New Rainy Day Project – Machinist’s Tool Chest

6th Feb – I like to have a project in hand which I can turn to on a rainy day – we have lots of these in the cool months. When I visited my friend John ( the wood man) earlier this week he gave me a an armfull of 1′ thick Red Alder short boards. Alder is a hardwood which is abundant in the local forest and John mills then dries the blow downs on his property. It is an attractive wood which machines¬† nicely. Perfect for small cabinet work I think.

The need for a new toolbox came about because the one my Dad made for me when I was an engineering apprentice at Vickers Armstongs 1957 – ’63 was destroyed in the workshop fire two years ago. So in some sense this project brings with it an appreciation of my Dad because it was he who endowed my with the skills I have enjoyed throughout my life. It also brings closure to the losses in the fire.

So today I dug out the Lee Valley plans and began re-sawing the lumber to make 1/2″ and 3/8″ boards required for the chest of drawers. My Shopsmith has a bandsaw attachment for the re-sawing and I also have a jointer attachment and a Delta thickness planer so it is a simple batch production job to create the all blank pieces required.
I used some Western Mable ( also from John ) for the carcase and alder for the drawer components.

Lee Valley Tool Chest

Having completed planing the boards to thickness the next step will be to edge joint and plane to their finished width. The top bottom and sides also need to be joined to make up 10 1/2″ wide boards.

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