A testament to finger joints

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Blog entry by bryano posted 03-23-2008 02:23 AM 1358 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Below are some pics of a tool box that I made a couple of years back. The wood is alder. This tool box was built to hold a large amount of electrical tools. One day when I was working on top of a high lift the box rolled off of the platform and droped about 10 feet onto a concreet floor. I expected to find it in pieces with 30 pounds of tools scattered about. What I found was an intact tool box with only a couple of cracks in the lid. Wow I thought, finger joints sure are strong. I sanded it down and glued the cracks and clamped. You can still see two cracks, one on the back top right corner and one on the top of the lid. I was going to post this under projects but i didnt want to show off the obvious dovetail mistake on the drawers. (the tails and pins are backwards)









-- bryano

17 comments so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3735 days

#1 posted 03-23-2008 02:27 AM

i like the look of the tails and pins. it ads a decorative touch to it. it may be getting its strength from the glue instead of the joint but i think it looks cool.

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 3814 days

#2 posted 03-23-2008 02:41 AM

As far as the pins on the drawers go, I like it. It’s not like they are going to come apart and it does add a neat detail. I really like that the more I look at it. you know what you could do, make a couple angular endgrain drawer pulls….. that would look really neat. great tool box!

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3789 days

#3 posted 03-23-2008 03:01 AM

Hi Bryano,

The strength of the box is a testament to the effort you spent in its construction. Well done. The dovetails are your opportunity to add Bryano’s details to the piece- not a mistake.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3862 days

#4 posted 03-23-2008 03:06 AM

I couldn’t imagine the “oh no” feeling you had when you saw the tool box falling. The relief of finding that you did an excellent job of constructing it must have been wonderful.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3900 days

#5 posted 03-23-2008 03:14 AM

thanks Denis, Harold, Scott and Betsy. I guess the dove tails do have a decorative touch.
Betsy, It was a great relief. I am making plans to build a larger one out of alder to hold even more tools, probably built with some sort of doly because of weight.

-- bryano

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4367 days

#6 posted 03-23-2008 03:18 AM


A great toolbox. If it hasn’t come apart then I talk about the decorative touches..

A woodworker is able to talk about the mistakes that become a decorative touch.

See the two racing stripes down the side stiles.

They were put there to cover the shelf holes that were drilled in the outside of the side, instead of the inside.

I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

Looks great.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3900 days

#7 posted 03-23-2008 03:48 AM

Thanks Karson.

-- bryano

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 3709 days

#8 posted 03-23-2008 07:43 AM

Wow. Ten foot drop. I can’t belive that it survived that. I always am suprised how strong the modern day glues are. You can glue jsut something very small and it will be stronger than you would expect.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3841 days

#9 posted 03-23-2008 12:56 PM

Testament to strength indeed. Good looking tool box, tested “under fire.”

View davidtheboxmaker's profile


373 posts in 3772 days

#10 posted 03-23-2008 03:31 PM

That’s a great functional box – I like the dovetails the way you,ve done them – shows them off nicely.

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3900 days

#11 posted 03-23-2008 07:20 PM

Thanks David, Rikkor and Tyler. I am a firm believer in tite bond wood glue.

-- bryano

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4266 days

#12 posted 03-23-2008 07:30 PM

A sturdy box.

I guess you could listed as the winner, in Drop your toolbox Contest.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3900 days

#13 posted 03-23-2008 07:34 PM

Thanks Dick. I originaly built this box because of the substandard quality of the tool boxes sold in stores today, they dont even last for a year.

-- bryano

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3789 days

#14 posted 03-23-2008 10:42 PM

Bryano, thanks for your comment on my little box jointed box. You tool box and story are a testament to the strength of the joint. As for the dovetail problem, it happens and it stood the fall test quite well so it doesn’t matter that it was facing the wrong way. It’s a nice tool cabinet. But did you suffer any damage to the tools? or does the inside hold any storage secrets that prevented damage from the fall?

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3900 days

#15 posted 03-24-2008 01:20 AM

No tool damage. The lid has a flip down compartment for nut and screw drivers. Luckily my meter was in use at the time and is the only tool that is succeptable to breakage.

-- bryano

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