It is in no way a deal breaker, because I am still ahead of Brian Eve who is currently busy fixing a Roorkee, and by the way has to struggle with even more inadequate workholding than I have.
I suppose that I could have pushed on and completed the box according to the original plans, but given that I had already changed the till, I was already stranded with a non original school box.
The plans calls for a mitered skirt that is nailed on to the front and the sides. This is a noble approach and would surely look fine if a) I was able to produce a 45 degree miter, b) the dovetails all way around looked OK.
I suck at making miters. And one of the dovetails on the rear misses half the pin because of a knot and therefore looks a lot less than perfect.
On the other hand I think I am OK at making dovetails, and I manged to find enough wood to wrap around the entire box as a skirt.
So that's what I did.
While I attended the ATC class in 2011 at Dictum (which by the ways is the best class I have ever taken) I tried to make a set of houndstooth dovetails. They are actually not that much more complicated than normal dovetails, they just look that way.
The skirt for this school box had just the right size for that type to look OK.
I did the tails first approach on these because that would enable me to transfer the layout to the pins easily. The individual pieces were also resting against the sides of the box and on top of the workbench, so there were no issues with trying to balance some long thin sticks as would have been the case if I went the pins first route.
I worked from the baseline which was established directly form the box, and my very casual layout meant that all the dovetails ended up being around 1/4" proud - both the pins and the tails..
Once all the dovetails were cut I glued up the skirt and glued it to the chest at the same time.
Whenever I add a chest I usually go for strength before looks, so I orient my dovetails the other way as the dovetails on the box itself.
I let the glue dry all night, and today I sawed off the protruding parts of the dovetails.
The workshop has already been vacuum cleaned before the change of crews, so I didn't want to make a mess in there by planing the sides of the skirt.
All there is left is to wrap up the box and the lid which I have made, and get it into the bag and try to complete it at home.
The slightly dirty half completed North Sea school box.
The oversize lid.