Home > Techniques, Tools and Schools, Tool Chest > Bottom Boards and Cut Nails

Bottom Boards and Cut Nails

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I put tongue and groove joints onto the bottom boards to be used in the tool chest. The glue up of the tool chest carcass yesterday will finally let me trim them to a finished dimension and attach them to the bottom. Last week I began looking for cut nails. They are used in The Anarchist’s Tool Chest and in The Hand Tool School. These will be a new experience for me, firstly because I rarely use nails in my woodworking and secondly because I have not seen a cut nail except in my grandfathers tin of nails. I went to the web today hoping to find a source for cut nails and ended up driving to a local woodworking store to pick up 6d nails which are two inches long. Cut nails seem very expensive compared regular nails so I hope they are worth it.


The bag that the nails came in was pinned closed with one of the nails which is pretty neat and I commented upon it to my wife who is always amazed when I notice some design element. The nails were packaged by Brooklyn Tool and Craft which is part of Tools for Working Wood. Kudos to them for the unique design.

After carefully laying the bottom boards on the chest so they over lap the edge slightly I drilled a hole through the board and into the edge of the chest. Not sure if there is a way to sharpen the drill bits but they seem to be dull. I will have to research it later. Installing the nails was no different then a regular nail with the exception that I had to carefully align the nails so that I did not wedge the end grain apart. All went well except for the one nail that I placed too close to the edge, but that will be easily repaired with a plane. I used dimes to insure an even separation between the boards. Hopefully that will allow for any movement. Over time I will watch this to see if something thicker like a nickel or quarter would work better.



Many woodworkers listen to music or the radio in the shop.It is always interesting what I listen to; for preparing stock it is always music, cutting grooves such asthe tongue and groove in this project a podcast such as car talk or wood talk, and for dovetailing and new methods I listen to RadioLab, Freakanomics or This American Life. I was focusing pretty hard on getting the boards correct so it was a RadioLab night.

Once the nails are in an set a quick chalk line along the edge and I took out my handsaw and trimmed the boards as close to the edge as possible. Next turning the chest on its side I planed the edges flush. Several things came to light as I worked. I planed the sides with the chest standing on end but the sides I had to kneel on the floor. Since I have an aversion to kneeling on concrete I placed some cardboard on the floor which of course helped the chest slide across the floor as I planed. Once it ended up resting against the bench I stopped chasing it around. Next time…. i’ll probably place it against the bench to begin with. In the second photograph you can see the damage I did to the tongues by planing from the wrong direction. When I planed form the groove to the tongue I had no problems. Pretty happy with the result!


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  1. January 6, 2013 at 11:57 am

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