top of page
  • Fred

First Aid kit update

It's about time for an update on the first aid kit I've been working on for the past few days. Sorry if it's a long post, but I'm still learning and practicing my craft and I have a few tips I'd like to share. As a reminder, this is a wall-mounted (via French cleat) box made of 3/4-inch red oak and maple. It's about 19.25 inches tall, 11.75 inches wide and 6.25 inches deep.

I built the outer frame using dovetail joints and assembled it yesterday. Here's a close-up of one of the dovetail joints. I'm still pretty new to hand-cut dovetails, so I'm working with relatively large stock (0.75 inches in this case) and making the dovetails pretty large. This takes less work and ensures that the joint is plenty strong.

Today, I began by cutting some dados in the sides of the vertical pieces to support the shelves. This was actually much easier to do once the outer frame was assembled since I didn't have to worry about measuring anything at all. I simply clamped a piece of scrap wood into the frame to act as an edge guide and ran the router through twice on each side.

I had enough of the board I used for the frame to make a shelf, but I didn't have any more oak just laying around, so I used a piece of scrap maple for the second shelf.

I decided that I wanted to add a rail across the front of each shelf, so I cut some scrap pieces left over from another project. You can see in the photo above the dado for the shelf and the outline of the front rail where I traced it onto the side of the box. I used the good old mallet and chisel to join the rail to the box. Tip for this step: I traced the board with pencil which, due to the thickness of the lead would make the joint very loose if I were to cut directly on the line. So when I began to cut the joint, I cut inside the pencil mark. It's much easier to cut a joint small and cut away more material to make it fit than to try to fill a gap.

I did this six times (two for each rail) and was ready for glue-up. My joinery wasn't perfect, so when I glued the rails on, I mixed some sawdust with the glue to make some wood filler to try to close the gaps. It looks pretty funny while the glue is setting.

After sanding/clean-up, it looked pretty good.

Last night, I shaped the rear of the box and the front door. You probably noticed the very top photo where I put a first aid cross on the front. When someone is hurt, subtlety doesn't work too well. I used stain instead of paint since that's what I had laying around the shop. Stain bleeds around the edges of the tape, so it's not too clean, but I'll figure that out tomorrow. I think I can make it into a "feature" like I usually do.

I also glued the rear panel to the box today, but didn't take any photos. You can probably imagine what that looks like. I glued, clamped, nailed it in place with the nail gun and it's good to go.

Tomorrow, I'll install the hinges, knob and magnetic catch. Then I'll wipe on some danish oil.

The workshop continues to grow and increase its functionality and capability.

bottom of page