Visit from a fellow forum reader & toolchest update.

I had a visit today from a fellow member of the woodworkingmasterclasses forum that I had invited. I wanted to compare techniques, talk about projects and just generally put a face to one of the names I see on the internet.

We compared techniques on sharpening plane irons. This is something I struggle with as I don’t have a way to compare how well I can do this simple task. With cutting a straight line, it is obviously right or wrong. A warped board can be planed flat to a point where it doesn’t rock on the benchtop anymore. Sharpening though seems to be an elusive goal. I understand the science, but it takes also finesse to do correctly. So, having someone to come by and say that you’re doing it right is quite appreciated.

Also, sometimes it can be a bit isolating when you work on your own. I don’t see that woodworking is a group effort, usually one person plugging away. So, it was refreshing to have a different pair of eyes take a look at what I do and give suggestions.

Anyway, if you are reading this and are in the Chicago area: You’re welcome to stop by. If not, I suggest you meet up with others in your area and learn from each other.


With regards to projects, I’ve been working on a tool cabinet that is based on a mechanic’s rolling cabinet.


This has six drawers; Five at about two inches tall and one at about five inches tall. The shallow drawers are set up with one drawer each for files, auger bits, miscellaneous tools, measuring & marking tools, drills & screwdrivers. The tall one holds the router plane, bulky gauges and the like.

The cabinet itself started out life a speaker cabinet. I took off the front speaker panel and put on a hardboard back. I had intended to route a channel in the sides of each drawer for runners but just went and screwed 1/4″ x 3/4″ oak runners into the walls of the cabinet and each drawer rides on one of these runners.


With this setup, I had a 3/4″ gap between the top of one drawer and the bottom of the next. Also, I needed to add handles of some kind so I just glued and nailed a 3/4″ x 1-1/2″ “handle” to the top of each drawer at the front. Each handle has a finger catch cut into it along the length. I initially had them all just stick out with square ends, but then decided to cut in an S-curve on each end to make them look less bulky.


The end of each handle had to be filed by hand to get the shapes flowing so that it had no hard stops. I think they came out nice enough.


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