Hand Tool Challenge

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Project by MrWhit posted 07-08-2016 01:15 AM 1821 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My good friend for the past 20 yrs or so issued a challenge last year. We were to build each other simple one drawer/one door wall cabinets. Roughly the same dimensions, about 14×22 or so. We had to use hand tools only, and we both saw this as a self-imposed master class. I had to pause half-way through to build a nicholson style bench and even made a tiny hand powered lathe for the knobs. My friend chose a Mission inspired design, while I went for more of a shaker style. His was walnut and cherry, while I went with flamed birch, cherry and birdseye maple on the inside of the drawer. After a year and a half I finally made the trek from New England to South Carolina for the exchange. Apologies for poor photo lighting. The pic with them side by side is the truest color wise.

14 comments so far

View gsimon's profile


1308 posts in 2385 days

#1 posted 07-08-2016 01:23 AM

absolutely charming story – these pieces turned out really nice

-- Greg Simon

View jbee's profile


65 posts in 967 days

#2 posted 07-08-2016 02:02 AM

Great story of a great friendship.

And really nice cabinets.
Building a bench and turning by hand lathe shows a real commitment to the challenge.

Kudos to you both.

-- Life is good! Make the most of it.

View MrWhit's profile


18 posts in 1025 days

#3 posted 07-08-2016 02:24 AM

View TheGreatJon's profile


340 posts in 1505 days

#4 posted 07-08-2016 03:09 AM

Cool story. I think I need to find a pen pal. Or I guess this would be a chisel pal.

-- This is not the signature line you are looking for.

View SuperCubber's profile


1060 posts in 2556 days

#5 posted 07-08-2016 03:33 AM

Great looking cabinets!

Oddly enough, I’m from New England (RI), and now live in SC. Each summer we visit RI and I do some wood turning with a buddy.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View CampD's profile


1748 posts in 3758 days

#6 posted 07-08-2016 11:39 AM

Love them! Well executed.

-- Doug...

View jbee's profile


65 posts in 967 days

#7 posted 07-08-2016 12:50 PM

Love the lathe!!

-- Life is good! Make the most of it.

View BurlyBob's profile


6067 posts in 2537 days

#8 posted 07-08-2016 03:41 PM

Those are both wonderful.

View Andre's profile


2452 posts in 2078 days

#9 posted 07-08-2016 03:43 PM

Woodworking at its best! True craftsmanship!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View JKMDETAIL's profile


218 posts in 1927 days

#10 posted 07-08-2016 05:42 PM

Love them both. I am looking at them thinking about Christmas is coming and i have some lady’s to do something for. Liking this Idea.

View MilFlyer's profile


941 posts in 1944 days

#11 posted 07-08-2016 09:07 PM

Stories like that really add so much to the pieces. Thank you for sharing!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View Mean_Dean's profile


6929 posts in 3419 days

#12 posted 07-09-2016 12:35 AM

That’s a great looking set of cabinets—and an even better story! I love to see this kind of collaboration between woodworkers, and see the wonderful results!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View ScottyB's profile


2 posts in 959 days

#13 posted 07-09-2016 01:24 AM

Enjoyed the challenge, MrWhit! Ready for the next build??

View majuvla's profile


13835 posts in 3139 days

#14 posted 07-09-2016 05:22 PM

You both done realy good job on this shallenge. It’s hard to compare them since those are different styles, but anyway, I choose the right one.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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