Thursday, September 19, 2019

Making A Three-Tiered Auger Bit Box - Part 2

After having made the trays that would cradle the bits, I started on the box.  The plan was to make a single box that I would cut into three levels after glue-up.  It started with some careful layout.  On the box ends, I laid out two 1/8" grooves that would house the shelves and two 1/8" cut lines that would guide my cutting the box apart.
Box end layout on its inside face
The two grooves cut - I should have made stopped grooves, as I later had to
fill holes where the grooves were exposed on the outside of the box
The front and back of the box had no grooves, but I laid out the same cut lines for later tier separation.  Then I got to the dovetailing.
The tails on front and back boards were placed carefully not to interfere with the cut lines
The dovetails came out nice
Before glue-up I made and fitted the two shelves.  The shelves are not glued in.
There is no groove in the longer tail boards - only the pin boards.
After glue-up. I plugged the four holes from the shelf grooves - can you see where it was?
Then cut the box apart ...
... and leveled the sawn edges close to the layout lines, ensuring no twist
Planed up a flat lid from cherry
I had gotten some horrible hardware store hinges and decided to install them in shallow mortises.  Unfortunately, the size of the hinges and the thickness of the box side made it so I had to mortise the entire thickness of the box backs - I couldn't leave a lip for the hinge to butt up against.  This led to problems.
Lower and middle tier hinges installed, but the box tiers don't line up well at all!
So I patched those mortises ...
... and leveled the patches with the existing surfaces ...
... and surface-mounted the hinges, without mortising them
Tier 1: #4 through #11
Tier 2: #12 through #16 (#12 missing - I bought a #16 at a tool show recently)
Tier 3: Expansive bit and some other miscellaneous boring bits
And thar she blows!
I bought some really crappy (equal in crappiness to the hinges) clasps for the front to keep the box from opening when I pick it up.  Note to self - don't ever buy hardware store hinges and clasps again; you'll just be disappointed - again.

This was a very nice project, challenging in come ways, and one I'd wanted to tackle for a long time.  Now these bits have a nice home.  I finished the box with a single coat of shellac, sanding after it had cured, and I left it at that.


  1. Sweet looking box.
    Getting decent hardware in this size is impossible if you want to drool look at an old Sargent hardware catalog. They made a dizzying amount of small hardware back then. If I remember I'll send you the PDF.

    1. Can I go back in time and order from that catalog? I even searched McMaster-Carr and couldn't find anything appropriate. And even if Brusso had the right size (I couldn't tell if they did) their hinges would cost about $30-35 per pair, and I needed three pair for the box. Yikes!