What I have had is a voracious appetite for woodworking books, magazines, some videos and, of course, the outstanding world of woodworking bloggers and podcasters. Thanks to this blog I also get lots of help, often via email, from guys who have been there and know better. They see me do something wrong, make a mistake or have poor technique doing something and they feel confident enough to offer advice. I really appreciate when that happens because it means a couple things, 1: they care enough about the craft that they want to see it done well and done right. and 2: they are reading my work, and care enough to offer advice that will help me enjoy and perform better in the craft.
But like all apprentices, I would like to grow up eventually.
Early on in my sawdust years, back when power was king, I read somewhere that in order for an apprentice to make the jump to journeyman they must pass the test of building their own tool chest. I know enough now to feel that this particular statement of fact is suspect. We know from "The Joiner and Cabinetmaker" that the apprentice Thomas had already started buying his own tools very early on, starting with a folding rule. I would assume that in a shop with multiple joiners, that apprentices would want to secure their tools somewhere safe as well.
I wasn't ready then and I knew it. There's no guarantee I'm ready now, but I'm going for it.
Then last summer my Father In Law gave me a tremendous gift. The tool chest brought over from Norway as they immigrated to America. It was packed full of cacophony of old tools. I recorded the whole experience under the heading Old World Tool Chest. But the result of that experience was that I had an old traditional tool chest, but it was in some seriously rough shape. I decided that the right thing to do would be to build a new version of the chest
Then, this past summer, Chris Schwarz published what I thought was a great book. The Anarchist's Tool Chest. Since I had my mind turning my way towards a tool chest it almost seemed written for me. It answered the questions I had about this build in such a convincing fashion. I decided it was the direction I had to go.
|Re-reading the sections on the sizing of traditional chests, trying to make up my mind on the lengths and widths I need to achieve the goals I had set forth for this chest|
|Dimensions decided upon, I start to move forward with breaking the stock down to size.|
Speaking of sawdust I sweep up more shavings than sawdust most of the time these days and I'm kinda proud of that.
I'm not saying I'm at the point where I've completed my hand tool education and I'm ready for anything. The journey still continues, but the path looks different from here on in. It's like driving through the mountains and coming down into the flat broad plains of middle America. Suddenly your surroundings look very different, The sky is bigger and you can see for long distances in many directions and there are possibilities that just didn't exist while you wove your way along the serpentine mountain roads.
|All four sides of the chest, cut, set, and ready for the process to begin.|
Ratione et Passionis