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March 23, 2002

Yesterday I started work on a project that has been on my mind for about 2 months now, building a toolbox for transporting my tools. Specifically I am hoping to finish this project by July, when I will be travelling to New Hampshire for a class in Windsor chairmaking. For the last 2 months I have been mentally designing the box; I posted a description of the design to Badger Pond last night, along with some thoughts about dovetailing this morning.

Yesterday and today, I jointed boards and glued up panels for the two sides and the front of the chest; I am going to do the back of the chest after I type up this entry. The wood I am using is poplar; I had intended to use maple, but decided it is better to use poplar for learning dovetailing, plus I will have less money invested in a failed project if such it turns out. I bought the wood at Rosenzweig's Lumber in the Bronx, a lumber yard which a few people have recommended to me; I like it a lot better than Wood-Ply, which I had been using until now. I bought some hardware for the toolbox at Ludwig Industries in Williamsburg -- quite inexpensive -- the latches look really good, and the corners will work, but I may get better hinges from Horton Brasses.

April 1, 2002

Last night I did my first dovetail joint -- it came out very nice. The evenings of this week, I am planning to cut the pins of the other three joints, and finish getting everything dimensioned; next weekend I will chop out the waste of those pins and mark and cut the tails, and if I have time also chop out the tails. (Chopping is noisy and I'm limited in how much of it I can do.) Then I will only be a week or two from being able to glue up the carcass.

April 9, 2002

I finished the second dovetail joint tonight -- "finished" is a slight exaggeration; both joints are too tight and need to be pared down slightly before the glue. The back and sides of the carcass are standing on my workbench now.

May 19, 2002

Tonight I glued up the drawer, which will need a little final trimming and then be ready to go -- the drawer came together more quickly and looks better than the lid, which I did previously. Next is the tool tray.

May 22, 2002

Today I screwed the hardware in, attaching hinges, latches and drawer pulls. The alignment of the toolbox is pretty far off; but it does close, and the drawer slides in.

May 29, 2002

Just now I glued up the tool tray (excepting the handle for it, which I will need to make separately but which should be quite simple.) At last, the light at the end of the tunnel! The box should be totally finished by the end of the week. I rigged up handles for the sides of the box out of 1" dowels and twine -- they will have a limited lifetime because the twine will eventually wear through, but they are easily replaceable. I will see how quickly the twine wears; if it seems to be weakening very fast I will need to come up with another idea for the handles.

In all, this project seems to have taken about two months -- I am going to turn now to tuning and sharpening all the tools I am going to need for the Windsor class in July.

May 30, 2002

Finished off the tray this evening! Everything fits together very nicely -- the last two boxes are definitely closer to square than the first two.