“…If you liked it you should have a put a lid on it…”

The puns and pop-culture references aren’t getting any better are they? It’s been a busy couple of weeks here, and consequently workshop time has been a little scarce. We spent a week’s holiday in Scotland for our first wedding anniversary, recharging after a very busy year, and sampling some of the Border Counties excellent independent breweries. Well, I did. The Good Doctor has many admirable qualities but a love of fine beer is not one of them. Now it’s back to the grindstone, but I’m managing to get some quality workshop time once again, and I’m making good progress in building the lid for the Anarchist’s Tool Chest.

The lid is frame and panel, with a morticed frame and a grooved panel, the bottom of lip of which fits into a groove ploughed in the frame. The advantage of this construction is that the panel is free to move with changes in the seasons and will not split as would be the case if the panel had been nailed or glued in place.


The mortices had been cut, and the grooves ploughed, during the course. It was therefore a matter of cutting the tenons, a task for which I had been waiting on the arrival of my new 16″ tenon saw from Bad Axe Tool Works (see my last post for a review of the saw). The rails had been left overlength, and so having cut one tenon on each rail I then seated the tenons in the stile and slid the panel into the half complete assembly. With the panel in place, it was then a case of marking off the correct length on both stiles (making sure to account for the width of the second rail), and cut the final two tenons.


The lid assembly was the glued up with Gorilla Glue and left in clamps overnight to cure.

DSC_0167With the lid glued up, I next turned my attention to the dust seal. This dovetailed seal attaches to the sides and front of the lid, and when the lid is closed, mates with the upper skirt. I’ve not cut any dovetails since the course in July, but as the dust seal only has one tail on each corner it was a simple job to cut and fit. As with the lid, the length of dust seal across the front of the lid was left over length. So once again I cut the joinery for one corner, and showed it to the lid to mark off the correct length before cutting the joinery on the remaining corner.


The dust seal went together first time with no splits or crumbling tails, so clearly I learned something during July’s five day dovetail death march! Finally, prior to gluing the dust seal to the lid, I planed a gentle chamfer into the top corners of the lid’s panel, to prevent too much damage being inflicted on the edges of the panel.



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