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Tool Chest Refurb

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Blog series by Smitty_Cabinetshop updated 02-02-2015 06:35 AM 21 parts 75199 reads 775 comments total

Part 1: Some Background

06-29-2012 02:59 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 35 comments »

> UPDATED 04 May 2018 to address CHUMBUCKET limitation. kas < Posted a ‘Shop Notes’ entry some time ago to talk about a big ‘ole pine dovetailed box I bought at a local auction. Not absolutely certain it was ever a tool chest, but I won’t rule it out either. Some points to consider on the tool chest vs. plain box discussion: - There’s no evidence it ever had sliding trays or inserts. Not that they’re required, I suppose, but modern authors suggest that’s the historical norm. M...

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Part 2: Prep for Re-Work

07-03-2012 03:41 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 29 comments »

Take a look at a couple of (re-posted) picture for the nails that are evident… The ones left in the one remaining topper board / original lid, and the nails midway down each corner, holding the dovetail joints together. These nails, heck, all nails but what’s in the hinges, need to come out to take the chest apart completely. Yep, I’ve decided to dis-assemble the chest. Why? Because, even though the box itself seems to be stable, the dovetail joints are loose and the boards that ma...

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Part 3: Back to Square One

07-08-2012 02:14 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 32 comments »

Each of the four sides are comprised of two boards, and the dowels ‘n glue that held those pairs of boards together bought the farm decades ago. But for the front board, where I was able to get them apart and check out the locust (?) dowels. To get back to four tight boards from eight loose ones means clamps and glue. Oh, and biscuits. Yes, Norm-loving, electron-killing, can’t-believe-a-true-galoot-would-ever-use- them biscuits! Why would I do such a thing? Why indeed. Let’...

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Part 4: Skirts are for Tool Chests

07-20-2012 09:28 PM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 60 comments »

I need four sides of skirting for dovetailing in a way opposite the main body of the chest. As in, tails are cut into the face board of the main chest, but will get cut into the side boards of the skirt, to counteract each other and increase overall stability. I’m only able to get the bottom skirting entirely from my blue board: - Two long boards, front and back- Two short sides I want the blue and/or weathered edges to be ‘up,’ and cut edge down on these boards, a...

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Part 5: Everything Below the Lid

08-20-2012 06:26 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 104 comments »

Chest-like object has suffered a bit of neglect, to be sure, and for that there isn’t much of an excuse. Except for these two words: Family and Job. :-) Where in the heck am I with this refurb? Last installment says I ‘completed’ the lower skirt, but what’s pictured includes a skirt that’s not yet permanently attached to the chest. Issue? Well, kinda. But that’s not what this installment is gonna cover. Instead of the base, I’ve moved to the middle of the chest to work the uppe...

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Part 6: Okay, This Time it's All About the Lid...

08-25-2012 02:06 PM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 35 comments »

EDIT: 23 August 2019, fixed all the Photo”Chum”Bucket pic errors. ———-————————————-—————-————— Where are we? Oh, yeah. There’s a top skirt (not glued): And the frame part of the frame and panel: With the idea (stupid, perhaps) to use the old, original bottom boards for the panel. Jointed, with biscuits t...

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Part 7: Chest needs a lid, and now it has one...

09-03-2012 03:50 PM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 95 comments »

Not going to clench cut nails for hinge install because my cut nails are truly vintage and will break rather than bend. Because of the thickness of the lid skirt, two shorter screws are needed at the base of the three-hole hinge, with one long wood screw good for the top in that it goes through the skirt and into the panel of the lid. Chose the hardware from the parts drawer, and moved out. Clamped the hinge tight, tapped starter holes and drove the screws home. The next pic...

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Part 8: Making New Look Old...

09-09-2012 05:38 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 24 comments »

Again, fewer words and more pictures this go-round. Let’s get started! Begin with an old chest (steady, Al), middling skirt and raw top. \Beat it up a bit. Potato-stain the fresh cut edges. Chamfer the bottom skirt. Rub the entire chest with dirt. Apply watered-down paint that the computer color match systemsays is the predominant color of the dirty old chest. Then rub down with WD-40 soaked rag and you’ve got it. Maybe some...

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Part 9: It's What's Inside that Counts, Right?

11-22-2012 09:02 PM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 19 comments »

EDIT: 23 August 2019, removed broken Photo”Chum”Bucket links. ————————-——-——-—————————-———-————- So, The Outside of the Chest looks reasonably authentic now, and features a lid that keeps dust and other detritus away from the rust-prone surfaces of tools within. But after a spring and summer to-do list fill...

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Part 10: Drawers need Runners...

11-24-2012 06:07 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 10 comments »

EDIT: 23 August 2019, removed broken Photo”Chum”Bucket links. ————————-——-——-—————————-———-————- Started the day’s activity concentrating effort on the sliding shelf that will separate the till section from the undivided bottom well of the chest. Glue scraping with the #82, then a check for flat with the...

