Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Gathering materials for the upcoming project

The saw till project is entering the final phases, time to switch gears toward the next one...
I will be building a bottom tool case for my antique small joiner chest.

The poor thing deserve something better than a Rubbermaid container :-)

Yesterday we went into the city so, I made the "obligatory stop" at  Lee Valley  and Busy Bee ;-)
Picked up my swivel casters and a few "other things" for upcoming projects. Yes, I am always running a few projects ahead, that's how I'm trained and used to do it.

I think I have pretty well all the hardware I need for this bottom chest. The only thing I may changed are the hinges and perhaps replace the sliding bolts with cupboard catch? Lots of time before I commit...

From top L-R
Sliding bolt, casters, 
Bottom L-R
Locking hasp, side handles, hinges

Sample of the kind of cupboard catches I have in mind.
I think I may have some in stock, will have to check.

Here's my first drawing of how I envisioned this bottom chest, in Napkin CAD V1.0.

Typical of my projects, I start from a quick sketch and some basic dimensions, 
and worked it out from there. I rarely, if ever rely on construction plans.

The basic structure would be dovetailed, the back panel, will either be plywood or ship lap boards, depending on what I have on hands. I will then add a face frame for the hasp, hinges, cupboard catches.

The whole cabinet will be resting on 4 swivel casters, this will make it a lot more maneuverable than using only two swivel and two fixed casters. The top will have two cleats to center my small joiner chest, since the bottom cabinet would be wider. This way, I could incorporate longer tools, like jointers plane (bigger than a No 6), and full size hand saws (26-30 in perhaps?)

And maybe I will add a back cleat to stop the chest from sliding back, since that bottom chest will probably be wider also.

Now to figured out my dimensions. here is the existing joiners tool chest dimensions

Length of chest 28 inch
Height of chest 11 inch with top raised panel
Width of chest 13-1/4 inch
Height of Rubbermaid container 17-1/2 inch

This bring the top of the open chest at a working height of 27-1/2 inch. The question is, is it too low, to be comfortable? I also must keep in mind the added height of my casters which will raise my bottom chest height by 2-1/2 inch.

Currently, the small jointer chest on top of the Rubbermaid container fit under my large plane till with the top open, so I thought that I want to keep this height, since I like the compactness of this arrangement.

 However on closer examination, I realized that it only fit there while the top is swung back. It does not open/close under the till.

Well so much for this bright idea. I guess now, I can give thought to raising it to a more comfortable height after all :-) Just as long as I can still roll it under the till with the top closed. Yes, it may interfere with reaching the bottom moulding planes till area, but it is on wheels after all, so no big deal.

My small joinery bench is 32-1/2 in high, and the plane till bottom is 41 in off the ground
One last consideration, I do not want the opened height of my tool chest to be higher than my bench, strictly for clearances, it is a small bench, I need all the room around it I can get unobstructed ... 
I now have all the information I need to firmed up my final dimensions.

Time to go back to the saw till project and revisit my punch list, I have a few more things to stroked off the list :-)

Bob, and his convoluted design process exposed


  1. I'd like to see a pic of your saw till!

  2. Hi Ron
    You can see various pics of it under construction in previous blog entries. I'm currently cutting the rabbets and bead details on my back boards. Then I still need to cut the saw kerf's boards for the saws and make the saw handle board(s).
    Lastly I have to make 3 dovetailed drawers. Like I said, I'm almost done :-)
    Pics of the completed project should be up in a few days.

    Thank you for your interest

  3. Is it possible to raise the till up a couple of inches?

  4. I suppose I could, but then I'll have to raise both tills and my saw till would be too high. As you recall my drawers are about as high as I care to have them already :-(
    On the other hand, If I just raise the big till it would look out of sync with the remaining tills. I will just have to live with it...No biggie
    Bob, who got the rabbets all done, next are the beads.

  5. I like Napkin CAD V 1.0
    I've got a similar application which is called Construction By Pencil V 5.66 :-)
    It seems to me that you are really running a few projects ahead.

  6. HI Stephan
    Yes, LOL, I'm always running at least three concurrently. Finishing the last one, starting the next one and planning the following one.
    But once I got the bottom tool chest cabinet done, I'm going to slow down to catch up with a few projects for my wife. Mostly furniture repairs on antique she bought lately :-)
    Bob, who should try Construction by Pencil V5.66 "-)