Boring Tools Till – Planning and Cutting
April 28, 2020
I looked at my braces as I was unpacking, and discovered I have four, plus a couple eggbeaters, plus another brace I've bid on on eBay… It's time to build a till. Also, I'll have a place to keep my bits if I do that.
So the first step was to get out the graph paper and sketch out what I think I'll need. I figure I'll eventually have braces of 6-14 inch sweeps, probably doubling up on 8 and 10 since they're more common. So I sketched a till that could hold those plus a couple eggbeater drills.
This is a first for me. Most of the time I just start building and then realize afterwards that I've underbuilt, so it feels kinda weird making a plan, but I think I'll survive. Also, the Bad Axe magnet is handy for holding my plan to the whiteboard so I don't lose it in a pile of sawdust.
Given that, I decided I'd use pine I have on hand for building my bookcases. I've got a lot of S4S 1×8s, so I started with those. That should give me enough depth that I can put doors on the till and still get a 14 in there. Plus it means my existing boxes of bits can fit in the cubbyholes at the bottom.
I started by cutting boards to length. All of my lumber on hand is cut to 4 foot lengths, so it worked out pretty well. The 38 inch long pieces had an offcut that gave me two pieces that were not quite 5 inches long, so I was efficient in my lumber use.
I've also got a new ECE dovetail plane so I've decided I'll put the shelves into the case with sliding dovetails and put the uprights between shelves with sliding dovetails as well.
As for the dovetail plane, it's pretty slick. It took me a while to get the fence set correctly for a half-inch deep sliding dovetail, but once I did, I spent more time grabbing a new board and whacking the holdfasts to hold it down than I did planing. There's a little spelching on the pine, but I lightened up the cut a little and that took care of the worst of it. The plane was usable out of the box, but would have benefited from a few minutes honing the blade, especially since I was working on pine.
I put the dovetails on the ends if the boards and called it a day. Tomorrow I'll start joinery on the carcass, and hopefully get the dovetails cut in the four exterior joints and maybe get started on the sliding dovetails for the shelves. We'll see how it goes!