Recently I bought a beautifully made double square from Chris Vesper. It got me thinking about how I always feel like I am on the verge of dropping small tools off my narrow (temporary) workbench, and how close I come to to tool abuse taking things in and out of the the tightly packed measuring section of my tool chest. Having been inspired by seeing the Studley tool chest in person, I decided to build a small open frame to hold the square, it's spare blades (rulers) and a couple of related tools.
|Frame, en situ. And yes, I do see the irony of putting precisely made measuring tools in this thing with hardly a square corner in it.|
And before anyone accuses me of comparing my work to Studley's, I'll say that my workmanship is far, far, worse. And my design is a bit more practical for my use. So this is very different. But we can all learn from Studley when it comes to space efficiency.
|Dovetailed frame from padauk and maple tool supports.|
I had some scraps of padauk and maple, so I fooled with layout for a bit then got to work.
|Wasting away material after tracing the tools. This is tremendously more efficient when I limit myself to exactly one mallet whack for each time I place the chisel.|
|I knew this miniature router plane would be handy! In the background you can see a repair in progress--I scabbed on a little block to the other narrow support after I accidentally sent the wrong chip flying.|
|Tracing the dovetails of the cross-supports and checking the layout.|
|Fortunately, my bench hook provided a nice backstop for chopping out these dovetails.|
|These must be the easiest kind of dovetails to chop out, since it's long grain and can be approached across the grain. Padauk is fairly tame to work with too, except for occasional splintering.|
|Clearly no other woodworkers were around to stop me.|
|This is what happens when maple gets drunk with padauk. It could have been worse.|
|After cleaning up the surfaces and applying one coat of danish oil, I'm ready to put this frame to work.|
The end product is functional, convenient, full of mistakes, and totally weird. So, perfect.