Japanese Carpenter's Toolbox

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Project by Bonjin1977 posted 05-22-2009 06:35 AM 6982 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my very first project, so I decided to make a practical toolbox. I used traditional “yaki-sugi,” literary means “burning cedar” method for final finish.

12 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113832 posts in 2667 days

#1 posted 05-22-2009 06:39 AM

very interesting a most unique tool box

-- Custom furniture

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 2520 days

#2 posted 05-22-2009 06:40 AM

Nice looking box. Great tight joints.

Keep up the good work.

Thanks for posting.



-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View patron's profile


13422 posts in 2431 days

#3 posted 05-22-2009 06:58 AM

nice simple design , welcome ! and on the baby too .
we are here to help and learn .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Emeralds's profile


143 posts in 2652 days

#4 posted 05-22-2009 12:38 PM

I’m a big fan of both Japanese and primitive design. Your piece incorporates both and the finish is something completely new to me and I love it. I’m going out immediately to see what I can find out about the technique.

I’m going to make one suggestion for a quick and easy improvement to the integrity of the look. It’s obvious that you’ve gone to a lot of trouble to cut the joints (a very nice job at that) and they look great, and although we all glue and screw most of our work, most common metal fasteners are unsightly and can distract the continuity of the design distracting from the overall look, at least IMO.

Whenever you need to use screws in a visible area, try setting them below the surface of the work into a shallow hole 3/8ths of an inch deep or so and the diameter of any commonly available dowel (usually a size just larger than the screw head is ideal). Then when final assembly is done it’s a simple matter to add a drop of wood glue into hole, plug it with a dowel and trim the dowel flush to the work piece. Presto! No unsightly screw heads. I think you’ll find it super fast and easy to do and an effective way to hide screw heads when needed.

Overall, a really nice job.
Thanks for sharing.

-- JMP

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 2472 days

#5 posted 05-22-2009 02:03 PM

Welcome to LJ, and I am surprised another Japanese technics here…
I remember my dad used to have these kind of tool box in my house when I was really small.
By the way, Sugi is cedar, not pine. You know, my family name has the name of the tree…

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1379 posts in 3072 days

#6 posted 05-22-2009 02:49 PM

What type of tools are usuallly put in that style box. It looks like a small toolbox for hand tools.

-- Watch live video from our shop.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3336 days

#7 posted 05-22-2009 03:01 PM

Nice box joints. Nice finish and design. I like japanese carpentry.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Bonjin1977's profile


16 posts in 2382 days

#8 posted 05-22-2009 03:09 PM

I learned something new…Sugi is Cedar. Thank you Junji san!

View Splinterman's profile


23059 posts in 2451 days

#9 posted 05-22-2009 03:23 PM

Has character and nice design.

View Bonjin1977's profile


16 posts in 2382 days

#10 posted 05-22-2009 04:19 PM

Yeah, you can put only small tools, such as hammer, chisels, etc. My grandpa had a huge one. One of my honey-do lists is to make a blanket chest. I am thinking about using a similar design, so keep checking!

View Bureaucrat's profile


18336 posts in 2742 days

#11 posted 05-23-2009 07:33 AM

Very nice tool box. I like the finish. I used “burning cedar” technique to make house numbers for my daughters house. Now I know a new name for it and will impress my daughter when I explain that I used the yaki-sugi technique. Thanks for the bit of education.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View clieb91's profile


3396 posts in 3025 days

#12 posted 05-25-2009 03:43 AM

Welcome to LumberJocks. The finish is very good looking. I may have to look into this as well. Thank you for posting and look forward to the blanket chest and other projects.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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