Made some progress on my tool chest this weekend. Â I’ve been plugging away at it slowly since I brought it home from my class in Port Townsend.
First challenge was fitting the beast into my small shop, which is really just the back end of a two car garage that is full of boxes of stuff. Â I was worried that it wouldn’t fit, and I’d have to dance around it to get anything done until I totally re-arranged everything.
With that sorted, I was able to turn my attention to the lid, which was still un-assembled because I wanted to trick it out with some carving. Â My understanding is that traditional chests were plain on the outside (because they get beat up a lot) and the underside of the lid and inside were usually prettied up with marquetry, and fancy veneer and the like. Â Since I can’t do any of that I thought I’d do some carving, like I like to do.
It started as conversation at the tool chest class, about how Peter Follansbee used some of his sample carvings for the runners inside his chest. Â One thing led to another and I decided to carve the underside of the lid, the tray sides, and possible the runners as well. Â You know, just to show off. 🙂
Here are some progress shots of the lid.
I had some thoughts around the design of the outside edge of the frame, but it had taken quite a while to get to this points, so I was thinking of a few different options including calling to good enough. Â I’ve been re-reading the Joiner and Cabinet MakerÂ and a quote from Thomas jumped out at me. Â So I carved it into the upper and lower rail to remind me to slow down and do it right.
To get the lettering right, I printed out the words in 2″ on my inkjet and cut them out in rows. Â Taping this to the frame rail with blue painters tape I went over each letter with a pen to impress the outline into the wood underneath. Â Followed by a pencil to outline the edges, which gave me a guide to follow with my V tool. Â I have never done lettering like this before, but I have been carving for a while now so I went with my instinct and put tool to wood. Â It worked out well, and I was actually pleased with how it came out. I found an article later that says I figured it out pretty well.
Next step, fitting the panel into the grooves of the lid (it’s being stubborn about it right now, so I need to trim some edges), and gluing everything together. Â Not sure if I’m going to finish the underside of the lid though, it really wants one but I’ve heard that is a bad idea. Â Maybe just some clear shellac?