NBSS Week 20 – Toolbox details and the end of Semester 1

This week was all about finishing up the toolbox. I started the week by gluing up the front panel lid.


Once the lid was dried, I fitted it to the toolbox opening, press fit tight for now.

With this achieved it was time to locate drill and install the lid locating pins in the bottom of the case and the bottom of the lid itself. For this I first made a template piece of wood that fit the front bottom of the toolbox exactly. I marked the location of the pins and then went to the drill press and drilled these locations on the template board. I then used the board to drill the holes in the case and the bottom of the lid. The pins then just press fitted into the holes I drilled. A trick here is to use a block of wood and a small clamp to press fit in the pins. If you drive them in with a hammer it tends to mar your workpiece with the last blow as you fully seat the pins.

After the pins were installed it was time to create the reveals for the lid. Much like drawer fitting, I was going for a fit with a gap of a business card’s thickness for each side and the thickness of a credit card with the numbers for the top. I was trying to install my lid so that I can flip it both ways (flat panel side out and then flipped to have the raised panel side out). To get this to work, my reveals ended up being more like a credit card with the numbers all the way around. But it works!


After the lid was fitted with the proper reveals it was time to mortise for and install the lock and strike plate. The mortising was performed on the router table using a plunge cut with stop blocks.

The strike plate was inlaid at the bench with chisels, a carving gouge, and the router plane.


After the lock was installed everything was test fitted and then disassembled in preparation for finishing prep work.

The finishing prep work involved hand- planing the outside of the case, the drawer fronts and the front lid frame. I then sanded all the toolbox components with 180 grit followed by 220 grit. Now the case was ready for finishing. My finish is going to be wipe- on polyurethane and I mixed up a batch and put the 1st coat on all the components on Friday. Over the next week I’ll apply 4-5 more coats.

Our Lance lecture for the week was all about desks. His presentation provided some historical insights into their intended uses and the various style evolutions. This was a very picture heavy lecture with many fine pieces to gain inspiration from.

On a sad note this week it was time to say goodbye to some new friends on Friday. As this semester ends for us, it is also graduation for the 4th semester students. We had a bagel party on Thursday morning and got to say a final farewell and find out their plans after graduation. We also had to prepare for the new class coming in next Monday by holding a bench lottery. For many of my fellow classmates this meant packing up and moving to a new bench location in the classroom. For my corner we had the option to stay in our current location and we all chose to remain, so we gained some new neighbors in the move, and we’ll also see some new characters when the new class comes in next Monday. Up next week, more coats of finish on the toolbox, the start of my NBSS chair build, and a project proposal for my NBSS table project, until then….

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