Hand Tool Cabinet - Start To Finish #1: Preparation

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Blog entry by Holbs posted 05-15-2015 02:15 AM 1458 reads 1 time favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hand Tool Cabinet - Start To Finish series Part 2: Rehabbing Craftsman Block Plane for future dovetail work »

Now that my Jet 15” planer project is complete, my next dire need is a hand tool cabinet. This will be my first true wood working project utilizing both machine and hand tools, as this is a LONG overdue project. 2+ years since jumping into wood working, all my projects have been Home Depot lumber based (2×4’s, plywood, etc). It’s time to mature and expand my experience. I foresee using my Peachtree dinky HVLP sprayer for the first time, working with hardwood, dovetailing for the first time using my Veritas dovetail saw AND Japanese goyuki saw, working with wood planes (sadly, I have never used one!.. which also means cleaning up what I have and sharpening with my diamond stones / worksharp 3000), same goes for my assortment of chisels.
This is just a hand tool cabinet that will win no awards, but it will give me the experience that I desire.

First up: selecting a species. I decided on Alder (in this instance, I am leaning towards Knotty Alder species for it’s ease of use, expense, and rustic charm). I visited my local hardwood supplier to ask questions. 4/4 is $1.16 board feet, 8/4 is $1.87. 1/4” 4’x8’ Knotty Alder plywood is $53, 1/2” is $84, 3/4” is $96. They carry two grades: Superior (less knots) and regular. And much much in stock of everything.

Second: re-visiting how to go about dovetails. Thru my time with auctions, I have acquired some DVD’s. Cosman and dovetails, david charlesworth and precision dovetails, etc. I do remember a DVD that had a gentleman doing precision dovetails oh so achingly detailistic, such as how to stand, how to pare, etc… I really liked that DVD but can’t find it now. argh. I will do the 30 day attempt of a dovetail per day (actually, more like 3 per week, but who’s counting). I did purchase 4/4 rough stock of 6’ alder premium just for dovetailing and planing practice. This will involve indepth needed experience with chisels, hand saws, and block planes (yay!).

Third: structure / style of the cabinet. Totally undecided and open. I’ll be searching thru LJ projects of hand tool cabinets to see and read. Same for google. My base line is what I need for what I have (and what will have), but am open minded to add features not yet thought of. My initial consideration is wall mounted / french cleat and not touching the floor. I like when things do not touch the floor as it makes for easy shop cleaning.

Fourth: tools. I think i have what is needed, at least at the start. I’ll buy QUALITY items as I progress.

I started this blog to show other’s who are intimated about hand tools, don’t know what to expect, what can & will go wrong as I’m sure to find out. And gives me inspiration to start, not give up, and complete because folks will read this crap :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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