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The hardware for the chest arrived this week. The cast iron handles are great. Super beefy and ready to go on as is. I put a coat of oil on them to prevent rust. The screws that come with them are #12 about 1-1/4″ long. They have phillips heads on them. Not my favourite, but I used them anyway.

The unequal strap hinges for the lid took more work. They come already rusty. You can see them in the acid bath right after I threw them in. I guess someone out there likes the look of rusty hardware… It’s not me. After a few hours in the acid the rust wiped off and the hinges had a light grey patina. I wanted them to match the handles though.



So with some oil and the tiger torch I gave them a nice baked on carbon finish. This is just like seasoning a cast iron frying pan. Many light coats of oil are better than a few heavy coats. One of my early coats had too much oil near the point of the fleur-de-lis and you can still see the uneven coating there in this photo.

The strap hinges have all the countersinks coming from the same side on both parts of the hinge. Since I wanted to have the hinge on the inside of the lid, but outside the back wall of the chest I wanted the countersinks on opposite sides. It’s an easy fix to drive out the hinge pin and flip one side.

The hinges didn’t come with screws so I picked up some #4 x 5/8″ screws from the hardware store. Half an hour in a hydrochloric acid bath and they too were plain black steel. Robertson heads though. I wouldn’t stand for phillips in screws that small.



I also got the paint on this week. I found a can of green that I liked. I realized later on that it’s almost the same colour as the duffel bag I carry my tools in now. Not intentional, but it’s sort of a neat continuity.

You can see the temporary rack I put on the back wall. It’s just two strips with a 1/2″ space between them. I have seen others who use this as the final system for their tool chests, but it’s a bit too unrestrained for me. It is great for prototyping though. I can see how much will fit across the back, and where I would like things to live. I just tacked it in with a few blobs of hot melt glue. I’m working on the sketch of the final tool rack now.



The other detail I added before mounting the hinges was to put a small bevel on the back of the lid. This will allow the lid to open a few degrees past vertical. I’ll be using a chain or strap to catch the weight of the lid and stop it, but I do want it to be well past vertical so it stays open on its own. It’ll have panel saws mounted to it like everybody else does eventually. When I get my panel saws cleaned up and usable.