you know where this is going…

Over lunchtime on Monday I was able to knock out the joinery on the till.

I still needed to fix the rails inside the schoolbox, but it’s pretty obvious I took a page out of the Anarchist’s playbook on this one and intended the till to slide from side to side. This, in theory, gives immediate access to the whole box with one swipe and it allows the till to be removed in a usable fashion. 

I saw this as an improvement upon young Thomas’ design because when you remove the till in the original schoolbox you also remove three sides of what might otherwise be a very usable little box for pencils, marking tools, etc. Here, you can take the small till out to use on it’s own and drop it right back in when you’re done.

Well, that was the idea at least. And then it all hit the fan.

Another way of saying that is to say that I learned a very valuable lesson as I was gluing and hammering the bottom onto the box; I learned how to keep the profanities under my breath and tear the whole thing back apart when two of the 2d brads burst through the walls of the box.

Ugh…. It was a train wreck.

I didn’t even have to ask myself the question. I knew I couldn’t live with it, so I cut the box down to half height, removing the damaged portions and effectively making it a single dovetail affair. This size, I reasoned, is better for holding pencils.



But then it hit me, if this slides back and forth across the width of the box, it’s going to encounter the lock hardware at some point on its travels. I can do my best to flush-set everything but I still see potential problems there. My next thought was mounting it as a stationary (yet removable) till with cleats, but then we’re almost back where we started.

To make a long and frustrating story short, I think I may go back and install the till just as young Thomas did. At the very least, I am starting to see why he chose to do it that way.

The apprentice over reaches his grasp. The master is not pleased.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Brian Clites says:

    Looks great Jim! If I were in your shoes, I’d just move the till lower, so that it clears the hinges and lock hardware altogether. (Although if you flush-mount a half-mortise lock, it shouldn’t be a problem, right?)


    1. I’ve thought about that. For me the till is probably the least important part of the finished product so I want it to be the least intrusive it can be. Perhaps that’s what is making me appreciate the simplicity of Thomas’ solution.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tektōn Guild says:

    Jim, thanks for sharing your navigation through the process and some of its difficulties. It think it does provide a bit of insight into young Thomas’ design. Either way you settle on the till I’m sure you’ll now have an added appreciation for it.

    Liked by 1 person

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