|I finished something!|
I'll not write about any of that today. Instead, you get to see the Japanese tool box that I built a couple of days ago.
One of my Instagram friends that I was finally able to meet while in Germany suggested that I build a Japanese tool box. It sounded like a great idea since my Dutch tool chest was starting to get cluttered with too many tools.
The DTC is fantastic, but it works best when everything is neat and orderly. Something I typically am not good at. The Japanese box will hold some of the tools that I don't frequently use.
Because most of my tools will stay in my DTC, this box doesn't need to be particularly big. My longest tools, my Ryoba saw and my jointer plane will not live here. I might put my oversize, giant Dick saw in this box, but it does break down, so that shouldn't be a problem.
|Available suitable lumber for my new box.|
The very first thing I did was some internet research. I happily discovered that Greg Merritt built one of these a year or two ago, and posted his usual impeccable drawings on his website. I relied heavily on his drawings, but I used nails and skipped the housing dadoes. Nails, no glue and no fine joinery sounds like a fun way to build a cool box.
I probably should have read his blog a bit more carefully, and I would have prevented a few problems. Instead of joining the carcass together, then nailing the bottom on, I started by nailing the sides to the bottom (after sawing to length and smooth planing).
|I wouldn't recommend starting this way.|
|I toenailed most of the nails to add mechanical strength.|
|Cut nails are incredibly strong compared to wire nails.|
|The box is nailed together, awaiting all the sharp edges to be chamferred.|
The endcaps are nailed on with an eye toward overkill. The nails go in the box's sides, ends, and handles to keep the endcap firmly in place securing the lid. I imagine this part of the box doesn't take so much stress, but nails aren't that expensive.
|Lots of nails - because I can.|
|Clinched nails on the lid.|
I had originally planned to paint this chest gray. However, I have changed my mind, in no small part to the good people who left comments on my Instagram post. The traditional finish for one of these chests is to leave it as is after burnishing.
Paint would not work because of the sliding lid. The paint would either come off on the parts that rub, or cause the lid to bind and not open at all.
This is a tool box, after all, and will get it's share of abuse over time. Hopefully it will prevent the tools inside from taking that abuse. Over time it will darken up and get more beautiful.
|The top of this cabinet I built last year is the same material as the new box. Wood darkens over time.|
If you build a box like this, I highly recommend Roman and/or cut nails, and Greg's fantastic drawings. I also recommend this project for woodworkers of any skill level: it's a great first project.