Monday, March 4, 2013

Sea chest build part 2

The building of the sea chest continues with some stock preparation.

I took the bulk of the thickness of the glued up panels by using an electric plane.
This tool is OK for removing a lot of material, but it is not very good at making a panel flat. So I traversed the panels afterwards using the handplane.
Following a tip from a reader, I tried to put a dab of lapping pase onto a piece of paper, and polished the plane iron with that. That seems to work pretty OK.

In order to keep the panels steady, I use the rubber floor mat, and some planing stops (scrap pieces of wood) that touches the wall.
The wood doesn't plane too well, so I think that I'll end up sanding the chest.

But now the two case sides and one of the ends are finished. The finished thickness of the case sides is 5/8" in one end and 9/16" in the other end. That is OK for me.
The case ends are approximately 5/8" in both ends.

The electric plane really makes a mess, by blowing chips and fine dust all over the workshop. There is a really effective smoke extractor fan in the workshop that could remove the chips. The problem is, it would eject the chips on the deck outside the accomodation. So it is not really an option. So I'll just continue to use a broom.


  1. Any ideas on how you are going to join the four corners?

  2. Hi Ralph

    The idea is to dovetail the corners. I have a hacksaw that I believe is OK for dovetailing.

    I'll make ordinary through dovetails. Normally I make the tails first, but I think that I'll go for pins forst on this project. Because it will be easier for me to balance the ends and mark out the tails thatn vice verca. Again due to the lack of workholding. But I am not quite sure yet.

  3. Lack of work holding.
    I see you have at least 2 clamps. If you have 4 clamps (C clamps on board?) you can clamp a board ( about 3cm X 5cm X something long enough) on top and on the edge of the metal bench with 2 clamps and then clamp the panel vertically to the board with 2 other clamps. This is something I have tried on my picnic bench. Better than nothing.(I still have to build a proper bench.)
    Or maybe, is it possible to clamp directly to the metal bench from under the edge?


  4. Hello Sylvain.
    It is a good idea, however, for the planing of the panels, I opted for planing stops. So actually it is when working on the sides that is the most difficult.
    For working on the endges, I normally mount the work in the metal vise, and put some pieces of wood between the jaws, as not to mar the work.

    1. My set up was for edge work (planing and dovetailing). I had seen the metal vise, I was thinking that (depending of the panel size and thickness) the panel might vibrate when planing edges (whether long or end grain)or dovetailing.

      Have you seen the Paul Sellers method?
      No dogs, no tail vise.

    2. Hello Sylvain.

      OK, then I understand better. I think I will use it for dovetailing the sides, but the ends are short enough to be held in the metal vice.
      Planing the long grain was no proble in the vise,I haven't tried to plane the end grain.

      Thanks for sharing the link to the Paul Sellers system. That is pure genius. I have never seen it before, and I havn't ever thought about doing it that way, but it is very logical once you think of it.

      I am planning to start dovetailing tonight after my watch finishes (24:00).
      So I'll try to make a new blog entry tomorrow.
      Again thanks for sharing the Paul Sellers idea.