I’ve seen machinist toolboxes here and elsewhere a couple of times, but never felt they would be useful for my woodworking needs as they seem to be aimed at organizing smaller items/tools/etc, so I never paid much attention to these boxes.
With my recent interest in machining, I find I need a toolbox to hold all my small gauges, tools, keys, wrenches, tooling, measuring devices, etc. A machinist toolbox would be perfect for the job. I’ve looked around, and to be honest- these boxes are quite complex in construction. Unlike a regular (tool)box which is like all other woodworking projects- a 4 wall box, with a floating bottom, and a floating panel on top that is sliced to open or house drawers, a machinist toolbox has openings on 2 sides – the Top, and the Front, making it impossible to construct a regular 4 walls box (with just 1 opening on the top).
I couldn’t find much info online regarding construction of machinist toolboxes except for a couple of plans for purchase in places such as woodsmith (afaik), and I didn’t really like the look of that particular box. What I ended up doing is searched for images of machinist toolboxes, and found some really nice ones made by Gernster (which I then learnt was a very reputable maker of such boxes). Even those boxes didn’t seem to fit my needs though as in addition to housing small tools, I also want it to house my lathe quick-release-tool-holders, which are ~3” tall. I also wanted the toolbox to be on the smaller size, and so decided to design a custom box based on what I’ve seen in others.
I ended up making 3 versions of the design until I was happy with how it looks, and the joinery worked out well. This is one of those times where SketchUp really worked well and saved me hours of recutting by being able to draw out all the joinery and the panelling, and figuring out the weak spots, and the problematic areas.
The box if I end up building it (time constraints) will look like this:
Dimensions are 16”(w) x 10”(d) x 13.5”(h)
The box is made of mahogany frame, with maple drawer fronts, and probably poplar for secondary wood.
The front panel is automatically locked when the lid is closed, and hopefully I can incorporate wooden dovetailed full extension drawer slides for the drawers.
Lots of ideas, lots of plans, hopefully I can Bring this also through the build process.
Any design feedback, or ideas are welcome. Especially from folks who’ve built those before, but also from anyone else as well.
Thanks in Advance.
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.