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Thread: A simple toolbox and a Drill Brace test

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
    Posts
    96

    A simple toolbox and a Drill Brace test

    Dear Creekers,

    Few years ago, wandering on the woodworking interwebs, I bumped into a new to me yet brilliant idea: using an axe for a toolbox handle. This idea was so simple it left me mesmerized.
    Last year I was fed up moving all the gear for my chainsaw in an old card board box and I decided it was time to have a proper solution.
    As I bumped into an unusual brace in a flea market in Belgium, I thought it would be a good opportunity to put this tool into test.

    I have documented the build for a French speaking non-neander forum I attend from time to time. The idea was to explain my way of doing things by hand and present few exotic tools I use (exotic meaning from outside Europe).

    I am by far not a tool expert but my feeling is that (south?) western Europe did not really have a culture for metal hand planes and kept the woodies until quite late, and panel and back saws were barely used as frame saws of all sorts were the way to go in most shops.
    Of course it was an all-different ball game in Perfidious Albion ;-)
    As I am honing my skills with traditional French tools, I am planning on doing projects only with them later on.

    As SMC’s audience is expert in hand tools, I will not translate all my blah blah and bad jokes, to keep the wording to a minimum.

    Of course for the wise audience of the Creekers, there will be no exoticism and the product itself is plain and simple but I thought I could still present this basic build and hear some comments to improve.
    I have learnt so much reading SMC for years; I felt I had somehow to report back to the forum. Of course I would be delighted to receive any input or critics about my choices.


    So first, the unusual tool I found for EUR 3 in Belgium is an MF #182



    I did not own a drill yet, so I was really in need of such a tool to make holes!


    Here, detail pics of this drill brace






    A friend gave me a walnut tree few years ago. Unfortunately she used a professional company to chop it down and they have cut it in really short sections of +/- 60cms.

    I am delighted to have received this tree but can only make small projects with it.

    I usually make my boards quarter sawn on a homemade sawmill.
    As I would not like to spoil the venerable Neanderthal-Haven with a picture of a machine, please allow me a photographic metaphor.



    This is a photographic metaphor.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    9,968
    Have seen more than a few tool boxes that use the wrist handle...where there are 2 slots, that would fit around the crank part of a brace....leaving the wooden handle sticking out of the top of the tool box, when the box is closed up.....Then you can carry the tool box by that handle....
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
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    23,807
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    1
    There are many ways to make a tool tote / tool box. Old tool handles is part of the art of using what is on hand.

    Here is a tote of mine made years ago and sold at a farmers market:

    Tote Stool .jpg

    If the tools are carried in a tool roll, then it isn't too cumbersome to move the tools out to use it as a stool. Most of the folks who looked at it thought it was a great way to carry beer and sandwiches then have a small table at the beach.

    The original link to the Popular Woodworking article that inspired it has long been broken.

    There are a few features to remember when making the typical tool tote:

    Tool Tote Side View.jpg

    Make sure there is room between the sides and the handle so the largest tools to be carried will fit. Also make the handle high enough from the bottom so a drill motor can fit if one is going to be used. On this tote one side is higher than the other. There is also a wall with dowels at the left end for holding screwdrivers, files, chisels, pencils or any other item. The vertical piece on the far wall holds a pull saw securely.

    If one doesn't have a hollow auger to reduce the size of a large dowel used for the handle a small dowel or even a nail driven through the end will keep it from slipping out:

    End View.jpg

    The board on the right side was used as a practice piece for a beading cutter and carving balls & balloons out of the bead. It hit me half the way across that it looked like Morse Code. It came to me to carve my initials in Morse Code at the end.

    Hopefully you can show images of your tool box when it is finished.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
    Posts
    96
    Thank you Steven, I have seen these as well, I was just introducing my toolbox, it is already made with an axe.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
    Posts
    96
    Hi Jim, thank you for sharing your toolbox pictures and givig some advice.
    Cool anecdote with the morse code!
    Last edited by Axel de Pugey; 09-08-2021 at 3:14 AM. Reason: Addition

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
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    96
    Finally I reconsidered the wood choice, as I am quite stingy with my quarter-sawn lumber, I will mix a quarter sawn oak board I made too thin and full of knots and some plain sawn walnut left over as well.

    The wood selection








    As space management is key in my 10m2 shop (108feet2), I always pushed back on making and storing a sawbench.

    As it is a sunny autumn day at the time of the build, I use my wife’s plants garden as a bench. It is deeper than the ground therefore it it allows me to use a 70cm (4.5 tpi) saw to put the lumber to size without hitting the ground.


    Outdoor woodworking


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
    Posts
    96
    Milling

    The usual defects



    As I use oak for the bottom, I need to reduce the thickness quite a lot for weight considerations (I did not have enough thickness to bookmatch though). So I don’t bother getting rid of the high spots first and process the whole surface.


    Short fore plane across the grain to get rid of the cupping and reduce the thickness




    I often refer to winding sticks





    Now for the twist, I use a longer sole and less camber on the iron


    Fore plane in diagonal




    No more cup, no more twist





  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
    Posts
    96
    Then I grab the try plane

    My try plane iron is straight, I just knock off the corners








    Just checking!




