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Thread: Carving Tool Chest – A Reconstruction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Philadelphia, Pa
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    Carving Tool Chest – A Reconstruction

    Sometime ago my wife and I went to a neighborhood garage sale, and there was this chest-sort of thing for sale. It consisted of a small table, about 14" tall, and two chests. All oak, but painted gray by some prior owner. The width is about 19", the depth about 14.5", and one was 14" tall, I.D., and the other 18" tall, I.D. Both were filled with a superstructure, and traditional oak library card catalogue file drawers. So, for $20, we were big spenders. It sat in a corner of the shop for some time, awaiting an inspiration.

    Well, as I began to carve, and as it became apparent that tool rolls were a poor way to store, and then try to locate, a particular chisel, esp. since I didn’t even quite know what carving tools I had (having bought a rather full used set for a fixed price), it seemed that a way to store, and organize, the tools was important.

    So, I stripped out the guts of these two cabinets, set new interior sides of 1/2" scrap birch ply, and grooved them on the TS to 1/4". Most of the drawers are 2" tall, which left me room for a 1/4" bottom on drawers, where the bottom would slide in the groove, and net me 1.75" deep drawers. Used 6mm BB for the bottoms, and scrap for the balance. Some of the drawer sides are walnut, some cherry, some poplar, etc. The sides, fronts, and backs, are glued and shot with 18 ga. nails. Pretty quick way to make 13 drawers. They work well; the wax helps.

    The top, when my buddy ( a tile and stone man) gets around to cutting me an 18" x 22" top of some scrap stone, will become my sharpening station, which is why the top two drawers are deeper.

    I then built a bridle jointed plinth base, and on the front are two steel, rubber covered feet, just screwed into the base probably from an old appliance I scavenged, and two fixed casters on the rear. For the front feet, I just tapped the scrap cherry to establish threads. The ropes are my present lifting system for rolling this fellow into a convenient position. As it gets heavier, I may change that around a bit. I do not yet have a good home for it, so it will be here and there a bit till I figure it out. My shop is quite space challenged at about 500 sq. feet and this seeed a pretty efficient way to use a few sq. feet.

    Alan
    Last edited by Alan Turner; 11-23-2004 at 9:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake Mary, FL
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    140
    Very nice. Some of those drawers look overcrowded though. I'll PM you my address just to help you out

    Kevin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Grand Marais, MN. A transplant from Minneapolis
    Posts
    5,512
    Thanks Alan,

    I love breathing new life into servicable items be it homes, funiture, tools or instruments. Redirecting their function in life is also an exciting challenge.
    Nice job!
    TJH
    Live Like You Mean It.



    http://www.northhouse.org/

  4. #4

    One man's junk is......

    It's always amazing the stuff you can find at yard and garage sales. The tools for the woodstove in the bench room of the shop came for a yard sale for $10 a few years ago. I'd take the credit, but Sue was the one who presented them to me.

    You did a great job in resuscitating that old set of cabinets Alan. If you feel really ambitious you could always repaint the carcasses with some fancy grained patter in the faux wood style.
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa
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    2,266
    Kevin,
    Surely you jest. There is plenty of room for those few carving gouges.

    Dave and Tyler,
    I too love the reestablishment of worth. Waste is a sad thing. I am more likely to strip and finish than repaint or faux them. Some day, in my free time . . .

    In the shop, as elsewhere, old things feel quite comfortable.

    Alan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    37,522
    Very nice reconstruction, Alan, and a perfect solution for the carving tools, too!
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

    Be safety conscious. 80% of people are caused by accidents.

    Equestrian Sports. The most fun you can have with your boots still on...


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Etobicoke, Ontario
    Posts
    415
    Nicely salvaged Alan. Another case of "one man's garbage...". I'm glad to see I'm not the only "salvage Joe" on the Creek. I actually took apart a discarded old piano...single handedly...to salvage the soundboard. The piano in question was about 120 years old and had been badly abused. An elementary school staff had discarded it near a dumpster to be reclaimed by Mr. Garbage Man.

    Lucky for me, I happened upon this pie-anne-oh before it was completely destroyed. Someone from the school had already stripped all the ebony and ivory keys, as well as the external wood panels.

    When I started taking it apart, it was a balmy -4 degrees Celcius...with a lovely light snow falling. I actually thought about putting on long pants, but then the neighbours would think I was a sissy...since we don't break out the light winter gear unless it's at least -15C. I don't know if any of you have ever taken apart a piano before, but the internal metal frame on those babies weighs about 350 lbs!!! and the soundboard is attached to this frame. I still don't know how I managed to move this behemoth by myself...but I really wanted that soundboard! ...and so it sits in my basement, waiting to grace my ongoing musical instrument projects.

    If anyone is in need of some 3/8" thick, quarter-sawn white spruce, give me a buzz
    Louis Bois
    "and so it goes..." Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

  8. #8
    Very Nice indeed!
    Herb
    Carrollton, Texas


    Whatever you are, be a good one. -Abraham Lincoln

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa
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    2,266
    Louis,
    Yep. I too love dumpster diving. One man's trash, etc. Over the years I have salvaged a number of items.
    Alan

  10. #10

    Sound Board?

    what will you do with the sound baord?? JUst curious.. I am a scrounger too! ANything that might be of use someday I like for free! From metal straping to scrap wod to wjatever.. I like these stories of salvaging.
    Chris



    [QUOTE=Louis Bois]Nicely salvaged Alan. Another case of "one man's garbage...". I'm glad to see I'm not the only "salvage Joe" on the Creek. I actually took apart a discarded old piano...single handedly...to salvage the soundboard. The piano in question was about 120 years old and had been badly abused. An elementary school staff had discarded it near a dumpster to be reclaimed by Mr. Garbage Man.
    "I have worked myself up from nothing to extreme poverty." Groucho Marx
    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheChrisPineWorkshop

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Etobicoke, Ontario
    Posts
    415
    First of all Alan...sorry for the minor highjack...

    Secondly...Christopher, I don't know if you've ever seen a piano soundboard?!? Just imagine a 5' square guitar top. Most of them are made of spruce and are relatively thick...3/8" or so. There are quite a few holes in it (to mount the SB to the main cast iron piano frame) but there's plenty of wood left for small instrument tops, such as dulcimers, mandolins, etc.

    It's quite difficult to find old, well-seasoned spruce...so if you see a piano by the side of the road, stop...er...maybe drop the missus off at the mall first...and pull out a few tools. The rewards are worth it!
    Louis Bois
    "and so it goes..." Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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