Last week, I learned that my godfather is very ill. While we are not particularly close, we’ve always gotten along, and I recently learned he is a woodworker. I went to visit last weekend. Just to see how he was doing, and maybe check out his workshop that I’d heard a little about. What transpired since has literally changed my life.
When I went downstairs into his basement workshop, the first thing I saw was a beautiful metalworker’s vise on a sturdy tinker’s bench. I admired it and took a picture. Next to that, in the corner, was a joiner’s chest, buried beneath a pile of expired (and ostensibly leaking) West Systems epoxy containers and 30 years of dust.
It was immediately apparent that the raised panel on the lid was not attached properly, having split long ago in many places. In striking contrast, the miters on the lower skirt, nailed at the corners, remained perfect. And both the dust seal and the upper skirt had well fitted metal banding, creating a double rabbet on the dust seal. I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I opened it. Turns out, this is no ordinary tool chest.
My godfather was willing to part with it, and I have since brought the chest home with me. What will follow is my journey through restoring the chest and the tools inside, and making it and them my own. And hopefully learning more about the chest, its maker and my godfather.
More to come.