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A Cabinetmaker’s Toolchest part eleven

Logo on handle detail.

Logo on handle detail.

The last Monday in March and time for the next installment of the toolchest build. Part eleven; making the handle and feet.

After dimensioning the parts for the handle, feet and top runners from beautiful, quarter sawn cherry in the last video, the next clip starts at the shooting board, fine tuning the length of each part for a perfect fit.

Once the parts are fit, the lap joinery is scribed and cut, a series of crosscuts are made on the bench hook and the waste is removed with some chisel work.

With the lap joinery complete, the side arms are offered up to the chest sides and the joinery is transferred over to the side arms and cut.  Again a series of crosscuts establishes the area to remove and some chisel work finishes the deal. I dry fit the side arms into the feet and top runners and then scribe the inside length of the handle. Some mortise and tenon work follows and again, a dry fit to test the fit.

In the featured image you’ll notice my logo is stamped in the handle, this is nice touch and was done before the glue up. Speaking of the glue up, I ease all of the edges of the handle and feet parts and one by one, using liquid hide glue, I assemble the frame.

The top runners are first ( the lid needs to be in place before they’re attached! ;  ), allowed to dry, and then the feet are glued in place. With the runners on top and the feet attached, one side arm is glued and then the top handle is pressed in place and the other side to finish.

A clamp pulls the joinery together and from there I’ll drill and pin the joints.

That’s next time…Cheers!


Here are some links to a few of the products used in this video:

Veritas Dual Marking Gauge

4″ Precision Double Square

Veritas Low-Angle Jack Plane

Veritas Bench Chisels

Journeyman’s Brass Mallet



  1. Posted by Jimmy H on Mar 25th, 2013

    Loved the video. Interested in those wooden clamps you used on the top and bottom runners. Who makes them?

  2. Posted by tom on Mar 25th, 2013

    Thanks for the comment and great question- here’s a link to the clamps:,43838,47843
    I use them all the time.

  3. Posted by Rob Cameron on Mar 25th, 2013

    Howdy, where’d you get your makers stamp?

  4. Posted by tom on Mar 25th, 2013


    see post here for info on maker’s stamp.

  5. Posted by stephen melhuish on Mar 25th, 2013

    there’s just something so satisfying, intoxicating and hypnotic about watching another person working by hand….the silence or at least lack of voice in these videos is maybe part of it…the music draws you into concentrating just on the essentials…all in all pure magic.

    Of all the videos thus far, this one shows the real understanding of step by step procedures that result in that lovely tight fit of the side arms, great design and craftsmanship all rolled into one….keep em coming Tom…..planning, patience and attention to detail equals good work….or so my teacher used to tell me all those years ago at school….!!

  6. Posted by tom on Mar 25th, 2013

    thanks Steve-; )

    “…planning, patience and attention to detail…”-
    you said it, master those and the rest is gravy!


  7. Posted by Frank Hastings on Mar 25th, 2013

    Just finished watching all 11 of the Cabinetmakers Toolchest series, great videos that are very well done (great music). These are a great supplement to the book. There are a few question I have that come from watching them;

    -I noticed you don’t use a chisel point on the router plain, any reason for that?
    -You seem to have a preference for hide glue, is that just with joints or all around? Any reason or just being traditional?
    -The most important question, you seem to use prepared stock, is that the case or are you doing the initial prepping of the stock by hand and just didn’t film it?

    The last question is the most important because I got my first load of rough cherry acclimating in my shop and I’m casting about the internet for advice on prepping it by hand beyond the books I have, there are not that many videos on prepping stock by hand. It seem that most hand tool users use machines for the initial prepping or buy their stock already prepped. I can buy a planer but for the first time around I want to do it by hand to see if I really need to do that. I would prefer not and it’s not really a money thing, more of a dust and noise thing. This is a hobby for me and my first projects will be presentation boxes for the bamboo fly rods I’m making (which is how I got into woodworking).

    Just watching you work I’ve picked up a few things that you normally wouldn’t get from reading or even a demo. For example, your use of the bench hook to wedge the square flat to the piece when marking it or the use of your winding stick to setup the tail section of the joint and then using it to lay the pin section on, simple but very useful.

  8. Posted by tom on Mar 25th, 2013

    thanks for the comments and questions. Let me try to answer them for you.

    First off, I assume you mean the spear point blade on the router plane? The reason I don’t often use it is I simply prefer the straight blade and for this application, where the grooves are all stopped and need to be square on the ends, the spear point wouldn’t have been appropriate.
    Second, you’re right- I only use hide glue these days and that’s for a few reasons. The first and most important is it’s reversible. That’s a benefit if I screw anything up while assembling but also allows the piece to be fixed someday in the future. The second benefit of hide glue is that it doesn’t show up or interfere with finishes.
    And the third question- 90% of the time I use rough stock but in this case, the cherry I used for the main carcase panels was already dimensioned. I’ve had it in my shop for a few years now and decided it would be good to use for this project. All of the quarter sawn cherry I used for the handle, shooting board, feet and side arms was all rough sawn and I thought I did show it being dimensioned. Maybe it wasn’t clear. I do have a video or two dedicated to rough dimensioning stock by hand but those won’t be released until the new book comes out as they’re parts in new book project series.
    It’s great to hear you picked up a few things watching the video’s and I really appreciate the questions and comments.
    all the best-

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