Sunday, February 22, 2015

Apprentice's Apprentice's Toolbox

When my daughter turned five, I told her she was ready for a real toolkit. She had already used some of my smaller planes to make "chocolate noodles" (walnut shavings) and she's had a pretty good command of righty-tighty lefty-loosey since the age of 2.5. I'm not quite ready to give her chisels, but it is time for her to have her own measuring tape since she has a habit of making off with mine. When she received the tools, she put them in a metal box, and I promised her we'd make one soon.

I was too busy prepping the panels to take many photos, but it is rather straightforward construction. Loosely based on the Japanese tool box , but with a groove to hold the floor. Material is cheap cedar fence board that I picked the clearest sections from, so it is fairly clear and straight-grained. Cleans up very nicely once planed. The plow plane made a nice crisp groove with just a couple strokes. The bottom is just a panel beveled to enough of a taper to slip right into the groove.

I did some quick curves on the sides while she was playing with a friend. I don't know if I even want her to know the drawknife exists yet. The curve is just a traced metal tin that I had laying around and happened to fit nicely.

She excitedly arranged the contents of the kit (measuring tape, little hammer, stubby screwdrivers, bag of nuts and bolts) and admired the fit. She wants to add a wrench soon. I want to get her onto dividers and Sloyd knife ASAP but all things in time...

 We still need to work on the handle, but the shop was cold and she wanted to go back inside. She surprised me by nailing the sides quite well. I even trusted her as I held the nails and she started them. She sank them nicely using a nail set, the soft cedar made this pretty forgiving work.

She said a couple days ago when we were planning it that she wants to paint it purple, which of course is not what I would do. It is her box, though, so I'm already resigned to seeing it covered with Disney Princess stickers. As we were working, she surprised me by saying "Would it be ok if we just oil it and see what the wood looks like?"

"Of course. We can do that."

That's my kid!

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