Friday, February 6, 2015

New tool chest for the sea 8, green paint and tills

Yesterday one of the able bodied seamen found the missing green paint, so I immediately started humming the old song by "The Everly brothers": Dream dream dream. (Instead I used the word green)

I found some cardboard that I could place the chest upon while painting, and attached 4 screws underneath the chest to give some clearance so that I could paint the bottom first and then place it on the screws and paint the rest of the chest at the same time.

Before applying the paint, I sanded the surface using grit 120 and 240. I also added some masking tape on the hinges and on the mating surfaces where the lock meets the carcase.

First I painted the recessed corners where the reinforcements will go with a brush. After that I used a paint roll to apply paint to the surfaces of the chest.

The colour is used on the deck of the ship for identifying systems used for pumping drill water.
In the engine room it is also used as a code for sea water  systems.
And now it will also be internationally recognized as a colour code for tool chests for the sea.

While the paint started drying, I proceeded with some tills for the tool chest.

The materials for the tills were some boards that I planed for the Gerstner inspired tool chest as far as I remember. So I was glad to be able to use them for something and not having to prepare any additional stock.

The tills won't be sliding tills, because I would like the contents of the chest to be as stable as possible during the handling of my bag.
I decided that I could use the 6 mm birch ply from the bottom of the old sea chest, as bottoms for those two tills. Again saving myself from preparing stock, and using the old chest for something sensible instead of just throwing it away.

The sides of the tills were dovetailed with regular through dovetails. They had a nice tight fit so I didn't use clams on any of them, but just measured the diagonals to check that they were square. Then they were placed on a transformer and left to dry.

Today I attached the bottom and planed the sides a bit before lightly sanding the surface.

I also lightly sanded the painted chest, and added a second coat.

The next big thing is to decide what the escutcheon should look like..

Green chest, 2nd coat of paint still wet

Tills for the tool chest.


  1. Replies
    1. Well if you can have a nice blue travelling tool chest, then I might as well have a green one :-)
      Kermit the frog: "Green is as green does"

  2. I like the green! I think a metal plate with your name engraved would look awesome on the center of the chest. The tills look great as well. I meant to ask before, do you have handles set aside, or are you planning on making those as well?

    1. Hi Bill.

      I'm glad you like the colour. It will definitely make the chest easy to recognize.

      After reading your suggestion, I might make a small metal plate with my name engraved. But I think I still need an escutcheon on its own. So I don't know where I should put the name plate. Maybe on the inside of the lid?

      The design of the escutcheon has been a much debated subject in the engine control room.
      Suggestions include a fierce looking eagle on top of a skull, a hot dog sausage, a tank viewed from the front, a naked lady, and a frogs head.
      I think I might go for something a bit more classic though.

      At first I was thinking of adding handles, and I have some ideas for how to make them, but in the end I skipped the idea since the chest is so small that I'll just carry it with one arm anyway. I am also afraid that the handles would disturb the look of the chest when viewed form the end.


  3. I vote for the naked lady. Use Kate Upton as a model.

    1. Sorry Bill, it ended up being a rectangle..
      The design for the Kate Upton looking escutcheon was... indecent. to say the least. :-)

      Instead I tried to try my hand out on some engraving. That wasn't a success.
      I tried using a scribe, but it didn't look right. It just looked - well - like someone scribed a name on a piece of metal.
      I attempted to make a tool for engraving, but that didn't work either.
      Next I experimented with using the 0.5 mm brass plate followed by an experiment where I added a layer of tin to the brass plate. All adding up to the same result: It didn't look good.
      I guess the problem is not having the correct tools and having an ugly hand writing.
      So I'll have to stick to my usual Roman numerals :-)

  4. Instead of handles you could use those lifting eyes shown in the first photo here. It would also facilitate loading aboard after it is filled with tools-- just kidding. Great job and I envy your ingenious inprovsation using materials at hand.

    Smooth sailing.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion :-)
      I have considered adding a single handle on the top of the chest, so it could be carried like a small suitcase. But I have skipped the idea, because the chest is so small it is just as easy to carry it under an arm.

      At the moment the sailing has evolved into a smooth one. We entered the English Channel (from the south west) yesterday afternoon, and it is a bit more sheltered than the Bay of Biscay. According to the forecast, we should have pretty fine weather all the way up to Aberdeen :-)

      Thank you for the very nice comment on the build.