Making the bottom boards of a tool chest is straightforward work. For years I made tongue-and-groove boards using rough pine and beaded the tongue side.
Then, I visited Menards.
This home center giant carries 1 x 8 x 8’ pine carsiding in Eastern white pine. It is already tongue-and-grooved and finished beautifully. I couldn’t find any machine marks when I handplaned it. And the price in incredible. In the store a 1 x 8 x 8’ is about $5.50. That’s cheaper than I can buy rough white pine.
So all you have to do is crosscut it, plane it and nail it in place.
This takes us to another change I’ve adopted since publication of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” in 2011. I use Rivierre nails to fasten the bottom boards instead of cut nails. These nails hold as well as blacksmith-made Roman-style nails.
I use a tapered drill bit to make the pilot hole. Its depth is about half the length of the nail (the nail has to do some of the work…).
After nailing on the bottom, I glue on the top skirt. This is much easier than gluing on the bottom skirt.
Next up: Making the lid. A process that mystifies some people.
— Christopher Schwarz