Home > Woodworking > Toolbox – Part 2

Toolbox – Part 2

Wow, not sure what I must have been smoking before writing Monday’s shop note. I was pretty beaten down by the weekend. I spent most of my shop time on Saturday redoing the dovetails on the toolbox (tool tote). After only two more sessions practicing the dovetail dance I decided that my first effort could be improved upon if only slightly.

Learning to Cut Dovetails

Learning to Cut Dovetails, I have a way to go yet.

Sunday I was so frustrated with how cramped my shop space had become, I decided to spontaneously rearrange things. The work I was able to do is by no means the last word on layout but it was a huge improvement that involved moving my miter saw station out-of-the-way and moving the dust collector to the freed space. It meant re-attaching dust hoses but and coming up with a way to reach the dust collector switch but in the end it was of great relief to be able to move without bumping into something. This was good news.

More good news was that I had received my new Woodworker II saw blade and a Dewalt dado stack and I got a chance to mess with them. Everything folks say about the WWII blade appears to be true, I purchased the full kerf so I could continue to use my Grizzly riving knife. Deciding on the dado stack about drove me crazy and even though I’ve read great things about the Freud Dial-a-Width, $300 was more than I wanted to spend. So the next best stack ranged about $200 and even that was more than I wanted to spend. The bottom line was that several owners were really happy with the Dewalt stack and it was within my budget so I Amazon One-Clicked it and it arrived 2 days later. I don’t profess to be an expert but I was impressed with injection molded case and provided cutters and shims. Although I only cut a few dados, the 3/4″ setup was impressively perfect sized. Your mileage my vary.

Meanwhile back at the Toolbox

So after two hard days in the shop, I finally find myself back at the toolbox project. As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to eliminate all those unsightly screw heads show on the box. So far, everything I’ve built has used either screws or nails and I just thought it would be an excuse to try some different things. I decided to put the shelf in grooves instead of butting and screwing. Now that I had the dado stack I could experiment, which I did. This led me to my first mistake. After cutting a test dado using my cross-cut sled, I realized that my piece was too long for the sled. I removed my sled and began cutting on tote back.  Er’ dude, you didn’t lower the blade after removing the sled, what a dolt! Well here’s a “leftover” piece of pine, time to cut a new back. Er’ dude, you were supposed to make a stopped dado, I can see the gap. Well shoot, this is my first day using this equipment and actually I’m pretty tired.

Dry Fittings Some Toolbox Pieces

Dry Fittings Some Toolbox Pieces

Instead of a groove, I decided to secure the shelf to the upper face from underneath, probably with screws but they won’t be visible. But after mocking up I realize there will be a gap between the ends and shelf that would look awkward, hummm…

Design "challenges"

Attempting to hide my design screw-ups in these snaps.

So without beating myself up too much, suffice it to say that several other challenges and mistakes have been made on this design so far. I recessed the ends to accept the oak dowel, then proceeded to cut the dowel the exact length of the bottom. Exactly too short by the depth of the two recesses. Great news was that the brand new WWII blade made an awesome cut. The fix, I glued a piece of dowel to each end and sanded. When recessed, they won’t be “as” noticeable. I will probably reinforce this glue joint with a long screw which will also secure the handle to the ends, then plug the holes.

So here is my revised design, using oak trim pieces to cover gaps.

Revised Design

Revised Toolbox with Oak Trim to Cover Gaps

All is Well

So all is well, I will not be defeated. I feel good and SketchUp was kind to me today. Unlike yesterday’s attempt, I was able to add all the “as built” and “as needed” changes to the original design. I know I have a way to go on this build, but it isn’t a race and I’ve really not yet focused my energy on it. Getting the shop usable was my priority so now that it is, I’m betting my concentration will be better.

You have been reading the rambling shop notes of the Turtlecovebrewer.

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