a lot smaller than I pictured, but it will be perfect for what I have planned for it. I hope you are enjoying this thread and I will be posting more tomorrow.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9577.jpg

Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9578.jpg

Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9579.jpg

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post #8 of 106 Old 10-01-2011, 11:51 PM
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Kenbo,

Nice shop, nice tools, nice workmanship, nice tutorial so far.

You are a "gadget" person I gather. I was wondering about that inclineometer that you use to check your fences for square. If your jointer or table saw is not sitting perfectly level then the meter would not give you square, or do you set on the horizontal surface fist to calibrate it? I've just always used a square to check the fence then check a test piece after the first cut.

These tutorials are kind of fun to do. I've learned that you have to make a commitment to the tutorial process before you begin the project and stick to it as you proceed.

Keep up the good work. Bret
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post #9 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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To answer your question, when I use my digital meter, I first set it on the table of the tool and zero it out. By doing that, it doesn't matter the level of the tool because you are now using the table as a reference point, not its relation to level. To zero out the meter, it's as easy as pressing 1 button. Done.
Thanks for the kind words.

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post #10 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, and by the way, I do like gadgets if they are useful to me.

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post #11 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 04:58 AM
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Not only a master craftsman he is also cranking out projects at a stunning pace, a skilled photographer and very good at writing tutorials.
Great reading as always!
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post #12 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 05:38 AM
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Nice uses for your 1-2-3's.BW

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post #13 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 07:51 AM
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Yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longknife View Post
Not only a master craftsman he is also cranking out projects at a stunning pace, a skilled photographer and very good at writing tutorials.
Great reading as always!
Might even have a career in woodworking? Ken, what's your day job? We know what you do nights and weekends... bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #14 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Ken, what's your day job?

I'm a full time electrician Bill. It's been a great trade that has keep me in (pretty much) full time employment for many years. Defnitely a great job that provides me the opportunity to work a lot of overtime.

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post #15 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 09:21 AM
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Looking fine here Ken. Keep up the good work, I think there are more folks watching than are commenting.

Oh yeah, don't forget to breathe between the full time job and the other full time activity......

Never Stop Learning - You Stop Living.
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post #16 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 10:10 AM
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geeez, you're like a robot set on full throttle , keep up the great work . you are a master!

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post #17 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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I'm back

As I said earlier, I decided to go with a thicker panel in the top shelf, so I started of the day, by cutting the top shelf to size.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9580.jpg


As it has been with everything else in this project, I then did a dry test fit to make sure that everything fit properly.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9581.jpg


I then needed to rip some 1/8" thick strips of maple. I used my 1/8" setup block and placed it against the tooth of my ripping blade. I then placed my combination square in my miter slot and adjusted it until the blade of the square was flush against the setup block. I then tightened down the combination square.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9582.jpg


From there, the square is placed in the miter slot, and with the stock against the fence, the fence is adjusted until the stock touches the blade of the square. The fence is then locked down and the cut is made.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9583.jpg


A quick check with the calipers shows the correct thickness.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9584.jpg

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post #18 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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I then laid out the lines on the underside of the top shelf to mount the 1/8" thick cleats that will accept the drawer divider of the chest. A little bit of glue and some clamps will take care of this perfectly.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9585.jpg



I then laid out the lines for the notch in the drawer divider that will be cut to accept the front rail.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9586.jpg



Being the adventurous type, I decided that my tool of choice would be the scroll saw to cut out the notch. I'm always a little happier when I'm sitting at the scroll saw.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9588.jpg



I was planning on using an 8" bastard file to finish the notch and square up the corner, but the cut on the scroll saw was so clean that the file wasn't needed.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9589.jpg



It was now time to rout the decorative grooves in the front edge of the drawer divider. I placed a V-groove bit in the router table, and using my setup blocks, I set the height of the bit to 1/16".
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9590.jpg

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post #19 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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I then needed to set the fence so that the tip of the bit was 1/8" from the fence. Using a 1/8" setup block, I placed the block against the tip of the bit, slid the fence until it contacted the block and locked down the fence.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9591.jpg


I ran the outside front edge of the drawer divider through the router setup, then reversed the divider and ran the other side through to get the decorative grooves.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9592.jpg


It was now time to drill the holes in the top shelf for the screw that will attach the drawer divider. I marked and center punched my holes and drilled a 1/8" hole from the under side of the shelf.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9593.jpg


I then flipped the shelf over and drilled the counter sinks that will allow the screws to sit flush to the shelf once they are installed.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9594.jpg



You should have something that looks like this.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9595.jpg

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post #20 of 106 Old 10-02-2011, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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A quick test fit of the drawer divider proves to be a perfect fit.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9596.jpg



It's time to cut and install our drawer rails for the tools chest. I set up my miters gauge, checked my table saw blade to ensure that it was square, and cut some 1/2" stock to the correct length, making sure that the board was square. You might notice the finger joint cuts on the one side of the board. This was my test joint piece and I wasn't about to let the stock go to waste.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9597.jpg


My combination square was still set for 1/8" strips from before, so I used the same method as I described previously to rip the 14 drawer rails that are needed for this chest.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9598.jpg


Here's we can see all of the drawer rails cut and ready for the next step. I cut an extra 2 for the oops factor. Turns out, I never needed them but I'm sure that they will be used for something.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9599.jpg



I then sanded all parts to a grit of 220. I wasn't that concerned about sanding the outside of the chest, as it will require more sanding once the cabinet is glued together. The inside, however, should be sanded as if it was its final sanding.
Alternative methods-project #3-machinest chest-img_9600.jpg

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