Finished my Toolbox

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  • #127320
    mike forbesmike forbes

    Since building my Paul Sellers Bench and various other small projects I needed a place to hold my tools as the bench and tool well were not cutting it. Too many things can be bumped, shaken, etc off the bench.

    I had not made a dovetail joined project in hardwood yet so this would be an interesting experience. Ash was chosen for being a hardwood and it was cheaper than maple and mahogany but more than pine (too soft for what I wanted though it would be lighter).

    Most everything was done by hand other than cutting down the stock on the bandsaw.

    Dovetails were a challenge. My precision on the shoulder lines remained questionable throughout the process. Every time I thought I had it, I was humbled.

    [attachment file=”WP_20150322_010 1.jpg”]

    My sawing, well that didn’t work our quite as I planned. I wasn’t paying attention for every saw stroke and went off the line. Enough that I had to plane off about a 1/4″ or so. It wasn’t perfect and I am sure if I had Paul nearby he could have brought it to perfection.

    [attachment file=”WP_20150425_007.jpg”]

    Fortunately I had already added height to the carcass of just over an inch so my planes would clear. I failed to take in account something when I started and had to add a band of wood to the top. This came in handy as it allowed for some screwing up of the sawing and it is not that noticeable.

    A few coats of garnet shellac from tools for working wood and a coat of wax or two and it was done. The final product, I am quite happy with it for a first major hand tool hardwood project.

    [attachment file=”WP_20150503_007.jpg”]

    [attachment file=”WP_20150503_008.jpg”]

    For those in the states:

    The handles came from Black Bear Forge in Colorado, http://blackbearforge.com/woodworker.htm

    And my hinges are Brusso from Tools for Working Wood, https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/dept/CBR

    More pictures of the build can be found on my blog at http://mikeofallthings.com

    Boulder,CO http://mikeofallthings.com

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  • Author
  • #127331
    Derek LongDerek Long


    Well done, Mike. Where did you find that much Ash?!

    Derek Long
    Denver, Colorado

    mike forbesmike forbes


    Thanks, Paxton Lumber off of Colorado Blvd, its closer to me than Austin Hardwoods, though I hear there is a place in Broomfield I should check out.

    I had never worked with Ash, mainly Maple and Oak. I though about Mahogany but I did not want to screw up on that expensive of wood for my first major project.

    Boulder,CO http://mikeofallthings.com



    Congratulations on finishing your toolbox. The end result looks great and shows no trace of your sawing mishap.

    My tools are all over the place so i could really use one myself. I am still a beginner though and don’t quite feel up to the challenge yet. How do you rate the complexity of this project in relation to other projects?


    mike forbesmike forbes


    Thanks Wesley. I found out most of what I think are mistakes covered up very nicely.

    I started with a pine dovetail box which was a great practice piece. I really need to go back and make a few more and this isn’t a bad place to start and allows for learning of precision on the shoulder lines and squareness of the saw. You could always make the chest out of pine, it would be lighter and you won’t feel bad as you learn (I almost made it out of pine btw). I would not hesitate to recommend giving it a shot if you have dabbled with dovetails and use of the plane.

    I found the complexity to be not very high. It is a lot of pieces I will agree and it was my first major hand tool project. It does though start as a box. I enjoyed the tenons and mortises and did very well on those. I learned something every time I worked on it. Paul’s videos have all the info needed. I watched them quite a few times while I was working on it. It took me a few months as I was working full time and did not have much time to devote to it.

    I mainly used my chisels, #4 bailey, record 44 plow, so nothing too fancy.

    Boulder,CO http://mikeofallthings.com

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