Got the other half of the handle shaped and I was happy how that turned out.
Now time to cut out the hole. Surely I had to resort to some power tools for that, right? Not when you have a vintage brace and selection of bits!
This works far better than I ever would have imagined. It looks like something you need to lean into and crank away forever, building up a serious sweat to get anything done. But really, with a sharpened bit, it pulls itself right into the wood with amazing ease. I go only until the top emerges from the other side, then turn over and go through the other way so it doesn’t blow out the wood on the back.
Then I get a coping saw in there and cut between the holes, then use chisels, rasps, files and sandpaper to shape it just right.
Finally, I go over all the edges with a few grades of sandpaper, making everything nice and rounded over and smooth. I’m super satisfied with how this turned out. Really feels just perfect to hold.
And finally, the glue up. Actually, in these photos, I’ve only got the four walls with the dovetails glued up. The handle and dividers are just sitting in there for support. When the dovetails had set, I went back and glued the other pieces in as well.
All that’s left now is planing the dovetails flat, making the bottom, sanding and applying finish.