Sunday, October 5, 2008

Craftsman Tool Cabinet.

So I started out with just one block plane, of course, it was a POS home center Stanley, the one in the picture with the red palm rest. I added to that with a better block plane, then a pretty good made in England Stanley No. 4. This was followed up by a couple of small shoulder planes and a Stanley No. 80 scraper plane. I picked up a couple of antique Stanley planes, cleaned them up and sharpened the blades and they cut okay. But then, I made the mistake of trying out a well tuned Lie-Nielsen block plane, I finally realised what a high quality plane could do. That started my downfall, a low angle L-N block plane, a L-N block shoulder plane, these planes rocked. I made my first wooden plane last spring and with a nice blade it cut surprizingly well. At IWF this year I ordered a Lee Valley low angle smoothing plane and a scraping plane, both of which are awesone right out of the box. Well the downside of all this is that now I have nowhere to keep all these tools except a drawer that is now too crouded and I'm afraid that they will be damaged. So now I'm making a cabinet to hold all my prized hand planes.
I'm using Chris Schwarz's plan from Popular Woodworking's Arts and Crafts Furniture Projects book but changing it some. My Lee Valley scraper plane is wider than the cubbies that he called for so I adjusted them so two cubbies are 4 inches wide and I made up for it with two smaller cubbies that will fit my No. 4 plane and my L-N block planes. I also used quartersawn white oak instead of Cherry because thats what I have plenty of in my wood supply. I haven't decided yet how the doors will look but I think that I'm going to change the look of the top.

I glued up the stock yesterday after planing it to the appropriate thickness. Today I unclamped the stock and used the smoothing plane to flush the panels. I then cut the panels to size and started on the dado's for the cubbies and dividers. At the end of the day today I had my first dry fit, you'll notice that the cubbies on the left are wider than the ones on the right. Below the plane cubbies will be 4 small drawers and 2 larger drawers. I plan to add a rack for my fine chisels inside one of the doors and a holder for my Gent's saw on the other. The drawers will hold my marking guages and knives, my files and rasps, and other tools that are banging around in the one large drawer now.
I've learned that hand tools are an important addition to a powertool shop and that quality tools make the difference. What I'm trying to teach myself, and this is hard, is to slow down and take my time. I've always worked quickly and I think that sometimes what I need to do is to not rush through a project, but slow down and work more on precision. My projects come out looking great but there are pieces and parts that could be better, probably no one knows this but me, but it does bother me. So now, for me, I want to slow down and take my time with each and every part of a project.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Albert Einstein

1 comment:

The Great Ethan Allen said...

sounds like a fun project. Better make sure you make it big enough for your eventual additions. hand plane folks ususally end up collectors. so I hear...