My Main Toobox - Built 14 Years Ago - and My Tools Inside

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Blog entry by helluvawreck posted 08-23-2010 10:17 PM 3962 reads 7 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yesterday, I took every tool that was in my main tool chest out of the box and cleaned and vacuumed out the box. While I was at it I laid my tools out on the work bench and cleaned and inspected them and took some of the bigger Stanley planes apart one at a time and cleaned all the parts. The iron in three of the planes needed sharpening so I did that before I reassembled them. I then put a few of the tools and put them in other drawers instead and put some other tools with these because this is where they should have been but had carelessly not been put back.

Before I put all of my tools back I decided to make some quick improvements to the box in order for the tools to stay a little more orderly.

The box as it looks empty is in my projects section.

In the two pictures below are the tools that are presently in the box. They are essentially the same as before but are now a little more organized because of a few simple improvements.

I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on the box but I quickly made a couple of crude separators out of some scrap plywood.

The one above is for the box where I keep my squares. It sits above the right compartment just behind the Stanley no 7 plane.

This is what it looks like with the squares back in it.

The one above is the separator for some of the planes that sit below the squares above. This is the compartment behind the no 7 that is built into the box.

This is what the compartment looks like when the separator is used and the planes are back in the box.

The other quick improvement that I made was to build a tray that would contain my stanley cabinetmakers planes and some other small German planes. The pictures of this new box is shown in several pictures just below. The reason for the ‘notch’ in the box is because the handle of the Record combination plane sticks up pass the ledge that this tray sits on. So I needed clearance for the handle.

The two small boxes on either side are some that I had previously bought at Hobby Lobby for $2.99. These are very handy little boxes.

These two little boxes sit on the little ledges that are in the notched box above and sit on either side of the handle.

The rest of the photos were taken in steps as I placed all of the tools back in the box and should be self explanatory.

Brace, egg beaters, no 6 Stanley plane.

Draw knives and 3 water stones.

The next pictures are the 3 compartments built into the chest.

The next three pictures are the three trays that sit above the three compartments in the pictures just above.

And finally, in the picture below are the two small Hobby Lobby boxes that fit onto the center tray that I built today.

In case you are wondering, the overall size of the box is a little over 4 ft. long by 20 inches wide by 16 to 18 inches tall with top down.

This box was not made to look pretty but just to store my tools. It’s just made out of poplar, has plain hardware, has no finish, nor any special joinery. It is a very strong box and has been moved plenty of times. It does take two stout men to pick it up. I built this box about 14 years ago on one Sunday and it took about 5 hours. The trays were added later. And yesterday I added the improvements that I explained above.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

18 comments so far

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3413 days

#1 posted 08-23-2010 10:25 PM

I’m amazed that you can fit all that into that box, and that it only took 5 hours to build.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3317 days

#2 posted 08-23-2010 10:41 PM

Man thats a nice tool collection and storage. The cutouts for holding the planes and squares is a nice touch.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View helluvawreck's profile


32073 posts in 2988 days

#3 posted 08-23-2010 10:45 PM

If you look at the box carefully, you will see why. The bottom part of the box is just a rectangular box with two drawer compartments underneath. The two bottom drawers that fit into the drawer compartments are just two more boxes (drawers) that slide out from each end. The upper compartment is just a floor in the main box above the two drawers. The dividers on the front were simple boards put in place for the three planes I had at the time. The three compartments are also simple boards placed around the main compartment to create a ledge for trays that were built later. Then two simple boards that divided the 3 compartments. The top is just another box with the same length and depth as the other. The top was made thick enough so that I could add the tool holder later. The hinges handles and hardware were simple to install and just involved a little drilling. So if you think about it all you are talking about here is simple boxes. The reason that I know how long it took is because me and my 12 year old son built this box at the plant on a Sunday. I had to drive 45 miles each way and I doubt that I left before 8:30 or 9:00 and I sure I would have gotten back by 5:00 because it was my only day off and the next day was Monday and a school day for my son. The trays were built later and the hangers for the tool in the lid were added later. There is nothing at all complicated about this box. It’s just a box.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View cwdance1's profile


1158 posts in 3381 days

#4 posted 08-23-2010 10:49 PM

Wonderful jog, there is nothing better than to be able to reach and find the exact tool that you want to use.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3237 days

#5 posted 08-23-2010 11:32 PM

what a nice tool collection you have in the box


View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3413 days

#6 posted 08-23-2010 11:54 PM

But one LJ (don’t remember who right now) has a signature that reads, “There is little that is simple when it comes to building a simple box”. Plus there’s all the planning on how to arrange all the tools. That alone would probably take me days (mostly indecision).

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Delta356's profile


463 posts in 2976 days

#7 posted 08-24-2010 01:23 AM

that is an amazing tool box…
Great improvments

thanks, michael frey

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3181 days

#8 posted 08-24-2010 03:34 AM

That’s incredible. How do you get all those tools in that small of a space? It takes me 2 tool boxes and an entire 4X8 sheet of pegboard to store roughly a similar kit of tools (I may not have that many). That is a pretty darn cool tool cabinet you have there. Only problem is, if I were to show that to my wife, I would then have to sell my power tools and build a tool case like that and before I knew it, my wood shop would be where my wife parks her car. That just wouldn’t do. Boy I’m glad she isn’t on LJ’s.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10325 posts in 3155 days

#9 posted 08-25-2010 02:35 AM

I’m sending the Woodworking Police over to your place right now! Nobody should have a Toolbox that is that Neat & Well Organized!

Don’t mind me I’m just Jealous. Beautifully done!!


-- It is not necessary for Some People to turn OFF the LIGHT to be IN the DARK!

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3425 days

#10 posted 09-18-2010 04:28 PM

Wow, very nice!

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View ClayandNancy's profile


520 posts in 3137 days

#11 posted 09-18-2010 04:46 PM

Great tool box. Wish I could be that organized. Nice tools too.

View helluvawreck's profile


32073 posts in 2988 days

#12 posted 09-18-2010 05:46 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Clay and Nancy.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View helluvawreck's profile


32073 posts in 2988 days

#13 posted 09-18-2010 05:53 PM

I appreciate it, Abbott. Thanks.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2960 days

#14 posted 09-18-2010 06:58 PM

Jesus, Mary and Joseph… I can’t imagine ever being that organized. Very impressive. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View helluvawreck's profile


32073 posts in 2988 days

#15 posted 09-18-2010 07:02 PM

Thanks for the kind words, rivergirl. Actually I am quite disorganized – that’s why I did it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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