Exercises in Artisanship #13: Old fashioned tool tote Part 1

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Blog entry by jjw5858 posted 05-24-2012 09:56 PM 3454 reads 6 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Creating a saw till with what ya got! PART 5, THE FINALE! Part 13 of Exercises in Artisanship series Part 14: Old fashioned tool tote Part 2 »

Well no rest for the wicked…..or wood obsessed…lol. My name is Joe and …....I have a shavings, saw, plane…..ahhhh you name it….it’s a great problem to have….right?

Back at the shop and on the job of coming up with a project that I think will be fun to work with.

I was thinking since I have been very fortunate to find all kinds of cool old handtools maybe I could build a project that might include some of the favorites that would make up an old style tool kit.

Being that is the idea…I wanted to build an old fashioned tool tote. I am trying to catch a simple and yet personal style that will look of an older time…..hard working as well as rugged…and yet maybe be an inviting and fun platform to want to dig in and explore some of the different work pieces from many years past.

My small tribute to the great craftspeople from all those years ago.

So…...I guess we can start with this installments pictures and see my methods of madness….lol

Pic: 1: The mighty Disston took to the pine slabs by making my totes sides…...this will be a bruiser of a tote…..32 1/2 inch sides…..we want some room for the cool stuff!

Pic: 2: Took those over and had a go at my poplar shooting board to trim up and square up the ends.

Pic 3: I looked over some various totes….and really liked this rounded look….so I took to some tracing paper and mapped the lines out. My methods have changed in my recent projects, I use my abiltiy to draw and sketch my ideas… past blogs you have seen this…but before my Exercise in artisanship series began…I rushed through ideas….always on the fly. Honestly gang…good by to those days…lol. I greatly enjoy my recent less rushed results, taking time to really be and look at the ideas before just executing them.

Pic 4: Ok ….a little mock up to see my vision coming together.

Pic 5: Here’s another interesting way to cope saw out smaller work. I use this jig I made from watching Roy Underhill….it works really nice…and it’s a fun way to change up the same old ways of doing something!

If this interests you check the project out….

Pic 6: There are a few ways you may go about doing this…...hands over the top in a stabbing sawing motion as the previous picture shows…...not bad…..a little challenging…lol. Or you may get your favorite shop stool and sit and do this with hands under…and cope saw the piece this way….ahhh that’s better…lol My back thanks you underhand saw style…

Pic 7: Here it is now…..we got it coped out….and had a chance to work on a different way of doing the same thing. I find that to be a great skill building activity….get a job or task…and try to learn 2-3 ways of getting it done, nice to have in your arsenal if certain tools are not near by or in your current kit. Also…’s nice to just want to change work patterns up as well!

Pic 8: Now I take my handsaw to rip cut a bottom piece.

Pic 9: Fun to look back….remembering my first sawing experience as I view this pic…how far off a line I would wander 2 years ago with my with everything it improves with doing. I leave the cuts a tad chubby off of the pencils so I can test fit and plane if needed for a snug fitting. One of the best rules of woodworking especially by hand…”More wood is always fine…because we can’t add wood if it’s cut too short”….lmao.

Pic 10: There it is all cut and ready for some additional mock up to view where we are at.
Pic 11: So here is the mockup in this stage of the game. I rounded the sides tops with plane, spokeshave and sandpaper. I also drew the sides inward to joint to the ends thinng up the width trying to subtract the more boxier look that it had….nice…like this better more slender. Then I clamped this together to see how it is looking. We have much to do yet…but a nice start for my ideas. Simple lines here, going with a less is more approach. We will have more to work with soon!

Ok friends, that about does her for this portion of the build. I sure hope you had a great week and as always I enjoy looking at your ideas as well as appreciate your comments!

Take care….CHEERS!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

9 comments so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2794 posts in 3460 days

#1 posted 05-24-2012 10:58 PM

I enjoyed the read and picts. I admire your use of hand tools to do this.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3775 days

#2 posted 05-24-2012 11:03 PM

Very nice JJ.

I made a crude version of your tote for my drywall tools.

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2863 days

#3 posted 05-24-2012 11:18 PM

I like it because its deep. Nice design.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2562 days

#4 posted 05-25-2012 05:36 AM

Awesome! I see that corded drill sneaking into the picture…lol. How do you say- Cover your ears and don’t look, Roy!

-- I never finish anyth

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2431 days

#5 posted 05-25-2012 10:23 AM

Nice work. This looks like its going to turn put to be a great tote.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Brit's profile


7385 posts in 2865 days

#6 posted 05-25-2012 10:46 AM

You can’t beat a good tool tote Joe. I have been meaning to build one for about 3 years now. Last year I came close, drew a sketch, but kept changing my mind as to what I wanted. In the end, I built something else. LOL.

Sometimes it is good to chew over a design and shelve it for a while though. Looking forward to seeing how you build yours, then maybe I won’t have to think about mine anymore. :o)

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3174 days

#7 posted 05-29-2012 07:03 PM

Great pics Joe, Nice sawing, both the curves and the rip cuts. I’ve been wanting a tote like this too.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3112 days

#8 posted 06-04-2012 07:19 PM

I can almost smell the wood!
Looking wood!
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View dubsaloon's profile


621 posts in 2817 days

#9 posted 06-14-2012 03:27 AM

I like the length of the ends that attach to the handles I’ve seen much shorter ones and it makes getting the tools in and out a chore looking great so far.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

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