Anarchy Now! (Dutch Constitutional Monarchy Later.)

This month I’m (finally!) building an Anarchist’s Tool Chest. With my thickness planer on the DL (more about that in a minute), I’m getting plenty of practice planing boards to thickness by hand. It’s an enjoyable task with the poplar I’m using for this project.

Planing poplar to thickness.

Planing poplar to thickness.

I have three sides glued together, and I’m halfway through jointing boards for the fourth side. Working in ninety-minute increments, it seems like it’s coming together in slow motion.

Panels of experts agree.

Panels of experts agree.

I’m looking forward to the dovetails, now that my workbench is complete. I think I needed a dovetailing project to remind me why I wanted a shoulder vise in the first place. The shoulder vise gets in the way when I’m jointing a long board. I may saw it off someday, but I’ll try living with it a while longer.

It's not the shoulder that hurts.

It’s not the shoulder that hurts.

If I had it to do over, I’d build a Roubo workbench with a Moxon dovetail vise as an accessory. Don’t get me wrong, my workbench is rock-solid and hella-useful, but all the cool kids have Roubos and Moxons, and my Klausz is behind the times.

Later this year, my ten-year-old son David and I are planning to team-build a Dutch tool chest. His tool kit is outgrowing the tool tote we built last year, and the lack of protection from dust is problematic.

Before the October 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine hit the newsstand, David and I sat down with my copy of Jim Tolpin’s “The Toolbox Book” and some photos from Chris Schwarz’s blog to come up with a measured drawing for this chest. (I’ll be interested to see how close we got to Chris’s plan. I’m pretty sure I misjudged the angle of the top.) I have some white pine stashed away for the project.

Do You speak Dutch?

Do You speak Dutch?

What’s that? Oh, yeah, my thickness planer. I fired it up last week, and it started making the same rattling sound that preceded its last injury. My dad was over for dinner on Sunday, and while we nursed our second round of Boulevard Single-Wide IPA, we took another look at the planer. It turns out the cutterhead pulley had worn out, so that it didn’t fit snugly on the shaft. The resulting vibration and friction caused excessive heat, which caused the thread locker to fail on the nut holding the pulley in place. This is apparently the root cause of the last failure.

Machines fail.

Machines fail.

The pulley is inexpensive, so eventually I’ll make it out to the Service Center for a replacement. I might as well replace the brushes while I’m at it. You see? Machines are made to break down.

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