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Of Tool Cabinets, Chewing Gum and Sealng Wax

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Blog series by Bill Berklich updated 04-22-2020 12:09 AM 19 parts 32424 reads 60 comments total

Part 1: In the begining

11-06-2017 06:38 PM by Bill Berklich | 0 comments »

In the beginning chaos reigned. Yep, that about sums up my “shop”. Or to quote my wife: “What a mess”! Easily 50% of my time is spent searching for a tool or hardware I know I have and dancing around everything trying not to knock over wood piles or tools. I had a decent shop once but after several moves and life changes I’ve never been able to actually pull together another organized workspace. Now I’m staring at another move in 18 to 24 months and ...

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Part 2: Well that didn't take long

11-06-2017 07:09 PM by Bill Berklich | 6 comments »

Of course not – I’ve been thinking about this for about 6 months. And like most have done a LOT of internet searches on “Tool Cabinets”; “Toolboxes”; “Tool Chests” (Yes I have the book); “Hanging Tool Cabinets”; “Tool Hanging”; “Tool Storage” and several more permutations. If you think I may have missed one let me know. There are hundreds of solutions, as many as there are Woodworkers, and so many great id...

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Part 3: Some Initial Sketches

11-08-2017 02:21 PM by Bill Berklich | 3 comments »

I did a bit of sketching to capture my thoughts – far easier to change lines than recut wood. Here’s a start. apologies for the curvature. Apparently my Cell has a 26 or 28 mm fl equivalent lens. I can also see that my talents as a sketch artist are sadly lacking so I think I’ll take a tip from the previous post and start learning SketchUp.

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Part 4: Thoughts in SketchUp

11-12-2017 09:35 PM by Bill Berklich | 3 comments »

Temps dropped, cold in the shop so refocused to more indoor activities. Friday (November 10th), of course, was the U.S. Marine Corps 242nd Birthday – Semper Fi Brothers past, present, and future, and may we serve 300 more with honor. Did the Vets day thing too on Saturday served breakfast to a host of Korea and Vietnam Vets and some of the few remaining WWII Vets too. I have to say that I met a guy who was on the USN Nautilus. The first nuclear sub and the first to sail under the pola...

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Part 5: Lower Cabinet Design - Tool Packing

11-23-2017 02:59 AM by Bill Berklich | 5 comments »

SktechUp – what a great tool! I can change things much easier, explore design options, and visualize architectures far easier. After a couple false starts a bit of learning on how SketchUp works compared to its big brothers the lower cabinet literally came together. The lower cabinet is expressly to house most of my power tools – the ones I reach for regularly. The multi-tool and biscuit joiner will stay in their respective cases because they just don’t get used much. T...

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Part 6: Lower Case Assembly

10-07-2018 06:26 PM by Bill Berklich | 0 comments »

Ok – It’s been awhile since I had the chance to work on my Tool Cabinet. Last November to be exact. But, the project is underway once again. Getting back into any long shelved project is always a challenge, time passes, things are forgotten, pieces are mislaid, and parts are used for other purposes. No different on this project but after a week of excavating, rooting, and cleaning I managed to identify and collect all of the critical parts and pieces. As I stood staring at the pile of lumb...

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Part 7: Other Projects - Outfeed Cart

10-07-2018 07:32 PM by Bill Berklich | 2 comments »

Life isn’t linear. Nothing, at least in my life, follows a straight line or well-marked path. On the way to working on the Tool cabinet several other projects happened. I’ll start with the Outfeed Cart. I’ve had all of my sanding supplies just stuffed in a box – actually three boxes and I’ve long wanted a place for everything so I can find it, get it, and store it. Because of my situation I need a couple of features 1) it had to be mobile. 2) it has two slip under my Table Saw wing and 3...

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Part 8: Other projects – Lathe cart

10-14-2018 12:06 AM by Bill Berklich | 0 comments »

So along the way I built a Lathe cart. My lathe isn’t big so I had it sitting on a garage sale table without casters so it was always where ai didn’t want or need it. In keeping with building things with leftover and scrap wood I created it in two parts an upper and a lower. Never to be separated – I just didn’t have any big pieces. I made the top long enough to accommodate a small grinder and when it is not in use I can hang the grinder on the end. The cart has two full with dr...

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Part 9: Other projects – Evolution of a Shop Vac cart

10-29-2018 05:46 PM by Bill Berklich | 3 comments »

And… I built a Dust Deputy based Shop Vac Cart. Like everyone I started with 1, 2, 3 Shop vacs. And like everyone I found they were great for general vacuuming but filled/clogged fast. I just HATED emptying these and knocking out the filter because invariable dust ended up everywhere. So reading through lots posts and articles (and being cheap) I tried the PVC pipe and bucket idea. It worked pretty well for big stuff but the fine dust still clogged the filter and frankly it was a pain to u...

