Sunday, August 4, 2013

Call Me Queequeg

I finally finished cutting out the pin boards and tail boards for the tool chest. Because my workbench is a dinky little affair, clamping up anything in my vise over 5 inches wide is just asking for trouble.
I love trouble. I was thinking about getting my middle named changed to Trouble, but the amount of paperwork that was required was too much trouble. Oh, sweet irony!
Frank Klausz wrote an article in Popular Woodworking magazine about the joys of continental frame saws aka bow saws. He stated that for any material thicker than 1/2" he uses a bow saw. Because my tool chest is a bastard child of red oak, eastern white pine, and hard white ash, I knew that using an ordinary dovetail saw would try my patience. About two strokes of the saw for the hard woods, and one stroke for the pine, was all I needed to get down to my baseline. I used a coping saw to clean out the waste and a chisel to clean up.
I was blown away by how fast it was.
Yesterday I assembled the case and today I'll cut plywood and nail on the bottom including the battens, or rot strips, that span the bottom's width.
When the boards weren't assembled, I could easily stack them up leaning against the wall.
But as soon as the dovetails were cut and the fit perfect and square, I assembled the case to lessen the likelihood of the boards warping or doing other sorts of crazy things. Because of limited space, I had to put them in the study right behind the computer. Every time I glance over my shoulder I see this massive wooden box that always makes me thing of Queequeg and his coffin. Like the novel, I'm sure this coffin will turn out to be a lifesaver for my tools and space.
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