After building a half-dozen versions of The Schoolbox from “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker,” I’m beginning to dial in the design of the small chest to suit my taste.
I am still enamored with the overall proportions and scale of the chest, but I’ve tweaked the decorative details. Here’s a summary of my alterations.
1. Instead of a flat chamfer on the mitered base moulding, I switched to a 3/8” square ovolo. Also instead of mitering the corners, I dovetail them and carve the corners with a chisel.
2. On the lid, I use a cove (made with a No. 6 round) instead of a chamfer. These two changes to the mouldings make the chest look more like a nice piece of furniture than a traveling chest for a kid heading off to boarding school.
3. I’ve not yet found strap hinges that I like that are the right size – the ones I used on the first version are too big. Until I get a blacksmith to make me some, I’ve switched to these gorgeous iron butt hinges from Whitechapel Ltd. They come with great old-school screws.
4. I added two small iron chest lifts. They look nice and make the chest easier to pick up and move. The ones shown on the chest are vintage, but Horton Brasses make lifts that look exactly the same and are the same small size. Click here.
I’ll be building another one of these Schoolboxes at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking Sept. 4-8, so I’ll have another opportunity to try some other changes, perhaps to the dovetail spacing. There are still a couple spots open in the class. More details are here.
— Christopher Schwarz
Matt Bickford’s book, “Mouldings in Practice,” sets out to remake the way you look at, cut and apply the mouldings to your projects.
It is quite unlike any other book we have ever encountered. Why? Bickford grapples with a core idea that has plagued woodworkers for generations: Cutting mouldings by hand requires years of practice, patience and the acquisition of high-level skills.
After reading this book, I think you will say about that old idea: “Wow. That’s crap.”
To kick-start your education in cutting mouldings, we are offering a free download of a critical chapter of “Mouldings in Practice.” This short chapter lays out the basic principles of the book and shows the landscape that it covers.
To download the chapter, simply click here. You don’t have to register, give up some special bodily cells or even your e-mail address.
If you like what you see and read, you can order “Mouldings in Practice” with free domestic shipping by clicking here. This offer of free shipping is valid only until Aug. 8, which is when the book leaves the printing plant in Michigan. After that, you’ll have to pay shipping, just like any other stiff.
Long-time customers can tell you that this is the only sort of promotion we run on our products. We don’t put stuff on fake “sales.” The price is the price. This pre-publication special is the only one you will ever see on this book.
So take a look at the chapter and decide if you really want to continue making mouldings with that spinning, noisy, dangerous machine in your shop. Or if you want to make any moulding you can imagine with just a few simple tools and the ideas in “Mouldings in Practice.”
— Christopher Schwarz