Monday, October 8, 2012

Resawing for my Tool Chest Innards.

Peter Follansbee often posts photos on his blog of birds he sees near his home.  I thought I'd do the same today.  These little guys were eating seeds out of the bird feeder on our porch while we were eating breakfast.
Tits at breakfast.

This morning there was a nice post by Steve Branam about resawing by hand.  This was perfect timing for me, as I am planning to finally finish my Anarchist's Tool Chest.  I had been procrastinating doing the tills for over a year because I had some bad luck resawing a piece of oak for the runners.

My shop is too small for any power tools, including a band saw, so if I want to resaw, either I have to cart my wood somewhere else, or do it the old-fashioned way, which I apparently suck at.

In reality, I could have resawn a LOT of lumber in a year and a half.  I'm sure I would have figured it out eventually.

Watching Steve really gave me confidence that I could do this.

I thought of it as a lot like sawing tenons.
A small piece was helpful for a first attempt.
I think I did pretty well.  The board I started with was not very big, which made it easy to practice.  I needed 1/2" or so stock, and the board I started with was 1 3/16" wide.  Should be plenty of room.  It worked with room to spare.  The black marks are because Steve said to wax the sawplate, making it run smoother.  I didn't want to dig for my wax, so I used camelia oil instead, and the vintage saw I used had a bunch of black stuff that came off with the liquid.

The finished product.  Now I'm ready for a bigger piece.
No problem, it planed off nicely.

But, before I go crazy and resaw all  of the parts, I thought I should install the runners to the completed till has something to run on.  I have a real nice piece of quarter sawn oak that I wanted to use, but of course it needed to be resawn.

Having just had success on a small piece of pine, I thought I'd look for an alternative.  I have quite a few scraps of mystery tropical woods that are all about 1/2" thick, so I thought, "Perfect, I won't have to resaw."

I settled on using two 1/2" strips for the lower runner, as in the photo below.

I saved some material by using two smaller pieces rather than one large one.
For the right side, I am pretty sure I used a piece of rosewood.  Lovely stuff to work with.  This should last forever.  Just in case, I fastened them with only nails in case some day I want to change them out.

On the other side, I used a piece of something else.  It had a really wicked interlocked grain, and was not quite as heavy as the rosewood.  However, I think it will work fine in this case.  And it is pretty, whatever it is.  I kind of like the idea of two different types of wood for this.  I think it makes for a unique look.  It is a bit too fancy of wood for this purpose, but it is in my shop and I decided to use it rather than wait another year to find the perfect board.

Lower runners installed.
One of my big mistakes is that I am using my tool chest, guaranteeing that this project will take longer.  However, I was sick of using a plastic folding crate for my till.

Next up, I'll resaw the long part of the lower till, dovetail it and try to figure out what I want to use for a bottom.  Perhaps I'll resaw some oak, or maybe find some other suitable substitute rolling around in my shop.


  1. I think that I have the same problem as far as being nervous about resawing. I know I need to practice a little more. I like the way you made the runners in two different species. It definitely says "This is mine, and I like it just the way it is". The chest looks great and look forward to hearing more of your blogs.

    1. Thanks, Wood Chippie! I like the runners, too. Although, when I looked at them again today, I think they'll need a bit of adjustment. I don't think I was nearly as accurate as I thought I was when I nailed them in.

      By the way, I saw your new saw handle on your blog. Nicely done! I tried that once but it didn't turn out. It's about time I try it again.

  2. Helpful post as I am ready to try my hand at resawing for the first time! Wish me luck!