Saturday, August 31, 2019

Making A Three-Tiered Auger Bit Box - Part 1

I'd needed to provide better storage for a set of bits I got at a garage sale last year and finally I got around to it.  The box was challenging on a number of fronts and in the end it's not perfect, but I'm satisfied with it.
My "tool roll" for the past year was this towel.
Missing bits: 1", 3/4".  Extra bits: there are three 5/16" bits, two 15/16" bits and an expansive bit.
I thought about different ways to hold the bits in a box, keeping them from knocking around.  In the end, I wanted to try cutting semicircular grooves to house them, similar to how they are in the Russell Jennings 3-tiered box that I posted about last week.

In some poplar, I laid out the semicircles on both ends and connected them on the face with straight lines.  There was 1/8" between the adjacent semicircles.
This will become the tray for #4 through #11 bits
I started with the larger bit tray, which was much easier because I could use some round moulding planes to get the shape.
Started with the wooden plough plane, cutting grooves close to final depth
Round planes (on bench) were used to plane to the layout lines
This worked well and I got very close to the semicircular layout lines
Large bit tray done - #12 through #16
I only have #6, #8 and #10 round planes, so I needed another way to cut the semicircular grooves for the other bit tray.
I removed as much as I could using the plough, then used a chisel to round the curves
(Note the steps in the 7/16" groove (4th from left) - the steps have not yet been chiseled)
Chiseling out the steps turned out not to be such a great idea, as some wood tore out a bit too deep in many locations.  But I was going to smooth them with task-made scrapers and that helped a lot.  I made a scraping tool a couple years ago when I rehabbed an old wooden beading plane.  This came in really handy, but I had to make the right sized scrapers.
3/4" wide piece of saw blade, about 3" long
Shaped with hack saw and files, tried to get the edges 90° to the faces using diamond stones
The tool has an adjustable fence
It took a while, but this worked well in smoothing out the semicircles.
I followed up with sandpaper around appropriate sized sticks.
Made a cutter for each size groove
Made these trays from 1" thick poplar.  I would later thin them so that there
was just 1/4" of wood below the largest groove of each tray.
Next time: making the box.