Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dutch Tool Chest in Spain - Part III

I got a lot done in the last couple of days, but neglected posting to the blog. Long story short, I'm almost done and am applying some home made milk paint.
Mmmmm... Paella!
If you want the long version, here goes:

When we left off, I was attaching shiplapped boards to the back. Now it's time for the front. After I cut the top piece to length, I drilled pilot holes, only to realize too late that the pilots going into the case actually cross nails that are in the side holding the shelf up.
Attaching the front.
No problem, I just cut the nails a bit short. They should still hold plenty strong enough, plus this part will have glue.
Trimmed the nails.
Next I decided to make the wooden parts for the catches. There are four on the big chest, although I bet one could get away with just two on the top. No matter, they are easy to make.
Mark them out one inch from the ends and clamp to bench,

Saw to the line, including a couple of clearance cuts.

Pop out the middle with a chisel.

I had been dreading the big panels for the drop front and the lid, even though I bought one wide enough and glued up the other. Turns out, this was pretty easy, too.
Rip it to width, and a long grain shooting set up keeps the edge square.
I decided on clinched nails for the battens, since I had plenty of Roman nails.
Done my usual way - aka Richard Maguire's way.

These nails are ideal for this.
Once the drop front was together, I realized there was a problem when it would fit. I realized there was no clearance for the battens. The Popular Woodworking plans didn't show clearance cut outs, but I figured that was the only way to go at this point. I later saw a photo of Christopher Schwarz's large DTC he did the exact same thing.
Extra cutouts for clearance of the drop front battens.
Christopher Schwarz recommended to my Instagram photo that perhaps I should use a few more nails for the panel. I figured it couldn't hurt, so I put a total of seven on each side instead of three. These ones I clinched across the grain, as it is supposed to be even stronger.
Interesting pattern.

These square nails are fun to clinch, and look better than wire nails.
This chest is coming along, so why not get some skim milk and vinegar going and in a couple days I can make some paint.
Making milk paint.
The lid was essentially the same. At first I wanted to do breadboard ends, but without a plow plane, I thought it might be a bit much when I could just nail battens on.
Just like the drop front.

A happy coincidence, my Dick saw fits between the battens of the lid!
Now it's time for hinges. Olav gave me a pair of suitable stainless steel hinges when I was in Denmark, and Jonas used a propane torch to "blue" them. I think they look great.

Because of the way it was constructed, it required a little bit of a different install.
There needs to be clearance for the entire barrel.

Nice fit.
It took a little trial and error, but I finally got them on in a way that makes me happy.
Installed. Ugly screws.
All of my screws and the casters I bought had a thick coat of zinc on them. Especially the casters. The only real acid I have about is apple cider vinegar, so in they went. They will come out in a day or two.
It's not what you think, it's apple cider vinegar!
I also need to install the inset chest lifts I got from Jonas. Those we stripped of zinc, and burned in some BLO with a propane torch for a nice look.

To install them, I need to excavate all the wood where the handle needs to go. I chopped most of it out with a chisel, and finished it off with a home-made router.
I sharpened it on my diamond stone.
It can take only a very light cut, so it is no good for hogging out material, only for evening up the final surface.
I first went down only the thickness of the metal,

then I routed the cavity for the handle.
The finished look of the handle is really good.
I like it.
Instead of screws, I used machine screws with bolt anchors on the inside of the chest so the handles don't get ripped off when the screws fail.

BTW, I've discovered that drill bits made to fit in a cordless drill work exceptionally well in an eggbeater. The bit doesn't ever slip.
A new 5mm brad point bit.
Time to get that crap out of the bucket and see what we have. After two days, even the thick coating of zinc on the casters came off. Unfortunately I won't be able to color those because of the rubber wheels, but they will look better with a coat of oil on them.

The screws and machine screws will get the Benchcrafted flaxseed oil treatment.

Only, I have boiled linseed oil here, so I'll use that.

Basically, after washing the parts, I dropped them all in a small jar of BLO. When I removed them, I dried them off with a paper towel, and put them on a piece of tinfoil in our toaster oven.
Naturally, only when the Frau is at work.
After only 15 or 20 minutes, they had started to darken.
It works!
I quenched them in the little jar of BLO, and repeated for a total of three bakes.
They turned out great! You can't even see the screws on the handle from here.
All that is left for woodwork, is the thumbnail profile on the lid. Back to the rescue is my ghetto rabbet plane!
As long as I score the cross grain ahead of time, it works great!

Then I rounded it over with my BU jack.
Screw on the casters.
Now it's time for paint. I thought it would be fun to tint it with some locally available material. Here in Spain, they love to make paella, and for paella, there are some cool colors of spices.
Sweet pepper, and yellow paella colorant.
My plan was to put a base coat of yellow on, and follow it up with the darker red.

So far the yellow colorant works extremely well. The Frau loves the color and wants me to keep it this way. I'm not so sure, I'll have to think about that.
The sweet pepper is a quite a bit coarser in texture than the yellow colorant. I'll have to test it. If it is not suitable for paint, then for sure I will have a yellow chest.

Next post we'll find out!


  1. Good work! I didn't realize you were making the big DTC. I like the Yellow, very bright, yet still shows the grain a bit.

    1. Thanks, Jeremy! I don't think there are too many differences between the big one and the small one. I figured if it's not full, I could put some books in the bottom.

      I'm hoping I can get the paint to cover a little more on subsequent coats. The Frau loves the color, I had a darker red in mind over this. We'll see. If it stays yellow, it will be unique!

