I’ve had a few questions lately about fitting the lid to the Anarchist’s Tool Chest, so I’m betting there are at least 10 other readers who need the same answers.
In a non-class situation (that is, when I have the leisure of waiting on stock prep), I wait to cut lid parts to final size until the carcase is completely done. That way, I can measure the glued-up carcase at the top, then cut my rails, stiles and lid panel so that the lid assembly is a perfect fit (including an extra 1/8″ or so at the front and sides) to the top edges of the carcase.
Then, after I glue up the lid assembly, I can set it atop its chest and show the dust-seal pieces to the lid to mark them off the work instead of measuring. I’m far more likely to get good results that way.
Once the lid is done, it’s time to attach it. At the back, it is flush to the carcase – the hinge gains get cut into the top of the back edge of the chest, and the underside of the lid’s back rail, and you end up with a gap of about 1/16″ to 1/8″. Yes, a little dust can get in, but I’ve had tools in my first ATC in my basement shop for more than five years, and they’ve remained rust-free. For five years before that, my shop at home shared space with my books and computer…so it was well heated, air conditioned and humidity controlled. In either case, that little gap? No problem.
For more on how I install hinges, click here.
5 thoughts on “How to Fit a Lid Perfectly to Your ATC”
I love the tight fit you get when doing it this way . I can drop the lid and the air cushion stops it from slamming hard.
Thanks for the tips. One thing I’d like to see would be pictures of the grooves on the offset thick pannel. I’ve looked at the images numerous times in the ATC book and for some reason I still struggle to see it well. Maybe your trainer lid comes apart. Will you be heading off to teach ATC at Port Townsend any time soon. I was supposed to take a class with you Summer 2020. Still holding off on making the full size version. I did make a mini version on my own though I did the top panel differently.
Joe I am in Port Angeles if you would like to come to my shop I would be glad to help you out with that lid joinery.
I hope I get to go to PTSW again — I love it there! And yep — my stunt lid comes apart for this very reason. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll send you some pictures
I had never before seen a full thickness panel in a frame the way It’s done in the ATC. I’ve used it in several other projects since. It’s brilliant.
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