In media res

In Latin, this expression means in the middle of things, and is usually used in discussion about literature.

In this case, well, it’s a peek in the middle of my case.. my tool case that is.

Case ProgressYes, the case of the toolbox is just about complete, and I couldn’t be any happier with the results. With the back and front on – man – this piece is looking pretty sweet. Now, when Chris Schwarz made the piece, he used all hand tools, but I didn’t…

However, I did use them more than I expected. Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like paring pine with a sharp chisel.. it’s a pretty darned cool thing.

The tool rackIt was so cool, in fact, that I made this cool tool rack. Sure, Chris had gone with a plain board with holes drilled into it, but I went with a wider board that I notched two slots into the back, and secured it through the back with some screws put through slots. This allowed me to store some other tools, such as wider Japanese chisels and some squares, along with the chisels.

What should have been the easiest part, however, caused me a few issues.

The all American rejectsOK, so that was a mess. But, most of it was 2 x 4 scraps… and I have a fire pit.

The fall frontOne of the coolest features of this chest is the fall front, which is basically an unhinged front held on with a few battens and a sliding lock of wood that rides in some notches. This is where I got some really good hand saw and chisel practice, and it was fun. I see more hand tool work in my future.Tongue and grooveOne great joint I used for the first time – ever – was the tongue and groove. Using a router bit setup, I was able to join the back to make it solid, and it didn’t even need glue to make a nice tight joint. Now that I have done it once, I have become fascinated with cutting this joint with a set of matched hand planes…  But, that’s a post for another day.

Now, I have to do the lid, sand everything and finish it with some milk paint. Then, I can start becoming more friendly with my hand tools…


9 thoughts on “In media res”

  1. Looks good, Tom!

    The two-layer rack you made is actually a very Dutch thing. So kudos for channeling your little Dutch Boy.

  2. That looks great Tom. Seing that photo with the fall front open near the esge of the bench caused me to think:
    A cleat at the right edge on the front of the hatch would turn the entire piece into a handy bench hook. The far right batten if peefectly square would become the stop to push or pull the workpiece against.

  3. Technically mine is a burn barrel, and I mostly use it for shavings. But, I also throw all my oil rags in it, so if they decide to burst into flames no harm is done.

  4. I also did a two layer rack but in a bit more simple style. The back rack is a series of three long slots so I have near infinite possibilities for overloading the chest with tools.

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