Monday, November 28, 2005

Old Mother Hubbard

I go, I come back. Sunday's a day of rest; that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it...

Well I'd tell you about the toys wot I got from BriMarc today, but as they say on one forum: no pictures - it didn't happen. So you'll have to wait for that until tomorrow. Meanwhile my comments box tells me Byron is in major workshop making mode; which is probably my favourite form of woodworking, I'm ashamed to say; and wonders about my current tool cabinet. Stop me if you've heard this before.
I started out like a normal person with a normal number of tools, and thus a pretty normal tool cabinet. 18mm ply construction throughout, screwed together; I still use it in two halves even now. But it was small. Far too small. And ply was a bit, well, not as I really desired, so solid wood beckoned next. I'm sure I must have another picture somewhere, but the best I can find is this shot of one half that I turned into a jigsaw. Sheesh, i even let a hardpoint saw into it...

The next one I used solid ash, flat panelled doors, through dovetailed with the 'Rat. The works. Still too small, but looked more the part. Heh heh, just seen I kept the box for my first LN, the side rebate pair, in the cupboard too. Little did I know just how slippery that particular Slope that would become.

Anyway, that became a problem as the tools expanded, so to tide myself over, I used one half of the old cupboard for all my planes. "All" my planes. Oh deary me, what an innocent I was... I think the router plane hung on the door, IIRC. And there's a #4, #4.5, #5, #5.5, #6, #60.5, #073 and #45. As a system for storing them, it wasn't half bad as it happens. If only I could have avoided outgrowing that too. My trouble was I was making them too shallow to avoid them taking up valuable real estate by over hanging the floor. So next step, put them over the bench...
... and eliminate the doors so they don't foul anything large being clamped up on top of the bench. DAMHIKT...

Well that worked really well; easy to get to everything, plenty of room for expansion - well when I started there was anyway, and looks good in photographs ;~) However, it offers absolutely zero protection against the two "usts". Rust 'n' Dust. I also wasn't happy about the chisel storage. Oh it worked all right but the blades were a hazard exposed like that, and they could clatter into each other if you weren't careful - murder on sharp edges. So eventually it got to this point:

Which worked brilliantly. Right up until the point I decided I needed to get round to the back of the bench when working... Oh, and open up the underside of the bench again. So the drawers moved, the bench moved, nearly everything moved. And now everything; ready use tools; infrequent flyers; the lot, is spread all about the workshop. Most of my go-to tools have made it to the haven of the tool chest, but in dribs and drabs so there's no overall plan. In short it's a bit of a nightmare. But not half the nightmare it'd be if I started to do something about it...

So I've done cupboards, drawers, shelves and chests. Is there anything else left to try before I start the whole cycle again? :~)


  1. You've certainly tried it all! Except maybe this-did you see the chap on the cover of last months Good Wood?? (and no, it wasn't me!) He has tool racks on the CEILING of his workshop!!!!! Mind you, his shop is a little on the cramped side.......;)

  2. Alf: Thanks for the comprehensive coverage of your tool storage issues, it definitly gives me some ideas to mull over, I came across a website today with some excellent plans for tool storage, some are free, some aren't. I'll post a thread and link on the forum so that everyone can have a look!

  3. The ceiling isn't really an option, being between 9 and 11 feet away... However I do have stuff hanging from a lower beam, so overhead isn't totally neglected :~)

    Byron, I shall seek it out.


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