Gas-powered Plane-till Lid

~TricksI have a meager collection of handplanes made up of mostly dog-meat users. I like using planes that have history because it’s fun to think about what each might have made during the last 100 years. None of my planes are particularly nice, but I do want to keep them from getting destroyed.
For a long time, my planes cluttered my workspace, got knocked around on my bench and were always in danger of crashing to the floor. In order to keep my tools in good shape, I decided to build a plane till.

The first thing I did was take inventory of the planes that I wanted to fit into the till. I then sketched out a plan of the appropriate size, gathered some lumber, bought butterfly hinges then started building. (The lid rests at a 65° angle, which is appropriate for my planes to rest safely.)
After all the planes were in place, the loaded lid was difficult to lift for access to the storage area behind. I considered safety lifts for toy chests, but couldn’t find any that were strong enough to hold the fully loaded lid in an upright position – so I kept looking.

One day I opened the back of my wife’s mini-van and the solution came to me – pneumatic gas springs. They would be perfect.

(excerpted from the winning trick, by Scott Perry)
Read the entire winning trick here.

Blog: Discover how to determine the exact gas springs needed for your plane till’s lid. To Come.

From the October 2014 Issue, #213

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