I managed several hours in the shop yesterday and was able to pretty much finish the fabrication of the chest, just leaving the finishing.
The first order of business was to flatten the lid, which is glued up from two boards. I worked across the grain to level them, then lengthwise to remove the marks from cutting across the grain and the last few little low spots. Then I pulled the blade back and made passes until I gut full-width whisky shavings.
Why didn’t I use my LN #4 for this? Two reasons, the main one is that I still get inconsistent results with it. I have a really hard time setting it up to take a whispy shaving (while it’s dead simple with the #8). I don’t get it, the next time LN is in town I’m taking the plane in for Denab to look at it. The other reason is that it fell off of the bench the other day, and landed right on the front tote, which took the full force of the impact. No other damage to the plane, but the knob and it’s mounting screw are toast. I’ll have to order a replacement knob after the holidays.
And of course I had to use my muscle bound buddy to fill in the gaps in the knots. I used the same stuff to fill the nail holes in the skirting. I’ll be interested to see how this looks under the finish.
In the past hinge mortises have been worrisome for me. Well, my ability to make the accurately, has been a concern. The last several sets I’ve done have come out pretty well. First, I position the lid on the case, and strike a knife mark across both the lid and the chest for the outside location of each hinge edge. Then I use a marking knife to outline the position of each hinge on the case edge and bottom of the lid. and my marking gauge to mark the depth. I pare up to the outline marks like you would for a “first class saw cut”, then chisel them deeper and pare to the mark again until I get to the full depth. Then I pare away the hump in the middle until I get to my depth line. Then I finish it with a router plane.
All four mortises came out great, and they even lined up exactly as they should. I had to run to the hardware store to get longer screws, these came with 1/2″ long screws which didn’t seem like enough. I used 5/8″ screws on the lid and 1″ long screws on the case side. I also picked up some light gauge brass chain and screw eyes to make a support for the lid when it’s open.
Then I fit the upper skirt. I glued and nailed it to the lid. The corners are mitered, glued and cross-nailed. And of course I countersunk the nails and my muscle bound buddy filled in the nail holes after the clamps came off.
I made a chisel rack for inside. I just marked out the spacing, sawed across the grain to depth and chiseled out the waste like a dado. The chisels are Wood River (Woodcraft store brand) butt chisels that were on sale for $29. The online reviews were surprisingly good, although they need serious work on the backs to flatten them. They are surprisingly not sharp out of the box. I’ll need to tune those up today while I wait for the coats of finish to dry.
I mounted the chisel rack inside, and added a saw till. Next time I do this I’ll use screws to hold the slotted bots to the cross piece. Nailing into them (while they were sliding around making a mess with the glue) was a pain. They are too springy from the relief cuts to be able to nail into nicely.
Here is the mostly-finished tool chest. I have a few little details left. A bit of sanding, breaking the edges of the top skirt with a plane, adding the top stays, and of course the finish. Should be able to do that all this morning.
It may not be apparent from the pictures, but it’s big. Not as deep as the regular anarchists too chest, but I just checked the dimensions of the “Traveling Anarchist’s Tool Chest”, and mine if 4″ shorter, 3″ wider maybe 2″ shorter. It’s big enough that we’re certainly not taking my mini to the in-laws tomorrow.