Monday, April 28, 2014

Tumblehome sea chest 4, glue up

After a fairly quiet day, I found myself in the workshop trying to get things ready for the glue up. The boards for the interior shelf and till were cross cut to length and each piece test fitted in the corresponding grooves.
The till and the "high edge" were glued and nailed together prior to installation, to minimize the number of loose boards that I had to incorporate in the glue up.

I had made some really nice dowel protrusions on the lid which I had positioned a little bit out of the way, so that I wouldn't accidentally knock it down while moving around with the rest of the parts, which is something that I have experienced on occasions. The board that falls down usually get some heavy bruising or break of some small delicate detail.
In that respect, putting the board to the side was a success.
What wasn't so successful - was that I managed to forget about it, and I therefore glued up the entire carcase without the lid..
The only good thing is that I had put it aside so early in the process, so I also forgot to drill the holes. Therefore if you don't know that the original design called for a lid, you won't know that it is missing.
Actually the lid wouldn't have fitted anyway, since I forgot to take into account that the sides were sloping, so the lid should be even narrower than I had made it.

Apart from the less than perfect lid business, the glue up went pretty smooth considering the canted sides.
I actually forgot to check if it was square, so I have just been down in the engine room again to check it. The diagonals are a bit off, but I can't do anything about it now anyway. It isn't a lot, so it will still be OK.

The wood that I have used for the carcase is far from perfect. It is flat sawn spruce that was a bit on the wet side when I started. The panels have started cupping quite a lot, and some of the ends have shrunk a bit too. This resulted in some cracks when I negotiated the pins and tails together. I still believe that the chest will end up looking OK, because the plan is to paint it once it is finished. The thing is that I have started to get the idea, that maybe once I should try to make a decent chest out of some wood that didn't come from a pallet or some other shipping aid.

The glue up

Interior view, till (without lid) and the "high edge".


  1. Sometimes you get lucky when you forget things.

    1. That is true, but I still think that it would have looked good with a lid if it worked. Maybe I should just start making squarish boxes for a while.

  2. If the lid is too wide, could you cut down the edges, and re-drill from the outside of the chest to run new dowels through for the hinge?

    The dowel ends would be visible, but at least there would be a hinged lid...

    1. Hi Andy,

      I considered that approach, but I would prefer not to see the dowels from the outside. Anyway, I would also have to remove some material from the inside of the sides where the lid will be, so the boards will have a vertical section just above the till.
      I might do it later, but for now I have decided to just proceed with the chest, so I have a chance of finishing it before signing of in a weeks time.
      Thanks for commenting.

  3. Will you add a lid now or leave it as is? Funny that you had a problem being out of square on your current project because I am having the same trouble; it must be the time of year!
    I'm with you on the square boxes as they give me enough trouble already without making them sloped!

    1. Hi Bill.

      I will add a lid to the chest itself, but I'll probably wait with a lid for the till.
      the sad thing about my chest being out if square is pure and simple: I was so annoyed by the fact that I had forgotten my lid for the till, that I didn't think of checking for square before the glue had dried..
      Maybe a part of the reason was the fact that I started the glue up at 23:00 after a long day. I tend to rush glue ups which is a very bad habit.
      The sloped sides may actually be an advantage, because people might not realize that it is out of square due to all the odd angles. Well see what happens, I expect a future as a currycomb box in the stable might be that fate of this chest.