Friday, December 9, 2016

Dutch Tool Chest in Spain - Part II

I feel lucky to have been able to spend some good time today on my chest. The next bit that needs doing are the sticks for the locks, as well as the cutouts for them on the chest.

I decided to cut them a bit over length, and wait to trim them to final length once the chest is together and I can see how they are supposed to work. Since the wood I bought was sold in a metric measurement, my chest is actually an inch or two taller than Christopher Schwarz' plan.

Cutting these notches is pretty simple, even without a router. The trick is being accurate in marking out. The first cut is to saw the sidewalls of the notch.
Sidewalls sawed - check.
I also cut some relief cuts to prevent any disasters. Next, I rough out the notch with a chisel and mallet.
Roughed out - check.
Then it is just a matter of paring down to the line with a chisel.
Pared to the line, check.
Only a little more complicated are the notches in the bottom board, which are stopped. I approached it in the same way.
Starting the stopped cut.
In no time that part was done.
Locks fit.
The next challenge was the back. Christopher Schwarz recommends tongue and groove joints for the back boards, but those sound awfully fussy without any proper joinery planes. I think it can be done, but there are a lot of them, and I think the time spent isn't worth the end result. My opinion is that ship lap joints should do just fine.

I could make these rabbets with a chisel and a saw, but once again, there are a lot of rabbets to make, so the best way is with a rabbet plane, which I didn't have until I made one out of scrap wood yesterday.
First action shot.
The way it was, it seemed to work. It soon became apparent, however, that all was not well in Rabbetville. Every swipe I took led the plane a little farther inboard, and soon I had a big mess.

I'm not sure what the problem was, as I can make a rabbet like that just fine with my vintage rabbet plane that is safely in my tool chest in Munich.

I decided another piece of scrap and a couple nails should fix the problem.
I nailed on a fence.
It did. Once I had the fence on, I was making perfect rabbets in a hurry.
Action shot.
This worked just fine for this project. I'm pretty sure this plane won't last long, but I'm done with it for this project. If I need another one someday, I know I can whip one out in a hurry.
This rabbet is just fine for a ship lap.
Once this was done, I just had to nail the top piece on after squaring the carcase up the best I could. It was out 3mm on the diagonal, so a small push in that direction squared it up a little better.
Back pieces starting to go on.
I continued using Roman nails to attach the back. I really like these nails. They hold like crazy.

I spaced the ship lap boards the width of a 1 Euro coin to allow the boards to expand and contract with the humidity.
These nails are tapered, so I drilled pilot holes to prevent splitting.
This whole process took a bit longer than it would if you had a table saw and a powered shaper, but I also have all my fingers and hearing intact.
And, I did it in my home office. No table saw in here!
Next up is the front panel, the drop front and the lid. Plus hardware and paint, and who-knows-what I forgot. Like the guts for the upper compartment.

As a follow up to a previous post, my wife bought me a Spanish woodworking book that was recommended by a reader. This looks like a great book for learning woodworking Spanish. Thanks for the recommendation, António!
My birthday present from my wife.


  1. Not only do you use metric stock, you also use a Euro coin for the distance :-)
    There is an incredible momentum in this build, You are going to be done in no time at all.

    Happy Birthday (36?) :-)


    1. Thanks, Jonas. Actually I'm now 47. I think.

      Don't under estimate my ability to procrastinate on a project that is "almost done."

  2. Wow...really good progress. It looks like the rebate plane you made is working beautifully. Did you try using a nail for drilling the pilot holes? I've been looking at getting some of these nails. They look very nice.

    Apparently birthday wishes are in order...Happy Birthday!

    1. Hi Greg, thanks. The rabbet plane was a huge timesaver. I wound up not messing with a nail to drill the pilot holes, I just decided to get on with it. I used an awl to mark where I wanted the nail to go, used a smaller bit to drill the pilot hole, and teams the top of the hole out a bit with the broken tapered drill bit. I think the nail should definitely work, but because it is square, there is a danger of making the hole too big. One would have to experiment a bit.

      And thanks for the birthday wishes. Cheers!

  3. Some great progress, Brian. I still ca't tell if your back boards are gong vertically or horizontally. Horizontal, if I understand the pictures correctly.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Aymeric! Cross your fingers, there still is plenty of opportunities for screw ups.

  5. My favorite part so far is when you nailed the fence to your rabbet plane. Happy Birthday!

    1. Haha! I suppose now it is a ship lap plane.

      Thanks, Jeff!

  6. I love that a simple, shop made rabbet plane can have a real elegance to it...Well done on everything!!

    1. Thanks, Bill. I'm astounded that I could make it in 30 minutes, and it would work perfectly fine.

      I have to admit, with the fence that plane would only go one direction, so there is some tear out on some of those rabbets. In this case, they are hidden, but one would really have to think about what to do for a show surface.


  7. Brian
    Happy birthday!
    Glad you enjoy the book.
    The nails will work to do a pre-drill, just don't use all the length of the nail. That way you end up with a tapered pilot hole slightly undersized to the nail.

    1. Thanks, António!

      I think you are right. Also, I could lap the four sides of the nail on my diamond plate which will reduce the size a little, and sharpen the bit at the same time.

  8. I commented "happy birthday" 2 days ago; but it seems lost in the cyberspace.
    Nice book to learn Spanish.
    Waxing the rabbet plane would extend its life. It is still possible to make the fence adjustable if it was not glued.

    1. Hi Sylvain! Thanks for the comment.

      Yes, I'll keep that in mind!

  9. Happy birthday Brian, still a few years away from senior citizen discount, wheely bag notwithstanding ha ha

    Bob, back from shoveling.....again....

  10. Thanks for all the great posts. I look forward to reading all your adventures in minimalist woodworking. Always inspires. Happy Belated Birthday!