Simple Chisel Rack

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Project by AnthonyReed posted 12-29-2011 09:37 PM 4572 views 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know it is on par with a first graders birdhouse project but that is about where my skill set is currently :)

This is my first hand tool project. i figured i needed to move on from practicing saw cuts and making test joints over and over, and actually start making/assembling things i need in my shop. i was apprehensive about how it would be to get all my joints square in the assembly but it went rather smoothly.

i still have a long way to go with my dovetails. In the first picture you can see that there is a bit of a gap on one side. The dovetail in the second picture was so loose that i had to pare it out more so that i could fit a shim into it in order to tighten it up.

There is some tear out on the holes, which was a lesson taught to me by my countersink bit (slow and light pressure will result in much better results). Other than that i am quite pleased with being able to dimension the stock, cut the joints and assemble a square and functional little item for the shop.

Though it is simple, it is a confidence building maiden endeavor into the realm of shavings production for me. Hand tools are really satisfying.

Thanks for having a look, ~Tony

-- ~Tony

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4491 days

#1 posted 12-29-2011 09:44 PM

Hey Tony
This is a great chisel holder. Simple projects is where we build skills and confidence ,before you know it you’ll be making Bombe chest.


View rlamb007's profile


76 posts in 3452 days

#2 posted 12-29-2011 11:39 PM

Looks good to me. At least you are making handcut dovetails.
That is better then me at the moment. :)


View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3322 days

#3 posted 12-30-2011 12:33 AM

If it functions, its a success!

I think its a great addition to your shop. Good job.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4587 days

#4 posted 12-30-2011 12:37 AM

Nice idea!

View naked_wookie's profile


38 posts in 3265 days

#5 posted 12-30-2011 03:06 AM

Very true statement with hand tools really are satisfying. Nothing better than finishing up something by hand even if it took longer than the powered alternative its still seems that much yours.

-- nate.

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3569 days

#6 posted 12-30-2011 03:44 PM

Sweet. It’s great when you can put those first practice sessions to work in your shop. Those DTs are not half bad for starters. They just get better from that point.

Keep it up Tony.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View AnthonyReed's profile


10159 posts in 3354 days

#7 posted 12-30-2011 07:52 PM

Thank you for the encouraging words everyone.

Ryan – You are the one that suggested moving my efforts from mere practice and to direct it towards useful/needed shop items. As always, sage advice. Thank ya man.

-- ~Tony

View parkerdude's profile


182 posts in 4366 days

#8 posted 12-31-2011 05:41 AM

Hey Tony,

Nice job. I prefer hand-tools too.

Your joints are tight, how did you pare that tail to insert the shim?


-- dust control

View AnthonyReed's profile


10159 posts in 3354 days

#9 posted 12-31-2011 07:55 AM

Hi Parkerdude. Thanks.

There was a gap on the outside of the joint that tapered to a good fit at the bottom/inside of the pin board socket. i left the tail alone and pared the pin, cross grain, until the gap was uniform width (outside to inside / top to bottom). i planed a shim to appropriate thickness and dry fit it to test. i left the shim larger than the tail; it protruded about 1/8” from the top and 1/4” out the side. i glued the the joint up as normal then smeared a little glue on the shim and tapped it in. Once it was dry i scored it with a knife and snapped off the excess then hit it with the plane.

i hope that made sense, let me know if i need to clarify further.

Thanks for the interest.

-- ~Tony

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3569 days

#10 posted 12-31-2011 06:31 PM

Another way to do it. Assemble the joint with the gap. Saw through the joint. Make a shim that is a bit thick, hammer it thin on an anvil, till it fits. Glue the kerf, not the shim. When the shim hits the glue it expands and fills any gaps. Pare it clean with a chisel one the glue sets. If you align the grain of the ship with the pin pre of the joint it is VERY hard to detect.

For some light gaps I have heard your can hammer the ends of the pins a bit to expand the grain. I have not played with this method though.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View AnthonyReed's profile


10159 posts in 3354 days

#11 posted 01-02-2012 01:20 AM

Ryan – How would you saw the joint without nicking one of the base lines? i did not realize the glue would have that much effect on the shim, i will try it how you recommend (glue in kerf) next time. i rather like having repairs visible, things like dutchman repairs are appealing to me, but if i have need of a discrete repair i will most definitely keep the grain match in mind.

Derek Cohen writes about that ( ). He calls it “Peening Dovetails”.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom Ryan.

-- ~Tony

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3569 days

#12 posted 01-02-2012 03:34 AM

The reason the glue affects the shim is because the grain gets compressed when you hammer it on the plate. The glue just expands the grain again…the same could be done with a heat lamp but that would take more time.

As far as not nicking the baselines….this is good practice for half blind dovetails. Not nicking the lines is just a matter of getting the angle of the saw right. It’s easier than it sounds.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View lysdexic's profile


5348 posts in 3537 days

#13 posted 12-27-2012 05:07 AM

Ryan, that is some good info, now that i read it a year later.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

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