Carpenter's Tool Box for soon-to-be two year-old boy

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Blog entry by NBeener posted 11-05-2009 05:16 AM 4738 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife’s grandson is somehow about to turn two.

Time to turn him on to tools, huh?

That’s the primary reason I’ve been taking a whack at dovetail joints.

The tool box is in dry fit, right now. In the next day or two, I’ll move to glue-up.

The cuts in the ends of the handle are for wedge/shims to hold the handle in place.

The pics:




Current plan is to fill it with something like this….

I did something wrong with the plywood bottom. The instructions clearly said not to router the dado’s all the way to the edge of the board (or you’d cream the dovetails). But … the sizes they dictated for the plywood …. would have gone from edge to edge on the ends, and from edge to edge on the sides (I’m exhausted. I could be looking at it totally wrong).

So … I measured and notched the plywood. Works fairly well, but … I have another piece of ply, and may try to do better.

But … I’m smart ;-) I didn’t show the gaps in the pics. Clever camera angles LOL!

I also know that—for next time—I have to center the boards differently, in the jig, to avoid having thin edges on the side of a pin/tail. Probably letting it slide, this time, though ;-) I’d probably also curve the ends down so that they met and covered the sides, rather than leaving an awkward ledge there….

Thanks for looking.


-- -- Neil

12 comments so far

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3336 days

#1 posted 11-05-2009 05:28 AM

well done there , niel .
were moving right along .

turn the handle 90 deg,
so the wedge is pushing to the end grain ,
not to the side grain and maybe splitting the board ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3169 days

#2 posted 11-05-2009 07:14 AM

Thank you, David. That’s an excellent idea.

-- -- Neil

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#3 posted 11-05-2009 07:22 AM

Nice Idea Neil good job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3329 days

#4 posted 11-05-2009 11:22 AM

Great job Neil. That little boy will really like the tote. I wish I had a guardian angel, aka David, like you do to prevent me from making mistakes. I do however always get instant feedback though when I do! LOL. Also loved the photos, they were really good. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3280 days

#5 posted 11-05-2009 03:46 PM

Never too young to have your own tools and tool box. It won’t be long before the two of you will be hanging out at the tool dept. @ Lowes or Home Depot! lol. Your tool box is looking good. Keep us posted.

-- John @

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3169 days

#6 posted 11-05-2009 03:47 PM

Mike: I’ve seen quite a few of your pieces. Happily, I don’t think most of the LJ’s feel the need to save you from yourself ;-)

But … yeah … between David, a1Jim, and … about a thousand others … I feel like the LJ’s form a big circle around you, and subtly let you know that … “we’re gonna’ get you through this one.”

It’s like a safety net … and … I can’t tell y’all how much it means to me.

BTW: Mike: I’ve got a sort of relative who’s an American ex-pat in Norway. Haven’t been in touch for a while. I’ll have to find out where he (Fred Hayes) is. I think he’s into woodworking too. Very decent sort, and he’s young—like you.

I know you two could be—geographically—very far apart, but…..

-- -- Neil

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3160 days

#7 posted 11-05-2009 05:30 PM

My son built me a tool box like that when he was in junior high shops class. That was over 20 years ago. No dovetails though. I still have and use that box.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3169 days

#8 posted 11-05-2009 05:38 PM

How cool, Jim.

Be-LIEVE me: when I finally saw the word “dovetail,” in the instructions, I started talking myself into simple miter joints, butt joints, or … anything else.

But … I talked myself through it.

But your story is another example of what so many of you already know: giving these DIY gifts … brings an amazing sense of satisfaction.

One day, you’ll all have to tell me how you balance that with the ever-growing Honey-Do lists LOL!

NB: not an issue, yet. THIS one’s for her grandson. I’m quite sure I get a free pass for that ;-)

-- -- Neil

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3196 days

#9 posted 11-05-2009 06:53 PM

Congrats and good job on the tool box. Hey, I saw what you said about the plywood bottom!! You may just have to notch the corners of the plywood to get the correct fit.
My granddaughter will turn 2 this month. She loves doll houses, sooo I thought I would have her help Grandpa start building her doll house. My grandson is turning 1, next year it will be my turn for either a tool box or a wooden truck. We will have to see.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3196 days

#10 posted 11-05-2009 07:33 PM

Oops, should have read down a little further on the post. Glad you figured it out.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3299 days

#11 posted 11-06-2009 12:57 AM

cool project there neil..looks like im late in posting…ive been in the shop making a hanging quilt holder…will post it soon..anyway..glad to see your making saw dust…....has the band saw arrived..and has it been tested…grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4156 days

#12 posted 11-06-2009 11:47 AM

a box made of wood to hold the plastic tools—then he’ll be six and wanting some “real tools” :) Nice beginning to his addiction lol

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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