With the rot cut out and a suitable piece of clear Black Heart Sassafras inserted in it's place, it was time to replace the base of the chest. It came to me then, having used the piece of sassafras, an offcut from a dining table I had made. I should only use timber to restore the chest from stuff I have already in my shop. Just as our frugal wood working predecessors would have. No waste, no frills, practical and functional. Everything a 'working' chair makers chest should be.
Anyway at this point I've tried to load a pic of the chest with the new piece of wood glued in, but it seems these blog things just aren't as easy as they are cracked up to be. Cant load a pic and I've just installed an entire new browser, just so I can post this much. Anyway 'you get the picture' even if you don't!
I then raided the wood rack and picked some East Gippsland Blackwood boards I had left over from two Adirondack chairs I'd made last year. Milled and ship-lapped on the dado blade and the new floor was in. Solid and room to expand and contract with the weather.
Wow, it's working again. So here's the floor. I sat and looked at my list of tools that needed to fit and thought about the most practical way to house them. Back to the old chest to have a look. I gently removed the drawers from the sliding till and then studied it's construction. Beautifully dovetailed and with through mortise and tenons. I tried something on the spur of the moment.
Yep just as thought, the old till fitted perfectly in the 'new' chest. In fact there was only a couple of mm either side. As I mentioned before, whoever had made this chest had done so using not only hand skills but also to proven or accepted dimensions. Just the same as the most common windsor chair stretcher tenon is always most certainly 5/8ths of an inch. So that settled it for me, a smaller sliding till with spacious areas front and back in the base for larger items. And, maybe saw storage in the lid. Now, back to that wood pile......