There were two key operations remaining to finish the mini-ATC. I needed to make a box for the interior and then paint the outside.
For the top box, I decided to go with a single larger box. At this point, I don't have all the specific tools and I want to use if for a while (at my dad's who lives an hour away) to see what else may need to be added. Given some of the unknows, a single larger drawer makes things easy. For this, half inch poplar I purchased from a big box store fit the bill. I really lucked out in that I found some with really cool greens and purples. For a box, this kind of bold color on poplar is really nice. Sadly, I know if will fade to a nice brown. Making the box was straight forward.
One thing that drives me nuts is that 1/4" plywood isn't truly 1/4" as it is metric. I didn't like the flop in the box bottom. As such, I glued some blocks under the box bottom to snug up the rattle. It solved the problem and provided extra support for the drawer so all is good here. Before I make my next box, I am going to buy the proper metric plough plane blade.
Now, onto painting up the exterior. For it, I wanted to use milk paint. I wanted a red under layer and black on the outside. I like the look it gives that gets even better with age (or maybe this is a trend I have fallen into). Elia Bizzarri in Fine Woodworking Mar/Apr 2020 (pgs 24-28) outlines a process to do this. I followed it and I am happy with the results. Having said that, using milk paint was stressful the first time through. I am used to finishes such as shellac which flow nicely. Milk paint has a different flow (I think draw is the proper word). Also, the first coat of red looked crappy. Now, I had heard all of this before I started. It is true. This is where I kept Paul Sellers mantra of keep going and don't give up in my mind. When it was finished, it looked really nice. I didn't need manually distress it as I didn't get complete coverage with the black.
Only thing left to do was to add the handles (Horton Brasses). I elected not to put a lock on it as I don't plan to leave it places where it really needs to be locked.
All in all, it took around 175 hours to make it. I really enjoyed it. I am very happy with how it turned out. Now, I need to start buying tools to fill it. I have some and in the next post I will share with you what tools I have and my thoughts on what I want to purchase.