Monthly Archives: May 2013

More Tool Holders

I managed to squeeze in a couple of more tool holders this weekend after the marquetry class on Saturday.  We have too many activities going on this weekend to get much shop time logged, but I’m slowly chipping away at finishing the tool cabinet.  Mostly this is simple stuff that doesn’t require a lot of planning or finessse.

The spokeshave holder started as two 2.5″ wide strips of Alder that I tacked together.  I spaced the slots 2″ apart and used a 1″ forstner bit to help lay everything out.

Layout for the Spokeshave Holder

Layout for the Spokeshave Holder

Then I poked the holed in the stack…

Holes Drilled

Holes Drilled

Sawed out the waste, cleaned up the slots with a rasp, glued it to a spacer board and mounted it in the cabinet door after a quick coat of oil/wax finish.  It’s not beautiful, but it’s functional…and done.

Done

Done

Speaking of rasps, the rack for them is just a series of slots in another hunk of Alder.

Rasp Rack

Rasp Rack

And that pretty much wraps up what I plan to store on the right side door of the tool cabinet.  I’ll go over the inside of the door with a coat of finish this week.  I’ll mount my bits and brace, and layout tools on the other door.  I expect I’ll have room left over after that.  I need to pick up some more Alder too, might as well be consistent in the wood that I’m using.  In fact, I should use that for the drawers too I suppose.

One Door Done

One Door Done

 

 

 

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Marquetry Class Today

I’d planned to make more tool holders today, but remembered that there was a SAPFM (Society of American Period Furniture Makers) meeting today, with a demo on marquetry.  I’ve never been to one of their meet ups, generally if I have time on the weekend I want to be in my shop, not someone else’s.  I’m weird that way.

Marquetry Example

Marquetry Example by W. Patrick Edwards and Patrice Lejeune

I decided to attend today and I’m really glad I did.  JB Alegaini did a great talk on what marquetry is, and what the different techniques are.  I’m not sure I could have told you the difference between inlay, marquetry and parquetry before the class, much less what the techniques were.  Basically inlay is cutting a recess into a piece of solid wood to insert something else into it.  Parquetry is a geometric design using solid pieces of wood, and marquetry is done with veneers.

JB uses a “chevalet de marqueterie” to cut out his designs using either the Boulle method or the Classic (piece-by-piece) method.  The third common technique is the Double Bevel method.  I’ve seen the Double Bevel method before on a David Marks DVD.  I’d always assumed that if I tried Marquetry I’d use a scroll saw, but I can see one advantages to this setup — you have really amazing control with the chevalet.

chevalet de marqueterie

chevalet de marqueterie

With the Boulle method a packet is prepared with two or more contrasting materials.  Brass, Ebony, Tortoise Shell and Pewter seem to be common materials.  The design is sawn straight through the pack, and the layers separated.  They can then be assembled to make two or more parts, which are reverses of each other.  One might be predominately Brass with Tortoise Shell details, the other would have the materials reversed.  The kerf would be filled in with hide glue and sawdust.

With the Classic method, pieces are cut out individually from either a single thickness, or from a packet to make multiple of each part.  By very careful cutting on one side or the other of the line the kerf is all but eliminated.  The pieces are assembled and the design is traced onto the background veneer which is then cut out last.

I’m interested in trying this some day, but I’m a little put off by all the little tiny details.

Pieces Ready for Assembly

Pieces Ready for Assembly

Sawing Out the Background

Sawing Out the Background

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What to store in the rest of this door?

Yesterday I made holders for all my chisels, well most of them.  I left out the carving chisels.  I haven’t done enough carving to know much more than the pointy end makes owies in my hand if I’m not careful.  I’ll keep those in a drawer until I develop some skills with them.

I’m pretty pleased with what I have mounted on the right side door on my tool cabinet now.  What should I do with the rest of the space on this door?  I’m thinking I’ll make one rack from my files and rasps, and another to hold my spokeshaves or scrapers — or maybe both will fit.  That leaves the other door for my dovetail saws, layout tools and bits and brace.

Chisels All Mounted - What's Next?

Chisels All Mounted – What’s Next?

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Chisel Rack for My Hand Tool Cabinet

I’d intended to make a simple chisel rack.  Just a series of holes drilled in a leftover hunk of plywood, with a slot to be able to slide the chisel in, then have it hang from the socket.  I made some experimental pieces, but I just wasn’t happy with the fit.

