Friday, April 15, 2011

Toolbox Update

I built dividers in the bottom for four bench planes: jointer, jack, smooth, and scrub. The remaining space has a dovetail saw and a couple of mortise chisels. Above that, sitting on the dividers is a box of chisels, with three dowels to hold it in place.
On top of all that, are three trays that sit on a batten running around the edge. I've still got to work out a good way to use the space in the trays, but that will come after I've decided exactly what I want to go in each one.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Toolbox Odyssey

One of the problems with sharing a small workshop with three other people is that it's hard to find an out-of-the-way place to keep my nice tools so they don't get mixed up with communal tools. For a long time (too long) that place has been cardboard boxes in a corner between the bench grinder and the lathe. So I recently decided to make a nice box for them - the sort of box they deserve. I like the traditional tool chest (like the one Roy Underhill recently did two episodes on), but it seemed a bit much in terms of material and time. So I made this small toolbox instead:

The bottom holds planes, the lid holds saws, and the drawers hold smaller tools: block plane, chisels, rulers, marking gauge, etc. However, the inside turned out to be a bit smaller than I had anticipated and I couldn't fit all the tools I had hoped to. For example, the bottom holds three planes but I wanted to fit four; the drawers aren't large enough to fit all of the chisels comfortably; and the lid could hold one more saw, but not the one I want it to. I realized I would need something bigger.
So, today I started working on this Japanese-style tool chest:

I based it on an article by Toshio Odate. I made it slightly larger than his since his design wasn't much bigger than my too-small tool box. One other feature I'm planning on changing: I don't like the fact that the inside is just one big compartment where the tools could jumble around and get damaged. So I'm going to divide it up more like a western tool chest, with a row of slots along one side for chisels and gouges and a till. I'm also planning on borrowing an idea from Tom Fidgen (scroll down to the second chest) to use a piece of plywood to make the bottom French-fitted for my planes. More to come as I work on this box...

My desk

Finally, a place to work at the computer comfortably...