You can also view my gallery at Designs en Bois.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The people have spoken!

Earlier this year, I thought it would be fun to let the viewers/readers vote on my next project. A few life events delayed the start of the project a few months, but I've finally launched the tool chest series.  I thought I'd try a twist on the traditional tool chests you typically see, and "step it up" a bit.  This design features a unique horizontally-stepped front, some unexpected design challenges, and my new favorite species of wood - butternut!  However, my new love affair with white walnut had a bit of a rocky start as you'll see.

I also made some investments in my production equipment over the past few months, so I'm happy to announce there is now an HD-quality download available.  I upped the production quality a bit, and worked in a new opening (my apologies to any of you surf music fans out there).  As always, your comments, feedback, criticisms, stock picks, and general musings are welcome and appreciated.  And thanks to all those folks that have encouraged me in this little endeavor over the past few years.  I do this purely out of personal enjoyment (and a perhaps a mild case of OCD) and as long as you guys keep watching, I'll keep doing it!

Right click to download the HD version of this video (hey why not?)

Other tool chests that may or not be as  cool as mine:
Chris Schwarz: The anarchist's tool chest
Roy Underhill: The till in the tool chest
The Studley Tool Chest


Vic Hubbard said...

Cool to see the thought process behind the design. I REALLY need to start learning SketchUp! Is it fairly easy to do curves?

Mark Rhodes said...

Looks like a nice design Rob, I'm looking forward to seeing it progress. As a side note, I notice that on your carcase/case your top and bottom are your tail boards. Do you have any concerns that in time your bottom drawer might work the bottom of the case out. This of course assumes that you are making it as you have drawn it? Or is the case going to be sitting on something?

Rob Bois said...

Vic, curves are terribly hard in Sketchup, although I never actually transfer them directly to my components, I fair all my curves using templates and full scale drawings.

As for Mark's question, the reason I designed the tail boards on top was frankly because of ease of assembly. I anticipated sliding in the double drawer blades and web frames into the sides and then dropping in the top and bottom. However, now that you've given me pause for thought, there really isn't any reason I don't think theres is any reason I couldn't slide in the blades after assembling the case. You are correct that from a structural standpoint, having the tail boards on the sides is the better choice (although I seriously doubt the top or bottom would ever actually work their way out). I'll need to go through the assembly in more detail in my mind, but assuming I can't find a reason not to switch, I think I will. Thanks for pointing that out (more collaborative design on the web!)

Rob Bois said...

Sorry Vic, that comment should read "curves AREN'T terribly hard in Sketchup". Sorry for any confusion.

Mark Rhodes said...

You are probably correct, with modern glues, its not going anywhere. But that was how I was taught, also the dovetails are more visible on the sides, which throws up other design possibility's in the way the dovetails look. Hounds-tooth..hmmm
Just an idea, fill free to ignore:-) Looking forward to the videos.

Rob Bois said...

Mark, the more I've dug into this, the more I think this topic actually deserves a bit more attention. Bottom line is that in virtually every dovetail case design I've found the tails are on top (and I have a pretty good idea why). I think this is something I'll call out in a follow-up post, or in the next video so I'm glad you brought it up.

Bruce Somers said...

Another great job Rob..Although I have to admit, I preferred your previous background music. I think your divided top drawers look better than the original concept. I look forward to viewing your progress.

Vic, with respect to having the Tails on top and bottom for free standing casework, I suspect that is to prevent spreading of the case sides. And on that note, if the case were to be wall hung, I would consider putting the tails on the side pieces as the most significant load would be from gravity. I can't wait to hear what Rob has to say on this.

Jeff said...

Rob the HD video is a great boost to your blog! I always struggled to see the details of your pieces before. Looking forward to watching this project progress.

Morton said...

Rob & Vic - I actually DO transfer my curves directly from Sketchup. I can print them out full scale, even across multiple sheets of paper, spray-adhesive to the wood, bandsaw and sand to the line. I've done that a couple of times with great success.

mdhills said...

I like the new intro/closing music better (I found the earlier music a bit jarring).

In the design, I'm wondering why two boards for the dividers, rather than just the lower divider?


Rob Bois said...

The reason for the double drawer blades is that if I only used one, the drawer above it would ride on top of that blade. Of course this also happens with a traditional chest of drawers, but the difference is the top of the blade is concealed and sometimes not even finished (save for some wax). Over time, the drawer running over that blade does create scratches and scuffs - which is no problem if you never see it. But in this case, the top of that blade needs to be exposed and finish-grade, and would get scuffed and marked up over time as the drawer runs over it. So the double blades solve this problem - the drawer never rides over a finished surface in this design.