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W. & S. Butcher


   
 

Working with Hands - James E. Price


 
  Tool Boxes 1 of 2  


Not all the tool boxes
I make are dovetailed
and made with refined
joiners' tools.

 

 

 

Last year I went through an exercise of figuring out how I would make a box if I were back in time circa 1790 as a fur trapper in The Ozark Highland of Upper Louisiana.

The tools I used to make the box in the photos were the kinds that were routinely carried on belts or in a pouch.

A belt axe, hunting knife, and a clasp knife were used. The boards were rived out of red oak. I made a club to pound on the hatchet head to start a split and the drove in little dogwood wedges to chase the split to the other end. It helped that the oak I chose split easily. The dimensions of the box are 11-5/8 x 6-1/4 x 5-5/8 inch.

I made tools out of horseshoe and square nails such as a small chisel and a bow drill. It took about 8 inches of iron wire to make the snipe hinges. The latch was made from a piece of bone and leather.

Sawing was done with a little steel saw with a 3-inch blade that I made before the imaginary trip and put in the pouch. I worked well over a week on this box and then made another one while the techniques were fresh in my mind.

I flaked some stone scrapers for smoothing the rived boards and finished the smoothing with a flat sandstone rock about the size of a bar of soap.

I did not use sinew to join the boards together to make the box. The lashings you see in the photos are string saturated with beeswax.


 
Learn how. Discover why. Build better.
1 of 2  

Simonds Saws



Atkins Backsaws



   

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