Making a Condiment Tote (for beginners) #2: Cutting the side and end pieces

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Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 11-28-2011 12:36 AM 1800 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Preparing the Wood Part 2 of Making a Condiment Tote (for beginners) series Part 3: Finishing the inside »

In the previous post (part 1) I showed how to prepare the wood for the four totes I am making.

After the wood was resawn and cut apart with the handsaw it will have a slight ridge down the middle (and often a few scratches from the saw).

You can remove the ridges, if you like, with a hand plane, but it’s not necessary. The wood is put through the planer until it reaches the desired thickness, which in my case, is 1/2”

6 pieces are needed for each tote, two sides, two ends, a bottom and a handle. The handle is wider than the wood I have so I have to glue two pieces together to make the width I need. This is done with clamps and wood glue, I don’t use biscuits or anything else to align the wood, just glue.

The end pieces and side pieces are the same width, so they are cut to width on the table saw.

The tote is designed with a plywood bottom that sits in a groove in the sides and ends. I leave the pieces I prepared for the sides and ends uncut so that I can put a groove in the whole length of wood and then cut it apart after. The groove height is approximately half the thickness of the wood, so about 1/4” deep. I just sit the wood beside the saw blade and eyeball the height I need. The bottoms are not cut yet, until I know exactly what size I need for them to be after the grooves are cut.

I use my table saw blade and keep the groove around 1/2” from the bottom by running the wood against the fence set at the proper measurement for that.

The plywood I have is just slightly thicker than the width of my blade so I move the fence just a little and re-run the groove to widen it. I always practise first on a piece of scrap to get the measurements precise.

I then cut the side and end pieces to length on my sliding compound mitre saw.

Since I’m making four totes, I end up with 8 sides and 8 ends.

I then cut the plywood to size to fit the box that the sides and ends will make. be continued…

-- ~Julie~

4 comments so far

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3164 days

#1 posted 12-07-2011 04:06 AM

Nobody commented on your bunny-shaped push block? That is clever.

-- Greg D.

View ~Julie~'s profile


607 posts in 3062 days

#2 posted 12-07-2011 04:12 PM

You can read about that rabbit push stick at my other blog:
Rabbit Push Stick

The pattern is here

-- ~Julie~

View hjt's profile


850 posts in 3166 days

#3 posted 02-15-2012 03:44 AM

I had to smile when I saw your push stick – very cute.

-- Harold

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 3833 days

#4 posted 03-07-2015 04:02 AM

This was one more useful read. The decision to make the groove first before cutting to size is wise. I will certainly follow the next posts.


-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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