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Tool Chest WIP

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B3nder

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It's been a while since I last posted, so thought it's time for a wip.

Initially I started with a tool chest on the wall but that went as I needed the space in my shed for other bits. I wanted to keep the tools safe and tidy and saw lots of tool chests all over the place. So I decided to make one.

However instead of making out of boards I wanted to make the chest from scratch. I also looked on US sites and people were raving about the Anarchists Tool chest. After vanishing down a rabbit hole the biggest thing that I took away from all the info was making a moveable chest that I can also sit on.

Plus I wanted to start getting dovetails sorted, so with this in mind I had a shopping list and went of to the timber yard.

 

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B3nder

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So I got the timber cut to size with the dimensions of the chest 750x450x450.

Magic ratio there, that also fits underneath the workbench and made the timber come to £30.

Getting the timber back I stuck it all together using cramps:

dt3.jpg



In my haste I now realise that there were a couple of issues with my glue up.

1. I did not book match the edges :roll:
2. Next time the cramps need to be lower to stop the wood bowing up.

Once glued up I then squared the edges so the edges were square and made sure that the ends were the same size and the two sides were the same size.
 

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B3nder

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Now time for the dovetails. This is my 2nd attempt at dovetails, 1st go was using sapele which was interesting.

Needless to say I spent a long time making sure the edges were square in the previous step. Then laid out the dovetails:

dt4.jpg


Then chopped them out using saw, coping saw and chisel:

dt4.jpg


I think this was after the coping saw but before the chisel.
 

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B3nder

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Then transferred to the sides which was a pain, trying to figure out how to hold the pieces together to transfer accurately.

Annoyingly I figured it out on the last edge. There was a little tweaking to get it to fit and then a few taps with the mallet and have the following:

dt6.jpg


I'm rather pleased that there was no splitting and the last dovetails went together much easier than the first. Not up to the standards of others on here, but it will hold my tools.

I need to plane the edges smooth and will then be able to see how bad my joints are, however one area where there were big problems was using a marking gauge and loosing the line back a bit so have wonky lines. Which is not a big deal I'll be aware of that next time.

On the plus side my planing and hand sawing is much better now. I tried a number of different methods chiseling out using a block as a reference, without, marking all the lines to cut with the DT saw with a knife edge, where to cut in respect to the lines etc.

So have learnt a lot and will definitely give it another go and hopefully keep improving.

However I do have a few questions.. . .
 

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MikeG.

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Excellent, well done. That'll be strong as anything, and look great. Pine isn't easy for fine joinery like dovetails. The marking gauge and chisels have to be absolutely razor sharp, and still they'll make a mess. Just a thought....I try to make my dovetails of different sizes so that it looks impossible for a machine to have made them. If you go to the trouble of hand cutting dovetails, it's nice that someone now and then notices that they weren't churned out by a robot!
 

B3nder

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Thanks.

I think I need to use a cutting gauge rather than a marking gauge.

Fair point about the different sizes, although at least the arent spaced with a 50:50 spacing like a machine.

I am looking to add runners for the internal trays to hold other tools in.
Which will use dovetails again but in contrasting wood.

Some people line the inside of the chest, other than looking nice is there any point to doing this?

The sides are 20mm thick (IIRC) and I need to find some hinges, are hinges specified for the full lenth of a leaf or to the centre of the barrel?
 

MikeG.

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B3nder":wsmxjt2p said:
.......I think I need to use a cutting gauge rather than a marking gauge........
No, you don't. Just take a file to the pin of your marking gauge, and flatten one side. This pretty much turns it into a knife. Get used to making a really fine pass, and being really careful to keep the gauge properly aligned. If it really can't be persuaded not to chew up the wood, then abandon it and mark out with a knife and square (using the gauge just to mark a little pin prick at the right distance from the edge as a guide).
 

Trevanion

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Fair play on the dovetails, they look very neat for what looks to be a quite difficult material to do dovetails in, I'm not sure whether that's whitewood or just a low grade of redwood but it doesn't look the most forgiving either way.

