Chris Schwarz's Blog

Build a Tool Chest. Day 4: The Silent Day

The dovetailed skirt around the carcase of a tool chest (or blanket chest) is fussy to fit.

The case has to be square and plumb. The skirting material has to be flat and square. And you have to get the joint’s baselines in just the right place.

And even when you do all that, you still have gaps around the skirting.

So today at The Woodwright’s School, we had several long hours of zero jocularity where people were focused on fitting their skirts. I got my skirts on with only one noticeable gap. A couple students managed to get even smaller gaps than I did.

And even though we had a few tiny gaps here and there, we also have our daily affirmation:

I like paint.
I hate golf. (Long story.)
Paint doesn’t judge.
Paint wants me to look good.
Paint doesn’t care if I smell like an overheated monkey in a paper mill.
Paint is like a mafia fixer that buries all my mistakes.

— Christopher Schwarz

This week we’re building “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” from my book of the same name. The book – with complete plans for the chest – is available in the store.

5 thoughts on “Build a Tool Chest. Day 4: The Silent Day

  1. cbf123

    What about making the topp molded edge of the skirt a separate piece? That way it would be flexible enough to conform to the case and the skirt and hide any gaps.

  2. esincox

    How my mind registered this entry…

    “The dovetailed kilt around the carcase of a tool chest (or blanket chest) is fussy to fit.

    The case has to be square and plumb. The kilt material has to be flat and square. And you have to get the joint’s baselines in just the right place.

    And even when you do all that, you still have gaps around the kilt.”

    1. RenWoodArtisan

      I believe a linenfold carving on the skirt would make it Scottish. :-)

      Seriously, I always wondered how finicky it must be to fit up a dovetailed skirt, thus I used mitered, nailed-on pieces at the bottom of a dovetailed tool chest I built for our living history farm. Thus, I avoided making repeated gross errors while working in front of the public! (Cop out.) The discipline of practicing is easier in private… next to a hungry wood-burning stove to destroy the evidence.

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