some little progress

My wife is a reader. She easily reads ten books to every one that I finish. We were both English majors in college, but she and I read for different reasons. She reads for pleasure. I read for information. She reads because she likes a good plot. I generally read because I like the characters, or the historical context I can glean from the work.

This is part of the reason I have an ever expanding library of Lost Art Press books. I can’t pick one up without learning something. Even the novels.

Now, I don’t know exactly why Chris Schwarz chose to share his class documents for the (Baby) Anarchist’s Tool Chest session that he taught in conjunction with the New English Workshop this past week, but I’m sure glad he did. It was just the kick in the pants I needed to put saw to wood and finally start building a proper starter home for my tools. 

I haven’t been as prodigious as the Baby Anarchists in Bridgewater, but I have been able to glue-up, dimension, and surface the panels. I’ve also cut the rabbets and am just about to glue and nail the whole carcase together.

I ended up with 2 piece panels on the front and back and three piece panels on the sides because I hit a roadblock with my first two sides (which were 2 pieces as well) when they cupped beyond what seemed reasonable to work with. The second set was much better.

I put it all together with clamps just to check all the joints for square. A little adjustment here and there and it’s ready to go.

But here’s the reason I really wrote this post. I was sitting at the breakfast table eating  Cheerios with my kids and I looked across the room to see this:

It’s almost the exact dimensions of the chest I’m building. The history on the chest is hazy. Someone in my wife’s family probably made it. We inherited it. That’s about as much as I know.

Oh, that and I’ve fixed it once or twice when the top panel came apart.

So I started investigating the build to see where it coincided or deviated from the chest I’m building now. The sides and front are joined with nailed rabbets, but they’re 90 degrees off from the Baby ATC layout.

Because of this construction there’s a decorative moulding attached to the front. The bottom boards are (again) attached 90 degress off of the BATC, side to side. It’s definitely a weaker set-up and seeing how this works in the wild validates the front to back alignment on Schwarz’s design.

There’s also part of a skirt on the bottom. But just part. It has made me wonder if I might not like to add an actual skirt on the chest I’m building.

Note to self, attach the battens more securely

This is why I love woodworking. Everytime I put blade to wood I think about what the work will be like in 20 years, 60 years, and 150 years. It’s like doing archaeology in reverse.

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