Chisel Tray-Part 3

Still plugging away.  Next up on the chisel tray was adding the sliding lid.  This is a simple, but effective design for putting a lid on a box.  There’s no hardware involved either.  Just a few bits of wood and your up and running.

The first bits of wood to install are the end batons.  These are fixed to the box and serve to hold the lid in place.  For my application I chose some 1/4″ thick stock and made them narrow.  I also left them long for the installation process, which is glue and bamboo pegs.  The extra length being there to help stave off splitting the ends when the pegs are driven in.




The lid itself is just a slab of 1/4″ birch ply with three batons.  The batons register on the sides of the box and the two end batons are arranged to allow the installation and closing of the lid.  Friction does a good job of keeping the lid closed and will be just fine for my application.  Anyway, I glued and pegged these batons in place as well.  Then trimmed off the extra length from all of the batons.


To keep the chisels from jumping their respective slots while in transit, I glued a tapered rib to the underside of the lid.  With the lid in place, the rib just does touch the necks of the chisels and helps to hold them in place.


When I work in the shop I’m constantly jotting down notes or sketching a bit of joinery.  I think we all do it.  I write on whatever is handy.  Scraps of wood, scraps of paper and sometimes even the bench top.  Every time I do it I tell myself that I need to get a chalkboard for the shop, but then never do.  Until now.

Apparently chalk board paint is popular these days, which plays out well for me.  So I purchased a spray can of chalkboard paint and masked off a section of the underside of the lid.


Two coats of paint and an hour later I peeled off the tape.


The can states that the paint should be allowed to cure for 24hrs.  A read a couple of things online that states letting it cure for three days is a better bet.  So that is what I’ll do, just to be safe.  While I’m waiting on the paint to cure I’ll wipe down all of the external surfaces of the tray with a coat of linseed oil.  In a few days I’ll find out if the chalkboard paint was worth the effort.

Part 2 Greg Merritt Part 4

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9 Responses to Chisel Tray-Part 3

  1. Pingback: Chisel Tray-Part 2  | BY MY OWN HANDS

  2. Salko Safic says:

    Great post and couldn’t be better timed, I got commissioned a few months ago to make a dart board but never got around to doing it only because I couldn’t keep up with my then current work load. The chalk board application was always on my mind, I never did one and hadn’t researched on how do it. Thankfully your post just taught me how and great tip on the 3 day curing rate as well. You taught me something new so thank you, this idea of learning from each other is starting to take motion and I’m glad. I’m not proud to say I know everything, I’d be a fool to do so. Keep em coming Greg!

    Just when I thought I was no longer accepting any more commissioned work I went ahead and did it against my own better judgement. I three clocks to complete by the end of the week but I only have 2 days off so in reality I have to finish the construction within those two days. Once again the pressure is on. Geez you’d think after 18 years I’d learn my lesson.

    • Greg Merritt says:

      Thanks Salko. You had better wait a few days and see if this chalkboard paint work out for me before you make any drastic decisions. LOL. I was surprised at how many options are available. There was black and green chalkboard paint, white dry-erase board paint and a magnetic primer that can be used under any of them. They also sell the stuff by the quart and can tint it to any color you want.

      Sounds like woodworking under pressure is in your blood and there will be no walking away from it. As long as you are doing it on your terms, I think you will be just fine.

  3. Matt McGrane says:

    Good stuff, Greg. For notes in the shop, I’ve been using an old fashioned piece of paper taped up to a cabinet door. I list projects I want to make or shop improvements I need to work on, putting an open square on the left side of each item. When the task is done, I put a check mark in the square. Gotta have a system …

    • Greg Merritt says:

      Hey thanks Matt. The little chalkboard is more for construction type notes and sketches during a project.
      Sounds like you are way more organized than I am. I’m not even sure what will be next after the chisels tray. 😉

  4. Stefan says:

    Hi Greg,
    great post. I like the idea of making the chisel tray in the style of a Japanese toolbox. At least the lid construction looks like that. Secondly using chalkboard paint for the inside and having a build in notepad is a nice detail. Hope it will turn out to be practical.

    • Greg Merritt says:

      Thank you Stefan. You are correct. The chisel tray is really just a version of the Japanese style toolbox. I probably should have been a little more clear in my explination. I hope that the chalkboard paint works out like advertised. If it does, I have a few other project ideas where I can put it to use.

  5. Pingback: Chisel Tray-Part 4-Complete | BY MY OWN HANDS

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