The Finish

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Well I’ve done it; I’ve gone and finished another project!  This has been a pretty long project but I am really pleased with the results.

Background:

Over the winter holiday break I decided to get off my very-rested posterior to make an Anarchist Tool Chest or ATC (see Chris Schwarz ) of my very own.  This would mean making a LOT of dovetail joints.  My dovetail experience up to that point had been confined to Roy’s one-day dovetail class at the Woodwright’s School (which was great) and a couple of practice pieces that I had done on my own. My trial attempts were pretty pathetic, but at the dovetail class I had a hand-tool epiphany: Sharp tools make all the difference in the world!  I know this is a simple concept, but until you have experienced the joy that is using a good, sharp chisel, you have not lived….or at least probably not been successful at dovetail joints.

I decided on a smaller chest to hone my dovetail skills, a travel chest that is roughly 1/2 the size of the larger one.  The intended dimensions were 12x12x24, this is not exactly the golden ratio, but I sized the width to accommodate my largest plane, a 22″ Jointer.  This smaller footprint was constructed almost exactly to the same design as the full size ATC with a few exceptions:

1) Stock Thickness.  If I went with all dimensions reduced to 1/2, the stock thickness would be 1/2″ and I thought that was a little thin so I decided to go to 3/4″

2) Instead of sliding trays, I decided to maximize the storage space and make 2 lift-out full width and depth trays.  One is  1 1/2″ high and the other 3″ high.  This allows me to get a lot more tools in the small chest.  The lift-out trays make convenient tool holders while working and makes cleanup after use very quick.

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3) The lock is placed on the dust skirt, not on the carcass proper.  This was done to accommodate the smaller lock that I used.  I choose to only screw the dust skirt to the carcass, though I did let a little squeeze-out remain from the skirts assembly to help with fixing it to the body of the chest.  It is not under a lot of strain, so I figured fastening it in this way was OK.  What this allows:  If the lock ever breaks, I can remove the dust skirt and fix or replace it.

4) No bottom skids.  I decided to leave these off because this chest will spend most of its life (with me at least) on a cabinet at a good usable height to access the planes in the bottom and not on a wet or damp floor. I may at some point add thin skids but right now it will stay skidless.

This “prototype” exceeded my wildest expectations.  I am very pleased with the end product.  This will make a very good temporary home to my tools until the full sized one is built and also, be a great traveling chest, when taking classes and such.

1 thought on “The Finish

  1. Berry Henderson

    Aaron,
    You have created a masterpiece! Keep up the good works and I can’t wait to see the full sized tool chest! You should show phases while building the larger one.

    Peace Bro
    Berry

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