I googled for other ideas and found an article from Christopher Schwarz in 2003 that had a good idea, which I promptly stole.  The jist of the idea, which you can read in all it’s glorious detail here, is to make a series of slots to contain the chisel by gluing spacers to a board and the adding a top board.  The other nice idea was to have a cleat on the back.  This lets me hang the rack on the inside of my tool cabinet door, or take it out and hang it somewhere else (like the back of my workbench).  I made the base of it wide enough so that it can also stand on it’s own.

I started by planing some Alder I had to .400″ — which was the slightly thicker than the thickest part of my biggest chisel that would need to fit in the rack.  Then I cross-cut this into 1″ spacers.  I glued and pinned one spacer at the end, laid in my largest chisel, sandwiched a scraper for clearance, and glued/pinned the next spacer in place.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Chisels Mocked Up with 1" Spacers

Chisels Mocked Up with 1″ Spacers

Using a Scraper for a Shim when Gluing the Next Spacer in

Using a Scraper for a Shim when Gluing the Next Spacer in

After the 1/2″ wide chisel, I made all of the slots the same width — .400″ — using an off cut from my spacer material.

Small Chisel Slots All Use .400" Slot Spacer

Small Chisel Slots All Use .400″ Slot Spacer

After all the spacers were glued in place, I glued on a front strip.  The front and back pieces are both 1/2″ thick, so the sandwich is about 1.5″ thick at this point.  Not counting the clamping cauls of course.

Glue Up

Glue Up

Then I glued half of a French cleat onto the back, and a 3″ wide foot onto the bottom.  I slathered it with a coat of oil/wax mix and put my chisels in it.

Freestanding Chisel Rack

Freestanding Chisel Rack

I glued the other half of the French cleat to the inside of my tool cabinet door.

French Cleat

French Cleat

And hung the chisel rack on the door.

Finished Chisel Rack

Finished Chisel Rack

I made a much simpler, non-removable rack for my mortise chisels.

Pig Sticker Rack

Pig Sticker Rack

And another simple rack for my paring chisel and lock mortise chisels.

Last Rack for Now

Last Rack for Now

I have a hammer hanger drying in in clamps now, and that will finish off my chisel area.  I need to do the same for my small saws, drills and layout tools.  Then I need to make the drawers for the cabinet and it will be well and truly completed.

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Hand Tool Cabinet – Mostly Done

I just got the tool cabinet up on the wall, it took my wife, my son and met all together to lift it up high enough.  But I’m getting ahead of the story.

I sanded the outside of the cabinet with 220 then brushed on three coats of amber shellac.  It’s not fancy, but it will give it a bit of protection from dirt.  By the time I’d done three coats on all the exterior surfaces I was pretty comfortable with brushing shellac.

Three coats of amber shellac

Three coats of amber shellac

First door drying

First door drying

I also slathered the inside of the cabinet with a coat of Tried & True Oil/Wax finish, except for where the drawers will go.

One coat of oil/wax mix inside

One coat of oil/wax mix inside

Then I had to hang the doors.  I made some little stands to hold them at exactly the right height, which made getting the hinges on a piece of cake.  The #4 screws that came with the piano hinges were pretty short (1/2″) so I picked up some longer 1″ screws.

Installing Hinges

Installing Hinges

Then I screwed the french cleat to the wall, I drove 3″ deck screws into 3 studs that I was able to span.  Below that I have another strip of plywood that I’ll screw into through the back of the cabinet (behind the drawers) to help support the weight.

Wall Brackets

Wall Brackets

(off camera, heavy lifting noises)

Tool Cabinet!

Tool Cabinet!

No ominous creaking sounds.  I drove in the support screws and started loading in tools.  I still need to make the drawers and hang tools on the inside of the doors.  I’ll work on that this week.  It feels pretty good to have this much finished.  Something about the perspective in this picture make the cabinet look smaller than it is.  It’s big, and heavy.  It’s about 48″ square by almost 18″ deep with the doors.

Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

Tools Moved In

Tools Moved In

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One Door Done

So, it’s taking a little longer than I’d hoped to make the doors for the tool cabinet, about two hours to cut all the parts, lay out the locations for the biscuits and cut the slots, test fit and finally glue it up.  Honestly, I think the glue up took the most time.

I used the large (#20) biscuits veery 8″ all the way around the perimeter to align and support the edge strips.  I also use the smaller (#10) at the four corners between the edge strips.  I should have taken a picture of all the slots, but I was in a hurry to get this done, and let’s face it…it’s not what I’d call “fine woodworking”, it’s just utilitarian.

