Thank you for your continued support, readership, and general interest in this site. It was my deepest ambition this week to show the 3rd and final Packing Box in its completed state. However, things happen.
It became very cold here suddenly, as can happen this time of year. On Tuesday morning, I fired up the woodstove in the shop and started to work, planing the lid and bottom boards of the box. The stove started to smell really horrible, and that is when I remembered that the paint I used recommended a few fires to "cure" it, which I kept procrastinating and eventually completely forgot. So Tuesday and yesterday, I made fires but otherwise stayed out of the shop. Today was warm enough that I thought I would do some work with no fire, but start the 3rd and hopefully final "curing" fire as I finished for the day.
It turns out, whatever terrible particles are in the fumes from the "curing" cause horrible corrosion to metal. Today nearly every steel surface in my shop was covered in a thin, chalky film of rust. My planes, saws, dividers, all of it. The most painful were the tools I have not even used yet. The day was spent with steel wool, green scrubbies, and a mild-to-middlin sense of dread and despair.
I've gotten most of the tools cleaned up, not "good as new" (they never will be again) but rust-free. The steel wool of course scratches and dulls them, so my new saws no longer look like mirrors, my chisels and planes will need to be sharpened again, and so on. However, I think I can see that other than cosmetically, no real damage was done. It is a valuable lesson though, and a very good example of why a tool chest is superior storage. Many of my tools had a rust shadow; a crisp line where the smoke did not hit them. They will retain this line for a very long time, maybe forever, to serve as a reminder.
I have most of them now heavily wiped with oil and packed in boxes in corrosion-resistant paper. I'll probably be using plastic storage boxes until I can build a proper toolchest.
Hopefully more work on the Packing Boxes will come soon.
Another lesson learned,