When clamping panels, all the clamps need to be gently clamped up in unison to prevent bowing, pinch them all up at first and then gradually bring up the pressure on each one in a cycle, maybe turning the thread a quarter or half a turn on each clamp each cycle. If the bottom clamps are too tight too early the boards will bow upwards and if the top ones are too tight to early the vice versa will happen.
 

B3nder

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Never rhought to sharpen the marking gauge.

I think I over tightened the clamps.

Perhpas also using contrwct grade timber rather than standard dodn't help.

Hinges sorted.

Rails and tray is the next thing.
 

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B3nder":3oil54ku said:
Never rhought to sharpen the marking gauge.

I think I over tightened the clamps.

Perhpas also using contrwct grade timber rather than standard dodn't help.

Hinges sorted.

Rails and tray is the next thing.
I thought I was being oh-so-clever using scaffold timbers to make things. It turns out that there is a reason why people use better quality wood - it's better quality, so gives better results. Just because it planes nicely, and looks pretty, doesn't mean that it won't all split, crack and bend later. Disappointingly I now try to use expensive wood (or at least I will, when I have time to make anything). My experiments with concrete shuttering boards have had about a 50% success rate. In other words, about half of what I made has torn itself apart in the last 6 months (the humidity change from summer to winter is brutal here, as is the temperature drop from 40°C down to zero)

I do like your box, but will you be able to lift it when it is full of tools? I need something similar, so will be following with interest.
 

B3nder

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I do like your box, but will you be able to lift it when it is full of tools
I will be putting it on casters to move out from under the bench. I won't even try to lift it.

Just finished planing some random wood for the first tray. Hopefully will get that sorted later and get some pics.
 

That would work

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Nice job, reminds me of making mine during my apprenticeship. We had to use waterproof dovetails as practice for boat building. But also as boatyards were/are more likely to flood the chests could float! :lol:
 

Just4Fun

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That would work":2famtvcd said:
We had to use waterproof dovetails as practice for boat building.
I have never heard of waterproof dovetails. Please explain, it sounds interesting.
 

MikeG.

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Trainee neophyte":k1uhy4v6 said:
....... It turns out that there is a reason why people use better quality wood - it's better quality, so gives better results. Just because it planes nicely, and looks pretty, doesn't mean that it won't all split, crack and bend later........
True, but as all the grain is orientated the same way here, it isn't fighting with itself and shouldn't suffer if there is any movement.
 

That would work

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Just4Fun":23l7mw9i said:
That would work":23l7mw9i said:
We had to use waterproof dovetails as practice for boat building.
I have never heard of waterproof dovetails. Please explain, it sounds interesting.
Water proof dovetails are traditionally used on coachwork on yachts, so for things like the carcasses of sliding hatches etc.
They differ from normal through dovetails in that the tails are cut back on themselves at an angle to form an extra shoulder on the inside (so they lap over slightly). The corresponding shoulders on the pin sections are cut at an angle to mate with the undercut on the inside of the tails.
 

Just4Fun

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I am unsure how that might make the joint waterproof unless you work on the assumption that the tail piece is horizontal so any water would have to run uphill along the undercut. Intriguing though; I will have to try it.
 

That would work

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It's an extra "defence" but I have to say say that I haven't done any comparative tests! Actually they are referee to as "watertight" dovetails.
I doubt you wold find many people doing them now though.
 

thetyreman

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nice work on the chest =D> looks like tight joinery. I didn't know water proof dovetails were a thing until this forum.
 

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Apologies to the OP as this is going a bit off-topic.

I’ve never made a boat and the idea of “water-check” dovetails is interesting insofar as the intention is to introduce an angled labyrinth in the joint that is filled with glue at the meeting point of the two sides.

A couple of decades ago, I did a repair for a friend on an old 19th C chest-of-drawers, probably French in origin, which mostly involved re-gluing some of the joints, dried and loose with age.
I noticed that although the drawer-fronts had conventionally lapped the tails, there was a flat rebate on the inside of the pin sections of about 1/8 inch that did the same sort of thing as the water-check joint, albeit at a right angle and without the angle shown here, but the fundamentals are the same. I came to the conclusion that this was to improve the appearance of the internal junction where, in time, gaps may appear.

Anyway, I thought that it was a good idea and I’ve been doing it ever since.
 

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