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Thread: Finished Tool Cabinet, and a confession

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    175

    Finished Tool Cabinet, and a confession

    Just finished my latest tool cabinet today. I am fairly new to hand tools, and I set out to cut all of the joinery for this cabinet with hand tools. I found the cherry for the carcass to be very unforgiving when cutting through dovetails by hand, so I switched to box joints on the table saw for the main case (they also proved to be tougher than I expected). I did, however, manage to cut the dovetails for the drawers by hand.

    Thats it for the confession, now for the details of the cabinet. It is 32" high, by 32" tall with doors shut. It totals about 11" deep also with doors closed. The main carcass, doors and top are cherry. The door panels and back panel are baltic birch ply, and I added maple veneer to the outside of the doors. The interior tool wells are made from bb ply and cherry. The drawers have cherry fronts, aspen sides and back, and bb ply for the bottom. The door and drawer pulls are cocobolo.

    I tried to leave some room for expansion in the future (both in the doors and left side of interior). The missing plane spot is for a low angle jack (proper dimensions thanks to Don Peterson), hopefully coming at holiday time. I would also like a good combo square and maybe a tenon saw to hang inside one of the doors.

    Thanks for looking,

    Gary
    PB180001.jpg

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    Last edited by Gary Benson; 11-18-2007 at 11:58 PM. Reason: Additional info

  2. #2
    Gary,
    Very nice cabinet!
    Lee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    St Thomas, Ont.
    Posts
    553
    Very nice indeed looks great. What was the problem with the cherry that you had, was it that the grain was somewhat wild, and did not cooperate with cutting?

    I see you did not put many saws in there, wise move as inevitably as you slide down the slope ever faster they will doubtles breed in your shop and grow in numbers.

    Good work though no matter how it happened
    Craftsmanship is the skill employed in making a thing properly, and a good craftsman is one who has complete mastery over his tools and material, and who uses them with skill and honesty.

    N. W. Kay

  4. #4
    Gary,

    Excellent job! I really like the looks and functionality of that project. I have yet to attempt a cabinet like that, but have saved your pictures for ideas when my turn arrives.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Gold Canyon, AZ
    Posts
    67
    Abso-freakin-lutely beautiful. That is going to be one of those tool cabinets that someone pays a king's ransom for in about 100 years.

  6. #6
    Absolutely stunning.

  7. #7
    Very nice cabinet Gary.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    KC, MO
    Posts
    2,041
    Gary -

    That's terrific work - beautifully done. You've got a nice hand tool shop!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    175
    I think the problem with the cherry was more with the operator, less with the wood itself. Given that cherry if fairly hard, it will not compress much, therefore I ended up over cutting and leaving unacceptable gaps. Using aspen or another softer wood seems to allow some compression when fitting, and more swelling during glue up to hide more small errors. I did seem to get better as I went, and look forward to further improvement.

    Thanks for the compliments.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Patriot, OH
    Posts
    140
    We will let you slide this time

    Very nice job I too am going to keep a few of the pic's for Idea's on my tool cabent when I get to building one.

    Again
    Very nice job / well done

    Bob Oehler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    733
    Gary,

    Very nice. I'm in the process of trying to figure out how to store my hand tools, so I really appreciate seeing how others have approached the problem.

    I'm almost persuaded to make a tool till with casters so I can move it around the shop as needed.
    "History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it." -Walter Bagehot

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    65,836
    Gary, that's a lovely cabinet...what tools you actually used matters less than the wonderful end result, IMHO. There are many times when the "ideal" may not work out. So you do what you need to do and move on.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    339
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Benson View Post
    I tried to leave some room for expansion in the future (both in the doors and left side of interior). The missing plane spot is for a low angle jack (proper dimensions thanks to Don Peterson), hopefully coming at holiday time. I would also like a good combo square and maybe a tenon saw to hang inside one of the doors.
    Gary/ Great job. Good idea to allow room for expansion. My guess is that you will exceed the limits
    of the case sometime in the future anyway, look at the H.O.Studley case as an example.

  14. #14
    This is beautiful design and execution both of which I hope to emulate. Two questions. Is the pitch of the mounting board alone enough to hold those planes in place or are they wedged in? Also since I have a rust problem. I'd add an incandescent bulb to ward off moisture. Anyone see any problem with this?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    175
    Jan,
    I tried to make the pitch of the mounting board enough to hold the planes, but the LN 4 1/2 is more top heavy than the others and would tip. More pitch made the case too deep or the planes stuck out of the main case too far and would interfere with the contents of the door. The vertical dividers are about 1/4 by 1/4, just ran a cross piece that holds the front of the plane from tipping back. No big moisture problem here in arid Colorado, but I might consider fire danger with a hot bulb in a closed wooded box?
    Gary
    Last edited by Gary Benson; 11-21-2007 at 11:04 AM. Reason: spelling

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