Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 20 of 68 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a desperate need for a while for someplace to store my hand tools (instead of all spread out on benches, shelves, etc..). After looking around at different pictures and plans for chests, I decided to roughly follow this design from Woodsmith Magazine.

I've been working off and on for several months on this chest and was going to wait until I finished to post build pics. Then earlier this week nbo10 revived the thread "Alternative Methods" Challenge.

Since I'm building the same chest (sort of) that was built by several others in that challenge I thought I'd go ahead and start posting now and show my methods and design changes.

For reference here are links to the other threads where the machinist's chest was built:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/alternative-methods-challenge-machinists-chest-30864/

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/alternative-methods-project-3-machinest-chest-30401/

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/alternate-challenge-machinist-chest-30057/

And here is a picture of the chest from Woodsmith Mag.
Furniture woodworking Chest Room Wood
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
899 Posts
Very cool. I need to build something also. I have 2 machinest tool boxes. One wood, my grandfathers, and one metal. My dads. The upper drawers on them are very thin. It will be interesting to see your take on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My take on the original design is I really like the look of it, but I thought the dimensions of it were way too small for my use. The Woodsmith design is 17" wide, 8" deep and ~13" high. The large drawers are only 2.5" tall and the small ones 1.25" tall.

In comparison my design is 24" wide, 16" deep and 20" high. The large drawers on mine will be approx 4" tall with the small ones around 2.5". I've also changed the drawer configuration a little with all shorter drawers on the top half. Needless to say, I won't be including handles on mine as when it's full it will be way too heavy to carry.

Here is a picture of a Sketchup model I drew to get a handle on proportions and drawer sizes.

Chest of drawers Furniture Drawer Chiffonier Chest
 

·
Wood Snob
Joined
·
5,963 Posts
trc65 said:
My take on the original design is I really like the look of it, but I thought the dimensions of it were way too small for my use. The Woodsmith design is 17" wide, 8" deep and ~13" high. The large drawers are only 2.5" tall and the small ones 1.25" tall.

In comparison my design is 24" wide, 16" deep and 20" high. The large drawers on mine will be approx 4" tall with the small ones around 2.5". I've also changed the drawer configuration a little with all shorter drawers on the top half. Needless to say, I won't be including handles on mine as when it's full it will be way too heavy to carry.

Here is a picture of a Sketchup model I drew to get a handle on proportions and drawer sizes.
Good idea on the size changes. I store my hand tools in my work bench and didn't really consider my drawers wouldnt be deep enough When I built it. Shoot come to think of it, I didn't have a lot of the tools back then. I've always liked the WS plan.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a note on tools I'm using. This will be a mostly hand tool build so it fits well with the "Alternative Methods" theme. The only power tools I have are a circular saw, miter saw and router and they will/have been used where needed.

Time for a few pictures of the actual build process. The first is my wood source. I've shown some of these pictures before, but what you are seeing is the remnants of our barn which was knocked down about 10 years ago. Lots of 1x fir, but all the 2x material is white oak and that is what I'm using for this project.

Tree Geological phenomenon Wood Plant Scrap

Last fall I spent about two weeks slowly working my way through this pile pulling out any remaining boards that weren't rotten. I was able to pull quite a few out, unfortunately, most of them don't have a straight section longer than about two feet. Most of them also have nails sticking out of one edge as seen below. The majority of the boards are a true 2" x 6" +/- 1/2".

Wood Rectangle

There is no way to remove the nails other than ripping about 2" off of each board, which I do with a circular saw and some angle iron for a fence.

I was able to find one board with no nails and it was that board I used for the sides and bottom of the chest.

Before ripping, I edge and face planed each board. Marked them up and ripped them with a 5 tpi Warranted Superior handsaw I restored last winter. Very slow going through that aged oak - about 15 minutes per foot of rip:eek:. What I ended up with was a series of boards about 5 1/2" wide, ~3/4" thick. I had pre-cut them to length of about 18" for the sides and 26" for the bottom. Here is a pic of one of them after ripping - not real pretty, but the backside is flat and it has good edges.

Wood Floor Hardwood Table Wood stain

Since the backs were flat (from the planing before ripping) all I needed to do was plane the edges before gluing them into panels.

I started surface planing them after glue-up with my SB #5 and that was slow going. I seriously started looking to buy a scrub plane or a fore plane to speed up the process when I remembered that I had a SB transitional #35 plane with the same size blade as the #5. Took the blade to the grinder, spent some time on sandpaper and water stones and this what it now looks like.

