Home > Woodworking > 10-Drawer Small Tool Chest – Lower Storage Unit – Part 4

10-Drawer Small Tool Chest – Lower Storage Unit – Part 4

So when I decided to give the recently finished tool chest to my youngest to house her growing fossil collection I realized that I needed a stand for it. Briefly I considered using something around the house but when I saw Chris’ post on his lower chest, I was inspired to go ahead and build one for Alexandra.

Over the weekend, I felt like a furniture maker for the first time not because my skill sets are so developed or my design sensibilities so highly refined. No, I felt like a furniture maker because I began to think beyond cutting a piece to a certain length or pouring over a plan for what to do next. What I’m building is not my design to be sure, it’s inspired by the lower storage unit that Chris Schwarz blogged about for his Dutch Tool Chest. It is in fact Chris’ plan and simply adapted for my application.

Dutch Tool Lower Chest - C. Schwarz

Dutch Tool Lower Storage Unit – C. Schwarz

So with a picture of the Chris’ chest for example, I set to building.

Saturday’s Effort

Lower Storage Unit Sized for the 10 Drawer Chest

My Version of the Lower Storage Unit is Sized for the 10 Drawer Chest

I’m to a point in my journey where I want to try my hand at cutting some dovetail joints but for this project I wanted to use the same joinery (glue, screws and plugs) which I used on the upper unit.

Lower Storage for 10-Drawer Small Chest

Lower Storage for 10-Drawer Small Chest – Carcass

Cleats on the top should limit the travel of the upper chest, centering the upper unit from side-to-side. The foreground of the above picture shows the 3/4″ stock cut for the upper and lower face frame (front lips).

Sunday’s Work

On Sunday, I decided that my front lips required some detailing so I chucked up my router and cut chamfers along all the front edges. I then set about cutting the notches in the upper and lower lips that will hold the sliding lock which for my version is 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ stock. To cut the top notch I used multiple passes on my table saw using my cross-cut sled to steady the piece. The notch bottom was cleaned up with a sharp chisel and some sand paper. Cutting the stopped notch in the bottom lip was a bit more time-consuming as I chopped it out with a chisel. I attempted to saw the sides at an angle like you would do cutting half blind dove tails but I was only cutting to a depth of 1/4″ and this proved only partially helpful in defining the side walls of the notch. With a bit of patience and being careful to take my time I was able to cut a “perfect” notch. Perhaps it was this task alone that helped me realize the joy of being a passable woodworker.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about attaching the lips to the carcass. I suppose this would have been an appropriate use of biscuits had I a joiner. I do have dowels and I did consider using them but opted for a couple of small brads to keep the piece from moving around while the glue setup. You definitely want to predrill holes prior to setting your brads. Had I not done so, the brads would have never run true in the hardy oak. I didn’t mention it before but I also used some shorter brads to steady the top cleat when I glued them up on Saturday.

Front Lips Installed and Sliding Lock Fitted.

Front Lips Installed and Sliding Lock Fitted.

Notice the lips and cleats form a corner that will limit travel of the upper chest towards the front and sides. I plan to also rig up a stop for the back side but I haven’t gotten there yet.

Fall Front Panel Glue Up from 1/2" Stock.

Fall Front Panel Glue Up from 1/2″ Stock.

It was a happy accident that I happened to have majorly over bought on 1/2″ oak stock for the 10 drawer fronts. Turns out they were just what I needed for the fall front door. I used my seriously too long pipe clamps for the glue up and while the glue was drying, I made plugs and plugged the screw holes in the lower chest.

Last Task for Sunday was  Plugging Screw Holes.

Last Task for Sunday was Plugging Screw Holes.

What’s Ahead?

I need to make the fall front door. The panel is glued so it will need to be trued and cut to size and the lock and guides added to the back. The sliding lock is fit and cut to size but I want to make a finger-pull hole in the top. I’ll need to trim and flush the plugs. Lastly I’ll shape and attached a couple of trim pieces on the rear edges and add stops that have yet to be designed. The lower unit will ride on casters that will be attached after I finish this bad boy.

The height of the lower unit is about 15″ and was determined by how much was remaining once the 16″ top was cut from the 4′ length of 1″ x 12″. On casters it will be an inch or two taller.

One last thought. It isn’t lost on me that Alex won’t be able to open the lower door without removing the top chest, something that she’ll likely never do. Or, she may do it to shove stuff in there where it will be entombed for a future era. I’m OK with that. The main point of this was to build a stand for the upper unit and the fall front door was just an efficient way to get that done. Pull out drawers would actually be a more functional solution.

Hang with me, you’ve been making stuff with the Turtlecovebrewer

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