    On the boards I want to keep the maximum thickness possible, I mark the highs




    and I grab a smaller tool





    For the edge, I use a jointer, this is the only plane I keep a 100% straight edge on the iron. In the event I am badly off square, I do few passes with the long fore plane and am off to town.

    Jointer plane on the edge







    Thicknessing, not the most exhilarating part



    The “getting there” sign





  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
    Posts
    96
    Oak processed, now on to the walnut!




    This tree lied on my friend's garden floor for 2 years before it was given to me, therefore some parts are nicely spalted, others are to get rid of.

    Edges are rotten




    Automn arrived I have to saw inside

    My favourite British saw (5 tpi)




    Try plane on the face

    (sorry for the redundancy, I enjoy taking pictures)




    Jointer on the edge




    Thicknessing




    Ready to start



    Last edited by Axel de Pugey; 09-09-2021 at 3:46 AM. Reason: Format

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
    Posts
    96
    Locating the joints

    I often leave a narrow space between my tails but I never really tried to leave only the space for the saw, I guess that’s what some call a “London Style”. I will try my luck.
    In addition, as I was watching the video of the Pekovich toolbox, I thought I could leave the marking gauge line as well for a change (one bold statement for sure!)



    Inside faces are smoothened




    Shooting board




    As I saved weight by thinning the oak I kept the walnut a bit thicker, so the oak tails will be longer for the aesthetics.




    Divider’s ballet




    Speaking of ballet, I discovered recently « les Indes Galantes » from Jean-Philippe Rameau (1735), I love a specific movement « The Savages» (for example here at the harpsichord). This happy little piece is perfect to cut today’s dovetails.

    I will explain a bit more in detail how I did these specific dovetails as the end result proves I could use a bit of advice.

    Once I chose the number of tails I wanted, I marked pencil lines on the end grain and give them one (and one only) vertical first saw cut. I know in theory this first cut should be already angled but I am never managing it, normally that is not such an issue but with such a little space between the tails, every little flaw is more obvious.

    At first I am trying to do two saw kerfs next to each other, but the saw jumps from one another, so I end up having only one kerf between each tail on the other corners of the box.

    Then not tracing anything else, I use my old template and saw directly the tails until I reach the marking gauge depth line.






    My first issue is that the lone vertical starting kerf is super visible… or the kerf is wider because of the following angle I used, I am not sure. Anyway we’ll see the outcome later.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
    Posts
    96
    Grooves for the bottom

    Now that my dovetails are located, I can work on the grooves where the bottom will slide.











    Four grooves done




    As mentioned somewhere else on this forum, I always end up with the #50 marking the tails but this is not really visible once the joint is closed.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
    Posts
    96
    Tongue and groove

    In normal use, this toolbox will inevitably rest on forest floors and other humid places, so I am planning for a tongue and groove bottom.

    In France Tongue and Groove planes in one, are the most common flea market tool. Having a separate tool for each joint is a bit more seldom (and finding them as a matching pair never happens)





    Partial family shot featuring a foreign cousin from across the pond





    For the board thickness I have, I will use the matching pair to the right of the picture.


    Groove






    Tongue
    (Note how the “internal” chip is naturally pushed out)




    It works well even on the knots




    I fit the boards together and score the final width





  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jura, France
    Posts
    96
    Rebate

    I make a rebate all around my bottom panel




    So I will now pause hoping for a crucial input from the wise audience about the spurs of this tool (and of the #50’s)

    As much as I don’t have any issue with wooden plane’s nickers, I plain dislike Stanley’s style of spurs. I find them way too thick, way too deep; it just does not work with me!
    I really often end up taking them off and scoring the line with a marking gauge or knife in between each rebate plane’s strike. This is counterproductive to say the least.



    I appreciate the fact that my sharpening technics of these tiny parts is not really good, but is it possible that my frog brain cannot figure out how to use them?

    Fellow Creekers, could you please teach me the dark magics of Stanley spurs…do you reduce their thickness, do you change the angle or shape, do you reduce their length?
    (I know the spur of the #45 is different and adjustable but I don’t have this tool)

    Thank you
    Last edited by Axel de Pugey; 09-11-2021 at 4:12 PM. Reason: spelling

  14. #14
    Axel, I find myself looking forward more and more each day to your posts. Thank you for the obvious effort you put into sharing them. Who is your photographer? I thank them as well.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    956
    I am only minimally qualified to talk about spurs, but here is my take. Having a thick solid knicker should help it last a while. The cut line made by the knicker and the edge of the cut made by the plkane iron need to line up good. Because the knicker cut only needs to be as deep as the plane shaving is thick, only the more or less tip of the knicker needs to be "sharp".

    Look forward to hearing what others have to say about this, my take is the Stanley knicker is so thick to make it robust.

    I am enjoying these pics a well, I keep hoping to see how you used an axe haft as a tool box handle today...

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