Saturday, January 24, 2015

New tool chest for the sea 3, dados, rabbets and dovetails.

After finishing the stock preparation, I decided to try out my moving fillister for making ship lapping on the boards for the bottom of the chest. It went so well that I forgot to leave two end pieces with only a rabbet on one side. I still have a stretch that is wide enough, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Next I sawed the pieces for the case to their finished lengths + a small bit for squaring up on the shooting board.
The shooting board was out of square. I knew it was last time I used it, but I never did anything about it. But this time I had the fillister that could work as a rabbet plane. So I dismounted the fence and the rod and used it it adjust the shooting board with.
After that the ends were squared up.

I remounted the fence on the moving fillister and planed the rabbets for containing the bottom of the chest. This went surprisingly smooth.
Next I engaged the nicker iron of the moving fillister, and made a rabbet on each end of the tail boards. I discovered that I had a tendency to tilt the plane a bit, so the rabbet isn't completely level. It is a bit deeper on the outside which could result in visible gap once I assemble the case, but time will tell.

To try something new out here, I decided to go the "tails first" route. It is what I prefer to do while at home, but with my new rabbet making possibilities I figured that I would give it a go out here as well.

The tails were laid out using a divider. Given that this is supposed to be a tool chest I made them a bit sturdy. I used my old cardboard dovetail marker for laying out the angles, I think the slope is 1:6, but I can't really remember. Anyway that used to be the traditional slope in Denmark for soft wood, so it should be OK.

Instead of using a hack saw for sawing out the tails I tried using my dozuki saw. It is not the best saw for the job, possibly because it is filed for cross cutting. But nevertheless it got the job done. An advantage of using such a narrow blade for the tails is that the corners become more crisp compared to when I use a hack saw.
For the tails I think I'll go back to the hack saw, as it is easier to control, and the corners at the bottom of the pins will be square to the ends of the boards so a fat kerf doesn't matter here.

The waste between the tails were chopped out with a chisel.
I almost feel sorry for mentioning this again, but the Crown chisels I have in this set have steel that is as soft as tin foil. They are easy to sharp, but they very quickly get a damaged edge which would be understandable if it was iron wood, elm, superdry pitch pine or something along those lines. But this is soft spruce, so the edge ought to hold for more than 3 tails.
I think that I'll might find a 1/2" and a 1" E.A. Berg chisel at home and substitute the two Crown chisels with those. Thaw way I won't have to become irritated every time I need to chisel across the grain.

At the next opportunity I'll work on the pins and hopefully be able to glue the case together.

Set up for making dados.

Chopping out the waste between the tails.


  1. I like that you call that 78 a moving filetster. I think that more accurately describes the tool, as opposed to what Stanley called it - a duplex rabbet plane. I think the term duplex refers to the two options of where you can mount the blade. But with the fence and nicker, it certainly could be considered a filetster.

    1. Hi Brian.

      I checked CS's description in "The joiner and cabinetmaker" which I have brought with me. And CS says that if it has got the nicker so it can be used both along the grain and across it + if it has got a moving fence and depth stop, then it is a moving fillister. I can see the double designation being allright, but the it should be a double moving fillister n my opinion.

      A funny thing is that Veritas calls their moving fillister for a skewed rabbet plane, but that one does both ways as well.

      All that aside, the plane actually works OK. I just have to learn not to tilt it.

  2. Are you sold on the moving fillister as a necessity? I personally believe that it is the most important joinery plane, and one of the first planes that should be purchased. With it, you can make accurate dados and rabbets, the joinery used in most cabinet construction.

    1. Hi Bill.

      I am not completely sold on the plane yet. Maybe it is because I have deliberately avoided joinery that involved rabbets. I can see that it is very useful though.
      On my earlier projects I would have made a tongues and grooves for the bottom. And used my grooving plane for that. Now I can make the tongues a bit quicker by using the moving fillister.
      I guess it is a bit like your beading plane, you need to use it for a while to really appreciate what the plane can do.
      In theory I would still prefer to have a jack plane or maybe a jointer, but that could take some of the "fun" out of building stuff out here.

      I have a problem with making the rabbets accurate. I tend to tilt the plane, so the floor of the rabbet has got a small slope. I am pretty sure this can be corrected by practice. The position for planing isn't optimal as I can't get behind the plane. So I am sort of standing next to it, or very very close behind it. (I am good at making up excuses)..

  3. I'm still not used to planing "in the opposite direction" when I use the fillister, as in I usually clamp the board to the side of the workbench rather than the front. This makes it a little more awkward, in particular because my bench is against a wall so I can't just walk around it. But I've been able to make fairly accurate rabbets with it. It doesn't hurt that the iron is sharp, but I think I can get it even sharper with just a little more work.

    The beading plane is the same situation, the sharper I get the iron the more accurate it has become. If I am off from work tomorrow because of the weather, I will put some more time in with it, but otherwise I will wait until the weekend. I plan on using up to 600 grit sandpaper, and then the 4000 grit slip stone, which I believe will be enough to make it "sing".
    Thanks. Bill

    1. Hi Bill

      My problem is probably traceable to the crappy work position in the workshop. But there isn't much I can do about it except use the plane and get better at correcting the stance.
      The plane is almost at chest height, so it isn't a natural position.

      I think the iron on this one is sharp enough, but it too could be a bit better. Not that I think it would matter much. But it never hurts.

      I think that a 4000 slip stone will be great for getting a fine edge.
      I saw a video of Larry Williams. He used some leather that was glued to a dowel for stropping his profiled tools. I think the video is called: sharpening profiled hand tools with Larry Williams. It is straight talk. No nonsense and fancy jigs etc. He uses a grinder and some oil stones.

      I haven't got any slip stones, so I'll have to improvise with some fine emery paper or sand paper when I am going to bring a moulding plane.

      We have a Dremel on board. That might be good for those tiny curves, depending on how coarse a stone we have for it.

      I think a difference between a rabbet / fillister and a moulding plane is that the rabbet will almost always be concealed, so it doesn't have to be super smooth. whereas the moulding is supposed to be crisp and ready to finish.