Chisel Me This, Chisel Me That…

Ok, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  It’s not that I haven’t been busy, I have.  I have worked on some “commercial” projects for people that have made a few dollars.  And, I’ve made some new things for myself and mine to make our lives a bit more comfortable.  And, I’ve made things for the shop.  This is a quick note about one of these.


This project came out of necessity. My regular tool chest was doing all it could to maintain the tools I use regularly for measuring, cutting, and joining. I wanted something separate that would protect my carving chisels that wouldn’t take up a lot of room. I don’t own many chisels (yet), so the size of the box would not be too prohibitive (a good thing as my shop is getting crowded!)

I chose to use cypress for three reasons; 1) I had some on hand, 2) I love the grain patterns, and 3) my experience has shown it will protect my tools from excess moisture for years to come.

I raised the panel for the lid using a skewed rabbet plane, after cutting the shoulders on my table saw (yet another hand tool needed to replace that operation!).

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The panel for the lid is an example of why I love cypress.  The grain is bold, and jumps right out at you.  Different pieces can treat you to colors varying from a mild pink, to a cobalt blue.

I also decided to use mitered dovetails for the first time. My standard dovetails are coming along very well, so this seemed like the next step for me. These would allow me to put in a groove for the bottom that won’t show at the corners.  The only regret I have about my choice of wood, is that cypress can be a bit brittle, leaving some roughness to the dovetails. But all in all it went together well.

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The mortise and tenons were cut with chisel and saw, the grooves in rail and stile with my Hong Kong plough plan.   The lid fit in perfectly.

I shaped the dividers with my coping saw. At a later date I intend to make a small tray to give me a second level of chisel storage.


The lid was mounted with some bold, brass hinges and huge dome headed screws.  It’s amazing how hard it is to find the right screws these days.  I had to mail order these!

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A small strip was nailed in place with brass escutcheons.  This acts as a stop to keep the lid from opening too far.


I finished it with a simple Tung oil finish. I wanted to preserve the grain, while adding a little bit of luster.  Now to add more chisels!


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