One Door Mocked Up

One Door Mocked Up

Thinking ahead (just a novelty, I won’t make a habit of it) I cut one of the long edge pieces .175″ narrower to allow for the piano hinge.

Instant Hinge Mortise

Instant Hinge Mortise

The glue up was a pain.  I put glue in the slots then used an acid brush to work it in (and get the excess out) way kind of fussy…and time consuming with 36 slots to work glue into.  After I got this done I remembered that I bought a special biscuit slot glue bottle years ago (and never used it).  I dug though my junk and found it.  Maybe the second door will go a little more quickly.

Anyway, it’s “in the clamps” and I have to go run a few errands.  I’ll get the other door knocked out this afternoon for sure.

One down, one to go

One down, one to go

 

 

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Doors for the Hand Tool Cabinet

I picked up some more plywood tonight to make the doors for the cabinet.  I’ve been buying “shop grade” birch ply, which, frankly, is junk.  Lots of voids and it seems less stiff than I would have expected.  I got a 5′ x 5′ sheet of real baltic birch ply today, for about the same cost as the 4′ x 8′ sheets of shop ply.  It seems like it’s much nicer stuff.  More plus, no voids so far.

I got my son to help me cut this up carefully.  I cut both door faces and several 3″ wide strips for the edging — the doors are going to be 3″ deep.  That will be plenty of room to hang all of my miscellaneous tools.  That’s deep enough to hang my braces which I think are about the biggest (depth-wise).

I think I’m going to put this all together with biscuits.  I dug out my biscuit joiner, which I’ve used exactly once before, 12 years ago.  I’ll make some practice joints to make sure I have everything set up properly.  I should be able to knock these out pretty quickly tomorrow.  The end is in sight!

Door Faces

Door Faces

3" wide strips for the sides of the door boxes

3″ wide strips for the sides of the door boxes

Comparison of Baltic Birch ply (left) to Shop Grade (right)

Comparison of Baltic Birch ply (left) to Shop Grade (right)

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Saw Till Guts

I added the guts to the saw till, nothing complex.

I used a 1″ dowel to support the handle, it goes through one internal divider and fits into a pocket in the outside of the case.  I made a little jig to get the holes lined up properly.

Drilling a Recess for the Support Dowell

Drilling a Recess for the Support Dowel

Then I cut some saw kerfs in strips of 3/4″ plywood on 1″ centers.  I put three blade supports in, which covers all of my saws.  I’ll have room for two or three more saws once I’m “moved in”.  I’ll probably hang my dovetail saws on the doors, although they could fit here too.

A Few Saws Test Fit

A Few Saws Test Fit

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Hand Tool Cabinet, Case Almost Done

I got a little time in this afternoon on my tool cabinet.  I got the dividers in for the drawers and cut some separators for the plane cubbies and and got the plane till in.  It’s starting to look like something now.

Ramped Till and Drawer Dividers In Place

Ramped Till and Drawer Dividers In Place

With all of my “regular” planes put away I have a bit of room left over for a few more.

Plane Till Finished

Plane Till Finished

If I get a little time tomorrow I’ll put in the details for the saw till and start on the doors.  This isn’t the most beautifyl or elegant tool cabinet, but it should be plenty functional.  I’m eager to finish this so I can get back to my sconce project.

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Tool Cabinet Progress

I made some decent progress today on my tool cabinet.  I still need to add the dividers for the drawers, the ramp for the plane till and some sort of gizmo to hold my saws.  Then I can start on the drawers and doors.

Coming Together

Coming Together

There are a couple of problems, one of which is my fault and the other I can’t quite pin down.  Probably my fault too.

FIrst, I mis-read my own plans and cut a dado in the wrong place.  Two, actually, but only one will show and not much at that.  I’ve repaired this, it’s annoying but not the end of the world.  The other problem is that the sides of the case are bowed in slightly.  I haven’t figured out what’s causing that, but it’s got to be something I did.  Maybe some inaccuracy some where.  My first guess was the back was too narrow, but I checked that and it was OK.  The case is square corner-to-corner, which is good.  I’m concerned that the bow in the sides might make it tough to put doors on it.  One step at a time.  Given how big this case is, maybe I should have made it out of 1″ ply.

Here is my mistake.  I put this dado in the wrong spot and didn’t discover it until I had the case glued up.  So I glued in an off cut, and glued in a spacer to support the end of that shelf.  Most of the patch will be hidden by the plane ramp, but it’s embarrassing and annoying.

WHOOOPS!

WHOOOPS!

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