Saturday, November 23, 2013

A tool box design (finally!), goal.... KISS.

This came up for auction on Ebay yesterday..... Finally, a tool box design that I like!

Japanese tool box, Tansu style.

Familiar no-hardware lid

4 simple drawers

Design brief, get the damn tools off of the workbench. I've got tools piled on top of tools, chisels rolling all over and anytime that you reach for something, you have the very real possibility of losing a finger (or at least some blood). This guy should keep me and the edges separate and, even though this will still live on the top of the workbench, it will reduce the clutter somewhat.

Actually, I'm not a fan of having drawers in a tool box. The sound of metal drawers being slammed open and shut while accompanied by loud cursing....... Yeah, been there, done that. "Where's the FRACKING 19/56th's WRENCH?!!". I've also got a problem with open boxes, too. Bottomless pits, they are. Possibly worse than drawers, I haven't decided. Well, I've got to do something and it might as well be this.

These last time the pile threatened to overwhelm, I built this in anger....

Pine box

I love to build simple boxes.... my problem is that I have a hard time KEEPING them simple. It always starts with the simple chamfer, then spirals out of control. How a simple beveled edge turns into a carved, rolling bevel is probably a worthy subject for a psychology dissertation. I love simple restraint when it comes to design, and I hope to someday be able to achieve it.

I went to the lumber yard, saw a big stack of nice pine 1x12's and thought... SIMPLE PINE BOX (SPB). This is what happened. Finger jointed and pinned, elliptical carved base trim and handles, shellac and wax. The size is 12x16x32 and it was supposed to be a tool box of sorts. Now I don't know what it is. My wife says that it does a good job holding sweaters and stuff, so I guess that it's not a complete failure. It got too fancy, though. It's supposed to be a wooden crate, for gawds sake. I might like it better if it had a stand.... hmmm. That's how it begins.

I made this the other night, for a remembrance. I had some ideas, some of which worked, others that didn't. The first version got scrapped entirely. Wishes/fishes/horses/beggers.....Nothing showed up in photos, of course, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Family heirloom walnut. The underside of the top is a reverse cove, very shallow. That worked. The base cove is more pronounced, with a slight chamfer on the arris. This ended up being too much, muddying the whole. The horizontal lines, are also too prominent.

Soooo close. The top is a simple beveled plane on one side, and an elliptic curve on the other. On paper, the elliptic looked nice, but in 3D it really flattened what would have otherwise been a very nice line. "I curse you, Z axis!"

The trick with the tool box will be to keep things simple. KISS principle applies. I want a chisel drawer, a deeper place to put planes and long enough for saws. I plan to follow the plan for the box at the top of the page pretty much as-is. Maybe I'll add another drawer for carving tools.... And bamboo pins..... Forge some nails and pulls, maybe a lock set....... Now might be a good opportunity to learn urushi..... Yeah, and hidden dovetails....... So it goes..

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Like all of us, I am figuring this out as I go, so when you see something that is incorrect or flat out wrong (and you will!), let me know. This is a learning process. Real people and names, please. Constructive comments and questions are very welcome, but hate speak/politics are not! Life (get one!) is too short.

Thanks, Jason