  2. Hi Brian!

    I was a bit confuse as well on the size for the chest.
    Now I have no doubts! It's the big one!
    Great "color de paella"!
    That milk paint recipe works all the time or do you change the ratios?

    1. I didn't use much of a recipe. After separating the curd, I just blended it until it was smooth. This time I added some foot powder, but it looks like not enough. The next batch will have more. I added four heaping coffee spoons of colorant for this shade.

    The chest looks fantastic. I think I might have to dezink a couple of handles for myself.
    The thumbnail profile also ads to the look.

    Did you use the foot powder to get a less transparent paint?


    1. Yes, the talcum powder was meant as a filler. I must not have used enough. But I expected to have to use a few coats, anyway.

    2. It might be a little late now, but perhaps not: I know that shellac used as french polishing is kind of different method. But one aspect might work out for you in this case, too. You could try to make some highly fluid mixture with a lot of filler (talcum - in additon to your mixture, flour, wheat, might be a good choice, too), add one coat, sand it, add another fluid coat, sand it, and one last thin. And from then on thicker, sanding, you final yellow.
      According your red coating: will that work with your actual set up or will it become more orange (because your recipe takes off some of the yellow and mixes it with the red while painting)?

    3. Hi René, thanks for the comment! You might have something there. I plan on at least three coats of yellow before I start the red. If I've done everything right, the yellow shouldn't bleed into the red paint, although it might affect the tint with the light color underneath. The yellow will become visible over time when some of the red gets chipped off with wear.

      At least, that's the plan.

  4. Wow, there is a lot of great things taking place in this post. The toolchest is looking very good. I have to agree that the yellow is very attractive. Although, now I'm really curious as to how it would look with a red overcoat. Great stuff all the way around.

    1. Hi Greg! Sometimes I zero in on one aspect or operation that I want to write about, and sometimes, like today, it all comes out at once and it's the poor reader's job to find something they want in my blogging.

      It is a surprise to me I am getting so much positive feedback about the yellow, as my understanding is it is not a traditional color for tool chests anywhere. I suppose that's not necessarily a bad thing. I like to shake things up a bit.

  5. Great work. I loved the router. Paul sellers would be proud. You made a new poor man's tool. Are you going to mount the dick saw to the lid. I'm also curious if you will make a chisel/tool rack. - Chris from Florida.

    1. Hi Chris! Thanks for the comment. I don't think I can take credit for the router. I've seen it in a couple other places over the years and thought it would work here. Now that I think about it, the same setup can be used as a beading tool. Hmm.

      Yes, I have an idea to mount the Dick saw on the lid, along with room for another Japanese saw and a western panel saw. I don't have those yet, but if I expand my tool collection it will be nice to have somewhere to put them. I want to make a chisel rack, some dividers for my planes, and some space for other miscellaneous junk up top. I also might make some boxes to organize things on the top shelf down below, and I'll save some room for a book or two on the bottom.

  6. I really like this yellow color.

    1. Thanks, Sylvain! It's growing on me. It was even brighter this morning.

  7. I agree with the frau. The yellow colour look really nice!

    1. Let me put a couple more coats on it and we'll see.

  8. Nice work Brian! I especially like the use of clinched nails on the lid battens and insetting the side pulls. That paint is amazing.

    1. Thanks, Charlie! I like the clinched nails, too. Plus, it's fun to do. The side pulls really do look cool. Jonas tried to talk me into leaving the zinc on them. I like the paint,too, I just wish it covered a little better. Now I have three coats on, and you can still see my pencil marks.

      How's your DTC holding up? Any advice on setting up the inside?

    2. My DTC is doing great. I like working out of it. I made a drawer for the bottom half which I really like. Although if I had it to do over I wouldn't use oak for the face. It's really just a tray. And a thin piece of material gives just a little bit more room. I put a chisel and a saw rack in my upper compartment. I use a solid piece with drilled holes for the chisel rack. I think the way Schwarz' does it provides more room and flexibility. I haven't put anything on the inside of the lid aside from a few stickers, but that's next. My Dick and coping saws and some layout tools. I like having all of my chisels together, all of my layout tools in one spot, etc. Mine will never be like Studley's, but it is fun to get creative with them and they will hold a lot of tools. I did make a rolling chest for my DTC to sit on. It has one shelf in it and a single lid covering the face. I put stuff I don't use on a regular basis in it. I'll see if I can find some pics.

    3. Cool! Sounds like it is working well for you.

  9. Looks good in every way - you've got me going back to all the CS material on the DTC, it seems like the best choice for my first TC (limited floor space). Thanks for the new (to me) techniques you're showing. Also on my list is a toaster oven for the shop - I'm not as bold as you. :)

    1. Hey, Jeff! Thanks. I highly recommend CS's DVD about the DTC. Everything you need to know is on there. You can even get it as a streaming video from Lie-Nielsen (that's what I did). It even works on the iPad now, as long as you upgrade to 10.2.

      I would check eBay or Craig's List for a toaster oven, but that's not your only option. I blackened the chest lifts using the same method, only with a propane torch instead. I actually think that works better.

      Most of all, you probably have everything you need to make this already.

      Good luck! Send photos.

    2. Thanks. I took Matt Binford's hollows and rounds class recently, so there will also be cutting irons to temper. My wife said she saw new toaster ovens at the store for about $30. Will also borrow your idea of setting up on the grill to harden with the propane torch, she seems OK with that since I'll be outside.

    3. Then at least it won't be a one trick pony. Caleb James had a forge on the cheap in PW a while back, it might be worth looking into if the BBQ doesn't work. Good luck!