The toolbox now has removable sliding dovetailed tills. I had to thickness my stock from 3/4″ to 1/2″ with hand planes. That was good exercise.

I believe this is the end of the joinery for this project. I still have to install on some hardware and decide on a finish, and I’ll have a toolbox!

Floor Boards

A toolbox isn’t very useful without a floor. Having never put a floor in a box before, I consulted my book, and came away with the following sage wisdom:

You should make all your bottom boards interlock in some way – butt joints are a Bozo No-No. You can use a simple ship-lap joint[…] Or you can do things the proper way and use a tongue-and-groove joint on your bottom boards.

— Christopher Schwarz, The Anarchist’s Tool Chest

I decided to try ship-lap boards because I don’t have a tongue-and-groove plane. I don’t have a rabbet plane either, but I saw people on the YouTubes who said you could make rabbets with just a chisel and a router plane. This technique appealed to me because I’m left-handed, and both tongue-and-groove planes and rabbet planes seemed to be made for right-handed people. Router planes are ambidextrous.



I found one on Ebay that looked especially pretty, so I bought it. As far as I can tell, this is a type 7, meaning that it’s somewhere between 107 and 109 years old. After a bit of trial and error, and a number of goofed up boards, I made some passable rabbets by this laborious method.

I decided that this was not a fun use of my time, so I bought a rabbet plane.


I had to get used to doing things right-handed, but I managed. I still had a hard time keeping everything square, but I produced some ship-lapped floor boards for my box. A rabbet plane is much faster than banging things out with a chisel.


I got everything fitted and spaced out the way I wanted, and then I got to use my fancy new cordless drill to pre-drill some nail holes.


Now that my tool box has a floor, it seems likely that I’m going to have to start over and make a bigger one. I’m accumulating tools faster than I can build a home for them.

Base Trim Travails

The plan for my dovetailed box calls for a base trim. So, I set out into the garage to see if I could build a baseboard.


The first order of business was to rip my boards into narrower widths. The mighty “Keystone Defender” rip saw does a nice job, despite my inability to saw a straight line.


My general incompetence as a sawyer necessitated a great deal of cleaning up with the jack plane. But I finally had some boards in the proper width.




Then, I laid out, sawed, and chiseled out the tails and pins for two of the corners of the box.


I put one corner together, and planed it smooth, and was generally feeling very satisfied with my work, but I had a great deal of trouble getting the second corner to come together. Then it dawned on me that I had some things backwards.


Somehow, I managed to get things turned around, and made a ziz-zag kind of thing instead of a box-shaped rectangular thing. Because this trim has to fit the box exactly, There was no real remedy for this situation. I had to start the whole thing over.

So, I started over. I ripped, and planed, and laid out, and sawed, and chiseled, and fit, and smoothed all over again. But, this time I marked my wood with a “cabinet maker’s triangle” to keep things lined up correctly.


After a great deal of monkeying around, my box now has some base trim.

Update From the Garage

My wooden box project is coming along. I glued up the dovetails and planed them down. They actually look kind of not bad. Then, I got to use my rip saw to rip out some trim boards. My saw wandered all over the place, so I got to spend some quality time with my jack plane cleaning up the sawed edges of my boards.

Planing is a good workout. It was below freezing in the garage, and I was working up a sweat by the time the boards were nice and straight.


In preparation for the imminent collapse of industrialized civilization, I have gathered together a small collection of hand tools. When the last head is struck from the last zombie with the last machete, the world will be rebuilt by hand.

In the aftermath of the great Zombie War, you may have a hard time finding a place to plug in your Sawzall.

Having the tools is one thing, knowing what to do with them is another. So today, after doing some research in books and on the YouTubes, I have cut my very first dovetail joint using only hand tools.

From what I gather, this is a pretty good result for a first attempt, and so I am rather pleased with my joint. I will keep you all posted as my interest in post-apocalyptic joinery continues.