Sunday, October 2, 2016

North Sea school box 4, glue up and bottom.

Yesterday I decided to keep the momentum going concerning the school box build. If only our Internet acces had the same momentum, I could have posted. But for some reason I couldn't upload any pictures. So all this actaully happened Saturday.
First I knocked the dry assembly apart and removed a bit of material that seemed to interfere with the fit of the till floors.
Next step was not surprisingly to add glue to the joints. I like to add glue to both sides of a joint, because it has given me good results so far. The sides weren't completely flat, so I used a couple of clamps to get things together nice and tight.
In fact the glue up went surprisingly well. I would like to have some glue with a slightly longer open time, but all I have out here is some pretty standard white glue.
Anyway, as long as the glue up isn't any more complicated that this, I am fine.

While the glue was drying, I started on the bottom.
The fist task was to find some appropriate wood, and due to my pack rat tendencies, we have once salvaged a spool for electric cable. There were some small pieces that could become a decent bottom for the school box.
I disassembled the spool with a crowbar and sawed the ends off where the nails had been.

The pieces were relatively flat, so first I just smoothed them on one side with the smoothing plane. Next I arranged the pieces and marked them so I would be able to put them back in the same order.

Originally the school box calls for a massive glued up bottom, but since the humidity of the engine room and workshop is less than it is at home, I figured that a solid bottom was like asking for trouble.
Based on this and also the fact that I have repaired the rabbet plane, I decided to make a shiplapped bottom.
I touched up the blade of the plane on the grinding machine, and followed this with a couple of strokes on my oil stone before mounting it back in the plane.

To my delight, the plane worked just as well as it did prior to the unfortunate incident of heavy seas combined with my forgetfulness.

I used my standard method of attaching a bottom like this which is to first plane the upper side, which is the side that can be seen inside the box.
Second, I put the pieces side byt side, and make sure that the joints next to each other are of the same height (also by use of a plane).
Third, I make the rabbets for the shiplapping.
Fourth, I nail on the individual boards, with a bit of extra space between them, in this case a piece of sandpaper. All the nails are set well below the surface.
Fifth, I plane the lower part of the bottom flat, this is why it is so important that the nails are well set below the surface.

The result of a fine day in the workshop.

Supposedly this can be made into a bottom.

Laying out shiplapping.

Testing the repaired rabbet plane.

Flattening the bottom.


  1. It looks like so far you are ahead of me. I should hurry up or I'll miss the September 30th deadline.

    1. Don't worry, there's still plenty of September left.

    2. So September finished before June this year.

    3. Also this year :-)
      The Brian Eve calendar is not completely in tune with most calendars.

  2. So glad the rabbet plane is working properly. Great job on that repair.


    1. Hi Matt

      I was really glad it worked too.

  3. looks good, glad to hear that the repair hasn't impacted performance of the rebate plane.

    1. Hi Jeremy

      I can't notice any change in the performance, so I guess it is OK. Besides I can't think of a time where I have used the surface left after the rabbet plane as a show surface. So even if it should leave a bit more tear out it wouldn't be a problem.

  4. Hi Jonas,
    I'm always impressed under which conditions you are doing your projects. Nice job man!
    Is someone already missing something wooden on the ship?
    It is always going through my mind that one day someone will miss a table in the mess hall. :-)


    1. Hi Stefan.

      Thank you.
      I try to mostly use materials from old pallets, but once I used steps from a pilot ladder as well.
      BUT it was one that was thrown in the garbage first :-)
      I actually think that out here the problem is more the other way around. No one dare to take a piece of wood because they are afraid that it is something that I have saved for a project.