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Part 11: Best Saturday Use of Mock-ups...

11-25-2012 02:50 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 21 comments »

EDIT: 23 August 2019, removed broken Photo”Chum”Bucket links. ————————-——-——-—————————-———-————- Walked into the shop this AM to this: And I want to get to a reasonable facsimile of this: So setting the depth of each drawer is the action of the day. I have them marked as being 6”, so part o...

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Part 12: Return from Obscurity

04-17-2013 04:13 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 10 comments »

EDIT: 23 August 2019, removed broken Photo”Chum”Bucket links. ————————-——-——-—————————-———-————- Precious little dialog, and only three pictures, but know that the Chest has not been forgotten. Worked an idea I had for the sliding tills. The #78 (love that plane) created a rabbet on pallet pine That ...

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Part 13: Almost a Year, but Progress Continues...

08-13-2013 02:59 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 60 comments »

EDIT: 23 August 2019, removed broken Photo”Chum”Bucket links. ————————-——-——-—————————-———-————- Yeah, if you’re like Andy and had popcorn at the ready for another installment of this series, my bad as it’s gone back to seed while you waited. The chest has been an interim resting place for tools th...

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Part 14: Looking More Like a Tool Chest

09-12-2013 03:30 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 29 comments »

EDIT: 23 August 2019, removed broken Photo”Chum”Bucket links. ————————-——-——-—————————-———-————- Had a chest with sliding tills ‘in bottom only…’ So I mounted faces via saw-kerf rabbets… and dovetailed sides to said faces. Glued faces… ...

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Part 15: And We're Ready for Hardware!

09-15-2013 07:06 PM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 12 comments »

EDIT: 23 August 2019, removed broken Photo”Chum”Bucket links. ————————-——-——-—————————-———-————- Left off last time looking like this: After pulling clamps and doing some trim work first at the bench… And then at the chest with the Stanley #278 in chisel plane mode… The chest i...

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Part 16: Conclusion!

09-16-2013 01:49 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 31 comments »

EDIT: 23 Aug 2019, eliminated broken Photo”Chum”Bucket links. ——-——-——-————-——-——-——-————-——-——-——-————-——-——-——-————- Okay, we started here when the evening’s activites went down: Tills were assembled and trimmed up earlier t...

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Part 17: A 'Feature' gets (Re-) Discovered

09-19-2013 06:03 PM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 64 comments »

Not trying to convince anyone of anything here, but if you’ve read the series y’all know that I chose to install a sliding ledge in rehab’d tool chest as shown in an old chest drawing. I did it because when I first saw it I thought it was cool, and thought it was there to protect the bottom compartment from dust / debris when the lid was open. Got it built and realized a couple of things: - It was, in fact, quite cool looking- It highlighted the large dead space in front of the...

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Part 18: Final Hardware Install

09-30-2013 01:53 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 16 comments »

Here’s what I’ve had: The vertical saw till needed flush ring pulls, and those finally came in this week. Tonight was install time. First to practice on pine. Traced it with a knife, chisel’d (carefully) and drilled and got the fit right. Lots of chiseling ahead on a much narrower piece of walnut. Removed the saws and square from the till and set it up on the bench for work. Chisel’d out the square, marked for the deep, recessed cut ...

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Part 19: A Latch!!

05-04-2014 01:36 PM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 14 comments »

Only thing this chest has aggravated me with since completion is an inability to open and close it easily. I’ve not slammed the lid on my finger (yet), but both activities have been two-handed operations. Didn’t like that, had my eyes open for a solution, and found this: How to mount it? Glad you asked. Drilled some holes, then worked the slot. Used a carving tool to set in the hinge pin assy… Here’s under the lid~ Add a little m...

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Part 20: A Piece of the Puzzle Arrives

08-17-2014 06:48 PM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 24 comments »

Hello, and wecome back to this blog series! Installment #20 deals not with a modification to the actual structure of the chest, but with a change in contents that improved functionality. One of the items I’m convinced needs to be in the tool chest is a full-sized framing square. You know what I’m talking about, as there are thousands of these tools out there, and likely several in every shop across America. Now that’s not to say we all know how to actually use the devise ...

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Part 21: An Update on Relevance...

02-02-2015 06:35 AM by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 52 comments »

Okay, time for an honest assesment of where I am with this tool chest. It’s been about 18 months from completion. Pretty much every time I’m in the shop the chest is opened and at least one tool is used for an in-work project. I’ve added various tools that were particularly suited to it as well, such as the #50 plough and knock-down framing square, all making me believe it was becoming more complete, more of a key to my hobbywork. Well, I’m here to tell you it hasnR...

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