Skirt Boards

Adding the skirt boards to the tool chest should be a fun challenge. As I looked at the chest and began to formulate a plan It became clear that I needed to do a little more smoothing. Most of the problems I had with the dovetails on the carcass were caused by inconsistent planing of the boards. Once you begin assembly you have to be more creative when it comes to positioning work pieces.Placing the chest over the end of my bench I was able to clamp it down firmly and plane the sides until I was satisfied. I then had to position the chest so that I could plane the ends. since It would not fit over the end of the bench as it had on its side, I placed it adjacent to the bench and clamped it in place using the tail vice. I carefully planed all the corners square using a block plane and a #4 plane. I then took my number 7 and planed the sides between the corners using a long straight edge to ensure they were not bowed. It took about twenty minutes to complete all four sides.

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This is the first time that I have really wished for a much heavier workbench. As I planed the sides the bench moved quite a bit and wobbled slightly. I’ll make some more notes for

photomy bench build in the future. I next milled all of the pieces for the skirts leaving them long so that I could fit each one individually. All of this added wood is going to make a very heavy chest, it will have to be weighed later.

I took one of the end skirt boards marked a 90 degree line and cut it careful and then squared up the matching side skirt. Marking and cutting the dovetails for this corner I took the lessons that I had learned from the chest carcass and took extra time to clean between the tails and the pins and had some very nice dovetails. Carefully working my way around the chest I reached the final board. Getting this one to fit correctly took some very careful measurements. My assistant came out to help me as I clamped the dovetailed boards together and then carefully marked the lengths I needed with a marking knife. An hour later and I had all the dovetails cut and the bottom skirt was completed with the exception of the chamfer.

Moving ahead I gathered my stock for the upper skirt and dust seal. These boards required more prep work since one had a nasty twist, but after about 15 minutes I had it true enough to use. The upper skirt only required one dovetail which made it a very quick process.

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