Wood

Put that blade in my #5 and the panels were thicknessed to about 9/16". It worked very well (and quick) and now I have a combo Jack/Fore plane depending on which blade is in it - I really need to get another #5 so I don't have to switch blades.

Used a smooth plane to finish them up a bit and here is one of the panels almost done.

Wood Table Hardwood Floor Wood stain


Another note: I'm not real particular when it comes to actual measurements. The width of the side panels obviously match up with the bottom, but from there everything will be built to size based on what has been done already. For example, I was shooting for a 16" depth, but it ended up at 16 1/4". I saw no reason to remove another 1/4" from all the panels so I just left them as they are. I just measured tonight and the other dimensions of the case are 24 3/16" wide and 17 3/4" tall:smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Paul, it's a love/hate relationship I have with hand tools. When I was re-sawing all that oak I wanted a bandsaw in the worst way. When I was done though, I had a good workout and really had a sense of accomplishment.

I used to think there were a lot of things I couldn't build as I didn't have a tablesaw, bandsaw, planer, jointer, etc. Now I know I can build almost anything I want with the tools I have.
 

·
HALL OF FAMER
Joined
·
8,569 Posts
Having already built this tool chest according to the dimension in the magazine, I'm really looking forward to your take on it. I had a great time building mine and I hope you have as much fun with yours. This is gonna be a great build. :thumbsup:
Consider me glued.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
I, too, am following this one. Hand tools and white oak. That's a tough game. I like this tool chest too and have considered building it. You may be my inspiration to do so. I have some wormy white oak sitting that I know the wife won't let me use for inside....

How does that chipbreaker work with your radius'ed iron? Does it clog up on the corners? I have a spare iron I've been meaning to radius for my #5 but wasn't sure what to do with the chipbreaker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Having already built this tool chest according to the dimension in the magazine, I'm really looking forward to your take on it. I had a great time building mine and I hope you have as much fun with yours. This is gonna be a great build. :thumbsup:
Consider me glued.

My "shop" is actually just a small corner of an uninsulated, unheated machine shed. One goal of building this chest was to get a majority of my tools under some cover to keep the dust/dirt off and hopefully keep some of the condensation off. My main criteria with the size was to be able to store my #7 jointer plane in one of the drawers with room to spare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I, too, am following this one. Hand tools and white oak. That's a tough game. I like this tool chest too and have considered building it. You may be my inspiration to do so. I have some wormy white oak sitting that I know the wife won't let me use for inside....

How does that chipbreaker work with your radius'ed iron? Does it clog up on the corners? I have a spare iron I've been meaning to radius for my #5 but wasn't sure what to do with the chipbreaker.
Almost everything I have made since I started woodworking a couple of years ago has been with that oak. It's cheap :laughing:, I have lots of it to play with and I like the look of it. Other than a couple of things I've built with a little bit of poplar, and a couple of tools made with black locust, it's the only wood I've worked with. If nothing else, it has sure taught me the meaning of sharp!

I don't know that the chip breaker really does anything for the iron other than stiffening it up a little bit. The picture shows the chip breaker in the position I use it in, so the corners don't really come into play with the "point" of the blade so far beyond it. Also, with that much of a radius, you are only removing wood from about the center inch so you really don't have any chips on the edges. It looks weird, but it seems to work......

I guess I've never seen what the chip breaker on a true fore plane with a radiused iron looks like - anyone care to comment???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here are some more pics of the build.

Another design change that I made from the original plan was to use dovetails for the main carcass instead of finger joints. I guess I could have cut finger joints by hand, but that seemed tedious at best and I like the look of dovetails better anyway.

Here's one of the sides and the bottom with the dovetails cut. Ignore the clamps, I just set the carcass on top of them to take the picture.

Wood Furniture Table Shelf

I thought I'd show a couple of pictures on how I lay out and cut dovetails. When I first started cutting dovetails I used a sliding bevel, but it just seemed cumbersome to me so now I use this dovetail gauge from Veritas to lay out all my dovetails. It's a 14 degree gauge which is approx. 1:4 ratio. I know some people say to use a 1:6 for softwoods and 1:8 in hardwoods, and there is probably a good reason for that, but I like the look of the 14 degree so that's what I use.:yes:

BTW I always use a knife for marking the dovetails and then follow that with a pencil so I can actually see the mark.

Wood Hardwood Wood stain Plane


I use a dovetail saw to cut the tails and follow that with a coping saw to remove most of the waste. Clean up with appropriate sized chisel.

Once the tails are cut, it's time to mark the pins. I use a couple of right angle clamps to hold the two boards while marking. I've seen some really nifty jigs that others have built for this, but I never seem to find the time to build one.

