Travelling Hexagon toolbox – Part 5

See Previous installments on this project here:

Part  1 - Part 2 - Part 3 – Part 4

It was buckle down and get this done time in the Badger Woodworks shop, so I didn’t take a lot of pictures of the final stages.  If there had been it probably would have been me looking confused and sweating a lot.   I did all right in my high school geometry classes, that’s not the issue here, it’s more of how long ago those classes were.  I had to puzzle my way through some basic “math” on the final stages of the box was mostly victorious.  It didn’t help that I was rushing to finish, and it was pretty dang hot outside making the “workshop” aka small section of a crowded garage pretty stuffy.

Regardless of those massive challenges (first world problems for sure) I was able to persevere and triumph.   For varying definitions of the word “triumph”.

Angled edges planed on the side panels.

Angled edges planed on the side panels.

After lots of working planing, and copious use of a drawknife at the end, I was able to get the angle set on all the boards.  At this point I discovered a potential issue.  The thickness of the boards were not even.  This meant the inside width post chamfer was not consistent and would cause issues with the hexagon shape.  I briefly flirted with the idea of planing the four thickest boards down, but I was running short of time (and daylight) so I opted to use my moving filister plane to just do the ends.  I struggled a bit with getting it even and consistent (see a later blog post on how Chris Schwarz helped me fix this) but eventually got it roughed in enough to move on to the hexagon.

At this point I was I tired of stepping on shavings, and swept up a bit. I was tempted to call the kiddo down to get pictures of him jumping in the shavings like a pile of leaves (it was that big) but I didn’t want to lose him.

Big pile of Alder shavings.

Big pile of Alder shavings.

To make the end pieces I measured all the inside widths of my boards to find the minimum width.  They were close, but I knew I would have to get them even, fitting this to the smallest one.  Then I took this length, set my compass to this and drew a circle on a manila file folder which I have a big old stack of from a previous job. (They are really handy for making templates and stuff in the shop.)

Hexagon template.

Now that I have this, and double checked it against the work as best I could, I looked around the shop for some wood that I could use. I had a small piece of walnut board left over from a previous project, and decided to use it.  I had planned on using my pine boards, but it felt like a crime to cut into these 12″ boards for a small project.  The walnut was really close to the width, which meant less sawing too, so there you go… lazy wins again!

I cut the hexagon on my bench with a crosscut saw plenty wide of the line, and planed it flat taking real care to watch the grain direction on the four sides that were angled across the grain.  I left the whole hex a bit proud of the line so I could fit it later.


Walnut Hexagons for the end caps.

At this point I started laying the ends to the work on panel at a time. It was getting late, so I didn’t take any pictures past this point because I was in a hurry.  I started by laying it to the bottom board (the one with out carving, and fit the width of the face to the inside edge.  This I nailed down with cut nails after holding it up with wooden clamps.  From here I worked my way around the back edge, fitting each board to the edge of the corresponding hexagon edge and adjusting the long edge to fit each time.  With varying degrees of success. Since it was late, and I was rushing I opted to skip glue and just use nails so I could revisit this later if I needed to.  After I nailed the two bottom carved panels forming the bottom of the box, I moved onto the top.

In the Toolbox Book by Jim Tolpin, he used a leather strap around the outside.  I didn’t want to cover my carving, so I opted for small brass hinges to connect the three top panels.  It was a little tricky working with the angled faces but in the end it was simple matter of installing the hinges.  The hardest part was fitting the three hinged panels to the bottom boards because it was tough to hold them up with everything falling over.

Then it was slap a coat of amber shellac, and go to bed for a really early wake up to get on the road to the Toolchest Class in Port Townsend.

I’ll post final pics in my next post.

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