Safe storage for my Sweetheart No. 45

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Project by Brad posted 11-12-2015 06:24 PM 1857 views 17 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As soon as I finished cleaning up, sharpening and testing my “new” 45 planes in One, I discovered what a pain it was to have no place for it.

This looked awful:

And I worried that all the parts, accessories and accoutrements could easily get misplaced or damaged. So clearly, a box was needed to house everything.

Box design
I wanted to approximate the box design that the early Sweetheart #45s used. So I settled on the graphics from the image of a Sweetheart #45 cardboard box that I found on eBay.

The heavy plane and accessories called for sturdy material, in this case big-box-store pine ¾” thick for the top, bottom and sides. For joinery, I chose to mirror earlier-era Stanley boxes, and settled on 3/8” box joints. They came out nicely.

As to dimensions, I wanted the box to accommodate neatly housed accessories and the plane. And because I wanted a traveling plow/beading plane, it had to fit in the lower compartment of my Dutch tool chest. That led to interior dimensions of: 10 7/8” L x 7 7/8” W x 6 3/8” H and exterior dimensions of: 12 3/8” L x 9 ¼” W x 7 1/8” H. These numbers make for a snug, but organized, fit. If I had it to do over, I’d increase the dimensions to accommodate ¼” more interior length.

The build
I started with the accessory docking board by building a prototype. This allowed me to finalize slot dimensions as well as to practice routing grooves and coves without blowing the piece apart.

A chamfer on the top edge of the docking platform better supports the seated plane.

After using my Rockler jig to cut the joints, I routed a ¼” groove for the bottom and a 1/8” groove for the sliding top. I’m kicking myself for not using the 45 for this, but I cut the grooves instinctually out of habit before I realized what I’d done! After that, I rabbeted the bottom to fit the grooves and glued up the box. Finally, I rabbeted the sliding top’s three edges to fit in the 1/8” groove. Were I to do this over, I would use a ¼” tongue because 1/8” is just too fragile.

To finish the lid, I added a section of pine to serve as a handhold.

The next step was to confirm that everything fit correctly (accessories and plane) into the docking station, then screw it to the box interior from the bottom.

At this point, the assembled box was ready for some graphics.


My choice of graphics favored coolness (to me) over accuracy. For the refinished cutter boxes, I downloaded graphics from a fellow Lumberjock.

Then I drafted the top-box decal in PowerPoint as well as the “One 45 Plane” graphic that goes underneath the “Stanley Tools” decal.

I couldn’t find a comparable font to draft my own “Stanley Tools” graphic so I cropped the one in the box image.

Then I inserted all the graphics into a Word document, printed them out and tweaked the image sizes until they looked “about right.” These I printed on full-page mailing labels using my brother’s fancy, schmancy HP Laser color printer. Then, to protect the decals, I applied three coats of Mod Podge Gloss Clear Acrylic Sealer. Next I peeled off the backing and affixed each decal to the box. To fix them in place and further protect them, I applied two coats of poly over the decals and box exterior.

At home in the Dutch chest
What a relief to find that my measurements were spot on and that the box fit neatly into the tool chest.

And that box is infinitely cooler than the cardboard home that it replaces. This project completes the outfitting of the chest. It’s ready to travel afar for use on projects as yet unimagined.

© 2015, Brad Chittim, all rights reserved.


-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

18 comments so far

View ToddJB's profile


6781 posts in 1551 days

#1 posted 11-12-2015 06:54 PM

Great job, Brad. And I think a snug fit is better than one with some slop. Vast improvement.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2201 days

#2 posted 11-12-2015 07:09 PM

Wow, great work Brad and looks good as well !
Also impressed with your decal work .

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View JayT's profile


4680 posts in 1632 days

#3 posted 11-12-2015 07:13 PM

Nice, Brad. My combo planes are now jealous.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View theoldfart's profile


7935 posts in 1872 days

#4 posted 11-12-2015 07:42 PM

Looks good Brad. You have room in there for a few H&R’s!

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2605 days

#5 posted 11-12-2015 08:45 PM

That is some nice plane storage. Love the graphics.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7699 posts in 1801 days

#6 posted 11-12-2015 08:48 PM

Nice. I love reproduction boxes. Been planning one for my GP lathe.


View Don W's profile

Don W

17877 posts in 1988 days

#7 posted 11-12-2015 08:51 PM

Great job, Brad.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 1713 days

#8 posted 11-12-2015 08:56 PM

Very nicely done!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View CL810's profile


3405 posts in 2409 days

#9 posted 11-12-2015 11:06 PM

Well done Brad! Favorited.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Tim's profile


3031 posts in 1382 days

#10 posted 11-13-2015 01:48 AM

Very cool Brad. Such a good job with that accessory board to hold the extras. I love that it fits in your Dutch chest.

View helluvawreck's profile


22677 posts in 2287 days

#11 posted 11-13-2015 01:52 PM

Brad, this is a beautiful storage box and so nicely done. Congratulations; it will make a wonderful addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View grfrazee's profile


385 posts in 1560 days

#12 posted 11-13-2015 02:27 PM

I think yours is the first project I’ve seen on here to use my labels. Well done!

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View WhoMe's profile


1441 posts in 2664 days

#13 posted 11-13-2015 02:38 PM

Wow that is way cool, I’m bookmarking this for future reference.
Between yours and another LJ’s version, I see a box like these for my 45. Bit in my case, I need to make the cutter boxes too.

Anyone out there know of any plans to make the cutter boxes?

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View BNMD's profile


6 posts in 623 days

#14 posted 11-13-2015 05:27 PM

Nice, Brad. Extra thanks for posting this right in time for me to make a box for my combo plane.

-- WTB any accurate marking, measuring, or large auger bits you may have lying around. PM me!

View Brit's profile


6573 posts in 2263 days

#15 posted 11-13-2015 11:14 PM

Wow! That was a real labor of love Brad. Nice work.

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

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