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Pinned tenon detail

Pinned tenon detail

Part twelve of the cabinetmaker’s toolchest series, this video starts with pinning the mortise and tenon joinery in the handle as well as the top runners down into the chest sides.

I use Miller Dowel System for both the structural benefit as well as its aesthetic appeal. Pinned joinery is something I do in most of my work and this application is much the same process; after the joinery is glued and the clamps are still in place on the work piece, I drill the holes and drive the wooden dowels through the joints. The Miller Dowel holes are drilled with a dedicated, stepped bit and my vintage brace is great for driving it. The upper corner holes are a little awkward to get into but I’m fortunate that this old brace has a ratcheting chuck and I utilized it for this application.

Once the glue sets, the clamps are removed and the dowels are trimmed with a flush cut saw. I follow up with some chisel work and move onto the saw holders.

Speaking of the saw holders, it was a relief to find out that my client uses the same two saws I originally fit on the back panel of my own version of the toolchest, the Lie Nielsen dovetail and small carcase saws. I use the saw totes as patterns and draw some full size templates on the stock.

A series of saw cuts rough out the shapes and then some paring work with a chisel refines it. A bit of rasp and file work blends the curves, softens the profiles and finishes them off. The saw totes will nest on these shaped hangers and are held in place with Rare Earth magnets attached to a second component that is sized to fit behind the saw plates. That part will be covered in the next (and final) video.

From there it’s onto the removable shooting board. The shooting board attaches to the toolchest lid with four dowels glued into the bottom of the board and is carefully fitted into matching, stopped holes in the chest lid. I utilize dowel centers to locate the mating holes and a Brad-point bit makes quick work of the job.  From there, the fence is carefully attached to the shooting board and that brings us to the end of this installment. The next one will be the last in the series and will cover some of the final details on the build.

If you’ve enjoyed this series and want to make your own cabinetmaker’s toolchest, pick up a copy of my first book, Made by Hand-Furniture Projects from the Unplugged Woodshop for step by step details and illustrations.

You can find a Sketch-Up model and bench-top plan available for free download here, and, you can see a few examples of readers toolchests here and here.

Until next time…enjoy.



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

Veritas Dual Marking Gauge

Lee Valley Scratch Awl

Miller Dowel System

Lee Valley Plane Hammer

Japanese Flush-Cutting Saw

Dowel and Tenon Centers

Hand Countersink

Expansible Dowel Pins