Tool tote travel (a learning travel in tools and techniques)

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Blog entry by mafe posted 10-02-2010 09:38 PM 6299 reads 2 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Tool tote travel – teaser
a learning travel in tools and techniques

Ok, I have talked about this before in the my first dovetails blog…
The project is a tool tote, a mix of pine, and a branch from the forest!

The challenge for me are to make all the processes, with both power (modern), and hand tools (old), to compare the difference, and to get on a travel in learning, both for my limits, and for what I can do that I thought was not possible.
Here comes a few photos of the process, I was planning to post it as one blog, but it will be a crazy lot of pictures, so I will break it into pieces.

Part of the challenge are no nails or screws, old techniques, and glue, gravity or wood pins to hold it together.

Branch joins tote.

Hand cut dovetails and tobacco.

First try for me on dove tails, so yes I smile.
Thank you Div for pushing me, or shall I say provoke… Div said it was not so easy to cut dovetails in pin, so of course the child here had to!

Now it’s starting to look like a blog!!!

I have had to take it easy, my health is kicking me back, and I learn a lot from this.
As I write, I have so much pain in my arm that I can hardly write, due to sanding… Yes it’s the truth, my operation has some strong effects on my body, and there are clearly a reason why I’m retired… I can see why I was judged to be about 20% able to work maximum. Cutting those dove tails had the price of strong pain and 24 hours of migraine, and throw up from pain…
But I love wood, I smile and I’ll try and take it more slow.

I will soon post the first steps and start the blog, hope this can be to inspiration!

Best thoughts,

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

17 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2878 days

#1 posted 10-02-2010 09:52 PM

Thats great Mads.
Now you can come to Scotland and sort my shop. :)

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View whitedog's profile


652 posts in 3479 days

#2 posted 10-02-2010 10:03 PM

Excellent I like this a lot , I to have the same problems about trying dovetails . I like your working drawings. Hope you fell better soon .

-- Paul , Calfornia

View Flemming's profile


417 posts in 2918 days

#3 posted 10-02-2010 10:10 PM

dovetails and tobacco :) a really good name for a book!
i love the toolbox, i love traditional oldschool!
and i look forward to hearing your comparison of power vs. hand tools. i’ve been thinking a lot about that myself.
all the best my friend

-- Flemming. It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2962 days

#4 posted 10-02-2010 10:12 PM

They are looking SO good my brother! I hope the child in you never dies!

That last photo against the backdrop of planes is beautiful.

I really feel for you, having to pay with pain for your great work…

You have my thoughts and MUCH positive energy all the way from here to there!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View a1Jim's profile


117113 posts in 3599 days

#5 posted 10-02-2010 10:35 PM

cool tool tote nice blog

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3137 days

#6 posted 10-02-2010 11:06 PM

last picture look good
and as Flemming said its a good titel for a book but allso MY OWN BLEND is exelent….lol
I´m sorry you have those paines now
I can understand alot of them but ofcourse everyone has there own cross to fight with
wish I lieved closer to help you my freind
I will see our freind with the drum monday then you now what to expect from here

take care

View Bricofleur's profile


1444 posts in 3215 days

#7 posted 10-02-2010 11:24 PM

Nice tool tote Mads. Are you in competion with Roy U.?

Practice makes perfect as they say, unless you have such talent and skills like yours. Congrats. Your tool tote looks well thought, well drawn and well built. Great job.

Take care



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3080 days

#8 posted 10-02-2010 11:51 PM

That is some good work. The dovetails look great. I especially like the mitered dovetail on the bottom. Hope you feel better.


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

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3071 days

#9 posted 10-03-2010 12:38 AM

Wow mads,
the things we do, take it easy and stop smelling the wood! :-)
great design though on the tote, those dovetails – look great

-- Theresa,

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3111 days

#10 posted 10-03-2010 03:15 AM

Jamie, I would love to come and help you out to make some order, to smell the Scotish air, yes I might have to check the airplane price soon.
Paul, my dovetail fear are over, now I have the dovetail blues! Smile.
Flemming, perhaps you got a point there! Dovetails and tobacco – a travel in wood working, by Mad F.
Div my brother, I was born a child and I will die a child, this is something I do not doubt, the rest are open! I don’t know why, but I was sure you would like that last picture, I smoked the long pipe today, and send you a thought.
Jim, thank you, happy to see you as you know.
Dennis, I need no more help than all the wonderful thoughts I get, it’s a river of energy. I smoke the Jutlandia blend, yes they sure know how to make a good tobaco.Yes the drum! I Imagine a drumsander will do wonders for my arms so I look forward to building one.
Serge, he don’t have a chance this Roy… I laugh – Imagine a snow storm, and then a snow flake, I think I see my self as the last compared to this guy, but perhaps I can compare on the smile part! I’m humble to your words after, and touched.
Doc, yes the secret are the best part, life is sometimes also like that (says I the open book?).
Theresa, This wood goes right to the brain yes! I might have to stop sniffing it… Jubiiiii I made those dovetails, all of them, victory are sweet.
To all of you thank you for the river of energy.
Best thoughts to all of you it’s time to close my eyes and dream of my sweet Caroline,

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

View swirt's profile (online now)


2766 posts in 2993 days

#11 posted 10-03-2010 03:49 AM

Amazing…. You are truly multi talented. I knew you were technically talented from an engineering point of view, and clever, which is a powerful enough combination, but now I see these fantastic hand drawings of your work… and artistic photos too.

Its no wonder you are in pain…all those talents trying to get out at the same time, something has to give. ;)

Hope you recover soon.

-- Galootish log blog,

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2956 days

#12 posted 10-03-2010 07:13 AM

Looks good!

My first dovetails ended up in the garbage 30 seconds after I was done. I am glad my wife did not see them.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View rdlaurance's profile


367 posts in 3368 days

#13 posted 10-03-2010 07:59 AM

Beautiful design! I love the elegant ends as they flow up in their height, and the juxtaposition of the natural unrefined branch (tote handle) to the cut and finished box is a marvelous contrast. In addition to your wonderful engineering skills, you have a wonderful eye for design and aesthetics, as your pictures often attest to as well.

And lets not forget about the warmth that you exude to everybody. You are a wonderful person! Easy to see why Caroline fell for you.

Thank you ever so much for the brass finger bolts you picked up for me at BHV in Paris. Is there no limits to your kindness? It is so unfortunate that one who emanates so much love and kindness to others has to endure so much personal pain in day to day living. I wish the best for you in improved health and all else.

With warm regards,

-- Rick, south Sweden

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 2831 days

#14 posted 10-03-2010 08:18 AM

Mads….wonderfull toolbox you have made there…sad that it gives you so much pain to make it.

I knew some few pieces of tool that i think could help you so i wont give so much pain making it, so thats one more thing we can talk about when we meet :)

I have hollyday i week 42 so i would like to invite you´(and your daugther if she wants) to dinner at my place.

Best regards


-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 2831 days

#15 posted 10-03-2010 08:21 AM

Ps i really like the way you draw…wich i could do that :)

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

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