With David Rae for Ander Rae
Anticipating that Brian and I would spend some time in the shop during his East Coast visit – I put together a tool box for the little helper he would be bring in tow. To get Ander started off on the right path of life David and I built a tool box complete with a set of real grown-up tools – just a little scaled down; no time like the present to learn how to use a mallet, a square, and a series of threaded bolts and nuts. Heck, if he learns how to use a square correctly now, he will have his father beat by two or three decades. Apparently my ascetic sensibility leaves much to be desired to the 2.5 year old eyes – 12 hours after Ander got his hands on the box, he slopped a thick coat of purple paint on it. All projects with classical joinery are meant to last, but I am not sure this is what I had in mind!
David made the square – using a central bridal joint and then touching it with a plane till it approximated square. I put together the mallet, using a wedge mortise.
The great part of a project like this is clearing out all the wood scraps that collect over time. For the toolbox, I used Basswood left over from our Dulcimer project – both because it is light and well, because I had it. We bored holes for the bolts. The top of each side was rounded with a coping saw and then shaped with a rasp. This is rough carpentry – so I touched the sander to the box, but just for a minute.
I wrapped jute around the handle to lock the dowel in place. I fastened the sides with the decorative nails left over from my much more grown-up toolbox.
In order to reduce the prospect of splitting I drilled the holes in the largest board I was willing to spare. I then used a tap to cut the thread. This couldn’t have been any easier.
With the threading done, I set forth to shape the bolts. First, David used a plane to cut the board to sizes – and than we sawed the board into squares.
I made a jig for cutting the squares to octagons – this help improve my accuracy and guard my fingers while cutting small pieces.
I took a free moment at my turning class to shape the bolts. I had thought of making a threaded rod and than attaching the head of the bolt but a unified piece seems like it would be so much more durable.
I ran the bolts through the thread cutter. It works essentially like a giant pencil sharpener.
Our apprentice somehow lost all his tools, but has a new case for storing his cars. You got a lot to learn kid, a lot to learn. Fortunately, Ander has a full set of the speedsters from his last birthday.