Machine tool Machine Tool accessory Metalworking hand tool Pipe

When I mark the tails, I use a little machinist square to copy the marks from the end of the board to the face. Put the blade of the knife in the mark on the end, move the square over to the back of the blade and scribe the face of the board keeping the angle of the knife the same as the end marks.

Wood Hardwood Table Wood stain Tool

Finally, a picture showing how I clamp larger boards that won't fit into my little vise. This method works well for supporting long boards for jointing or panels that you need to dovetail. Just use one hand screw clamp to attach to the board and use another to clamp the first to the bench.

Wood Tool woodworking Machine Art
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Now that the dovetails are cut, it's time for a little work on the side panels before they can be glued to the bottom.

First is to cut grooves for the plywood panels. As I don't have any hand tools to perform this task, it's off to my hi-tech router table pictured below.:laughing: It's not much, but it is all I need. Router screwed to a piece of plywood and a cutoff from a counter top for a fence. Add a couple of clamps and I'm good to go.

Table Furniture Machine

Since the 1/4" plywood is actually 5.2mm, I got an inexpensive straight bit from MLCS designed for "undersize" plywood.

The original plan calls for the drawer divider panel to be attached to the bottom of the till panel just with glue and screws. This seemed a little weak to me so I added another panel to support the bottom of the divider. I don't really know if this is necessary, but it seemed like a good idea.

The other thing needed is the drawer slides to be made and attached to the sides and the drawer divider. I used some 1/4" thick poplar for the slides. They need to be 1/2" wide, so I used a marking gauge to scribe marks on the board and used my dovetail saw to rip the boards.

I just clamped the poplar to a piece of scrap and slowly cut the slides. It is not very efficient to make this long horizontal cut as you need to stop periodically to blow out the dust. Nevertheless, I ended up with uniform sized slides that only need a pass with the block plane to clean them up before attaching.

Tool Backsaw Wood Hand saw Saw

Here is where I need a little input from those reading this.

The original plan calls for attaching the drawer slides with ring shank nails which I have done. However, I noticed that others making this chest for the "Alternative Methods Challenge" glued and/or screwed the slides. I'm not at all confidant that the nails will hold these in the long term, but I worry that if I glue the slides it will cause problems as the side panels move with seasonal humidity changes. Especially since this chest will be housed in a machine shed with no heating/cooling. Any input will be greatly appreciated - and I can still make changes even though the sides/bottom are already attached.

Finally, here is a picture of the sides/bottom attached along with the top rail.

Furniture Workbench Wood Desk Table
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,391 Posts
Today's glues are a far cry from those of just a few years ago. I would have no worries about using the glue and screw method of assembly. As long as the chest is protected from direct damage from the rain or snow there should not be any issues.

Things are looking really nice so far. My compliments to the chief :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
When you're working with the little strips used for the guides, they can be tough to hold if you need to do any work on them so the easiest way to do any trimming is to clamp a block (or other plane) and run the wood over the plane. Just be careful what you do with your fingers while doing this.:yes:

Wood Hardwood Table Tool Furniture

My chest is going to sit on a bench or shelf and will not be movable like the one in the magazine, so I'm not going to spend any time making a raised panel for the rear. Instead, I'm using a piece of 1/2" plywood that was recovered from some other project (hence the ugly brown paint). I'm using the same plywood for the divider.

After rabbiting the back panel and cutting grooves for the till panel, bottom panel and divider I went ahead and glued all of them together in a sub assembly shown below. My reasoning was it would be easier to do it this way rather than trying to align all the pieces while trying to glue it up. We'll see if that's true when I get to that stage.

Wood Furniture Table Plywood Hardwood

To hide the plywood edge on the front of the divider I cut and glued a strip of oak to the front.

Wood Automotive exterior Table

Here is everything pushed together for a test fit. I know the brown paint looks ugly, but once the drawers are fitted you won't see any of it.

Shelf Furniture Shelving Hutch Wood
 

·
Wood Snob
Joined
·
5,963 Posts
johnnie52 said:
Today's glues are a far cry from those of just a few years ago. I would have no worries about using the glue and screw method of assembly. As long as the chest is protected from direct damage from the rain or snow there should not be any issues.

Things are looking really nice so far. My compliments to the chief :thumbsup:
Johnny couldn't be more right about the glue and screw. One of the first things I learned in wood working is "nails only hold themselves".

I would also add. I love your crappy router table. I used the same one for years. Mine was a sink cutout and my local tool dealer said it might void my warranty using a router like that.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 
1 - 20 of 68 Posts
Top