Smooth tops and groovy bottoms

The shop is hot. Work is busy. Progress on the (Baby) Anarchist Tool Chest has been slow, but slow is better than nothing.

I’ve had a good run of luck at Lowe’s lately and have found some premium eastern white pine for this build. The wood I scored for the lid being a prime example. The other day I was able to find a beautiful, void free 1 x 8 and 1 x 10 that were straight, out of wind and practically ready to be jointed off the bunk.

They glued up into a wonderfully straight panel with a reasonably good grain match. You can tell it’s two pieces, of course, by the two hearts. Well, either that or it’s a Time Lord tree.

Either way it’s a fine start.

The panel required almost no flattening, so I was able to maintain nearly the full 3/4″ thickness.

In the mean time I had already cut the rabbets for the carcase joints and started laying out the nail holes. As the class documents say, you’re going to see these every time you look at the front of the chest, so lay them out with care. I used a marking guage to lightly strike a line that demarcated roughly half of the width of the side I would be nailing into, found the middle and then used dividers to walk off five nail holes.

When that was done, I glued and clamped the joints, drilled pilot holes and nailed this sucker together.

At this point I was pretty pleased that it was square, solid and starting to resemble a functional thing. After the glue dried I cleaned up the joints, cut boards for the bottom and proceeded to add a beaded tongue and groove joint to each of them. I cut these out of 1″ x 6″ pine except for the final “tongue” board which I cut from 1″ x 8″ so that I could trim it and it could take up any slack in the layout (which ended up being around 1/4″ – 1/2″). If you’re doing the same I advise not trimming it until you’ve nailed the rest of the boards down.

Let me just say I love beading things. It’s an addiction and I’m not interested in seeking help, thank you very much.

I flipped the carcase over, squared, leveled, and straightened all of the bottom lips to my liking and began laying out the nail holes in much the same way I did on the sides. I did want to get 2 nails per board so I set two dividers, one to the distance between nails on each board and one to the distance between nails on adjacent boards.

I fought the urge to glue down the end board, screwed up my courage, and got to nailing the bottom using clamps to ensure I didn’t have any splitting or blowout. I may have held my breath the whole time.

And voila:.

I tried out the lid (pre-final fitting), and I can almost see a tool chest here.


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