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Part 10: Marking Tool Swap Fall 2018

11-10-2018 12:41 AM by Bill Berklich | 9 comments »

Still not focusing on the Tool Cabinet, I joined the LJ Fall Swap. My first one and let me tell you the guys in the swap are expert. Knowing the everyone has most of the standard marking tools I looked around the shop and my eyes landed on a set of pinch sticks. Just poplar stained with Dychem (for metalworking) and coated with Wattco. The sliders are just 3/4” square steel tube drilled and tapped. But a great starting point because I figured that most people don’t have/use...

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Part 11: A home for my Stanley 45 Irons

03-11-2019 11:56 AM by Bill Berklich | 0 comments »

When we last saw our hero… (oops wrong story). Well still no substantive progress on the tool cabinet – waylaid by surgery/recovery and weather. Unheated garage is not conducive to cutting/fitting/gluing/finishing at 10F. I do need to get busy soon ‘cuz the house is going up for sale in a couple more weeks and packing has already started. But that is a another story. I have managed a few smaller projects over the past month or so on warmer days and with the heater going...

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Part 12: Split nut screwdriver

03-16-2019 06:43 PM by Bill Berklich | 3 comments »

Lots of projects as every other LJ’er but this Split nut screwdriver is (in my mind) a good looking success. Like every project I do there is always something else I need before I get started on the main event. The Split nut Screwdrivers started because 1) so many LJ’ers have made so many really cool saws and 2) I have a couple of old back saw plates and 3) I REALLY needed a project for the LJ Spring Swap… :-) Casting about LJ and the net I came up wiith sever...

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Part 13: Saw jointer handle

03-16-2019 07:28 PM by Bill Berklich | 2 comments »

Knocked out a second small project for the Swap to go with the Split Nut Screwdriver, a Saw Jointer Handle. Generally the antique Stanley’s are in steel. This one is Osage Orange starting with a 1.5” x 1.5” x 12” chunk I cut squared and scraped a blank. Then it was a matter of cutting a relief file and clearence for the saw. Then I installed a brass insert (I’d go steel next time). Some sanding and some poly A small brass thumb scr...

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Part 14: Stanley #45 Chest

06-08-2019 01:17 AM by Bill Berklich | 5 comments »

Like many LJ’ers I’ve felt the tug of vintage hand tools. I discovered and acquired a Stanley #45 almost complete for a very reasonable price and got it mostly cleaned and sharpened and it’s been laid out on a side bench. Finally found time to make a chest. I wanted to make a chest similar to the original ones with finger joints. So to get started I made a simple box joint jig. Then I thicknessed Red Oak stock to 1/2” for the sides/ends/top and I also th...

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Part 15: Jennings Style Auger Bit Box

06-08-2019 02:23 AM by Bill Berklich | 3 comments »

The lure of vintage hand tools is like no other. Mostly be because they are small, storeable, transportable, are still useful and functional and as well as affordable. I’ve had a fist full of Irwin and Russell Jennings bits homeless stacked in a drawer. With the new Box Joint Jig and the fact that I was already setting up for the #45 chest I decided that I wanted a Russell Jennings style chest to secure them. Thanks to several of the LJ’ers on the Vintage Drills of Your Dre...

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Part 16: Drill Press Table

01-18-2020 03:20 PM by Bill Berklich | 6 comments »

I’ve been needing a Drill Press Table for quite a while and finally got one built. This is not one of those huge “do everything” tables. It’s 14” deep by 22” wide – mostly made from scrap – which is the reason for the size. I selected/included features that support my methods of work and 90% of the project types I do. Nothing fancy here, just a couple (2) layers of 3/4” plywood screwed together. I had to clip the tips of the 1-1/2&...

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Part 17: Gents Saw Upgrade

01-19-2020 01:34 AM by Bill Berklich | 3 comments »

After seeing the Youtube video on this I really wanted to try it out myself. So I started with a Two Cherries Gents Saw that’s been laying around collecting dust. I pulled the handle – and reused it as a file handle. Then cut/trim the plate. I used a Blackburn Tools handle pattern and pasted it on a 4/4 slab of Marblewood and cut the basic shape on the bandsaw. Lots of work with rasps, files, and sandpaper brought the hand to shape the came the critical cut. The sli...

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Part 18: Squares, Squares and more Squares...

04-01-2020 12:55 AM by Bill Berklich | 3 comments »

OK, I’m not a galoot. I use hand tools to augment my power tools. While the quite whisper of a sharp plane on pine like the silent fall of heavy snow is wondrous, the screaming song of an 6 inch jointer and instant piles of wood shavings fits me better. That said I do like a well made tool. Earlier I rehandled a Two Cherries backsaw and honestly I like it better than my Veritas Dovetail saw – more on that later. It got me to thinking about other tools I could make. And then...

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Part 19: Sucking Sawdust

04-22-2020 12:09 AM by Bill Berklich | 4 comments »

I use my RAS… a lot. For the longest time I’ve had a wheelbarrow behind it where most of the sawdust lands and it is a lot of sawdust. Almost as much as my table saw. I’ve seen several LJ’ers and Youtubers with various RAS dust collection methods and decided that I like the fence port style best. I start out by collecting scraps then turning the inside of a 2.5” Sched 40 pipe to fit the vac hose. Then using scrap I built a box about 9” Deep by 12” Wide Skinned top an...

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