Finding junk, using junk, practicing hand joinery.

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Blog entry by Buckethead posted 06-23-2013 02:49 AM 1706 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So now I’m a blogger. If my dearly departed Mom were still alive, I’m sure she would read it. She’d give rave reviews too.

So I’m working, rehabbing an office space for a medical practice to utilize while their new multi million dollar complex is being built, and by the dumpster is a hideous cabinet of some sort.

Mostly veneered particle board, but upon closer inspection, there is a bit of hardwood to be had. Now I pride myself in doing full service for a client. This eyesore does not belong outside my client’s new office, even if it is temporary. I need to break it down and put it in the dumpster. So why not salvage the little wood that’s there? So I did.

Not much, but there’s a pretty grain. Not sure what species. (Any guesses?) looks walnutty…. But I don’t think so.

Not enough to build anything substantial, but surely I can find a use. I have been practicing hand cut dovetails, and my daughter has asked me to make a tool box for her. I had already started the toolbox, (painted pine which was salvaged from a remodel some time ago. been hanging about quite some time) but broke the pins on an end piece when dry fitting them. I turned the grain upright for the end pieces, so the pins are delicate until joined. (I might have shed a very manly tear)

So time to re-do, and now I have some nice new stock for a handle.

My wife seemingly abhors fine furnishings, unless they are abused, scarred, abandoned, neglected, scraped, dinged or as she calls it, Shabby Chic. So I decided to keep this toolbox in that style.

Now I realize this isn’t one of those OMG! Type projects… Just a simple box and a n00b practicing hand cut dovetails. But I will say, it was done with love, and my precious daughter in mind. I got a bit hasty, so while chiseling out the mortises for the handle, I did cause some tear out. Another lesson learned. Sometimes it’s just better to finish in the morning.

More lessons learned: Chisels are awesome. Who knew? My first few try’s at dovetails I really struggled, but two things happened different today.

1) I went to WoodCraft and bought 3 more chisels. I had only purchased a Stanley Sweetheart 1/2” chisel before, but I went back and got a 1/4”, 3/8, and 1”. Cleaning out goes better by far with the 3/8 vs the 1/2.
(I had been advised to get four chisels to start out, but stubbornly just bought the 1/2” thinking I’d make do)

2) The back side of the chisel is the sweet spot. Using the straightness of the edge and the back side is the way to make a clean cut.

Next up, a 5/8 and a 3/4. Using the chisels today, a light just came on. I wasn’t frustrated. It was working like it seemed it should. Don’t try too hard. Try easy. This is what I must always remind myself.

Well… If you made it this far, you must be bored. I’m just reflecting on my day, and patting myself on the back. Sushi for dinner.

Does anyone else like the Salmon Roe? It has become my favorite. It’s like salmony butter.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

2 comments so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3175 posts in 3386 days

#1 posted 06-23-2013 03:54 PM

That’s what I found with chisels. Once they’re sharp they are sweet to use and easy to control.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3174 days

#2 posted 06-23-2013 04:58 PM

Hah don’t be so hard on yourself, mom would indeed give rave reviews. I like the salvage work, much better than going to waste. I skimped out on a 3/8 chisel too, may have to go back for one. It’s funny your wife likes shabby chic, mine says distressed furniture makes her distressed. Either way that’s a great toolbox and the dovetails look great.

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