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Boatbuilder's hand tool tote

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Project by miklpa posted 12-13-2015 06:03 PM 1993 views 8 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ll be starting as an apprentice boatbuilder in Copenhagen, Denmark this January. I’ve made this tool tote for transporting hand tools to and from the boats that I’ll be working on.

The tote is made of a board of oak that I have salvaged from an old bookshelf. The size of this board pretty much dictated the size of the tote. The boards were only 18cm wide, which is one of the reasons that I screwed the sides onto the tote instead of dovetailing the four corners. The dovetailing would have consumed about 3cm of width, which would have made the tote very narrow. Anyways, I think dovetailing the bottom to the ends is a better solution overall, as this adds strength to the bottom (which carries the tools’ weight) and the vertical grain direction also makes the top of the sides (and the handle joint) less prone to breaking.

The handle was steam bent from a 22mm oak dowel. I soaked it overnight and steamed it in my oven for an hour and then clamped it onto a template. It worked okay, however the curve of the handle is not quite as sweet as I could have wished. It might be due to the fact that the dowel has been kiln dried and therefore is not as easy to steam bend.

The tote has been treated with a couple of coats of linseed oil.

What I like about the tote:

- I think the overall size and shape is quite nice
- It is relatively light and it seems very strong
- I like the double S curve from the corner to the top of tote (see picture 2)

What I would have done differently:

- The hole for the handle dowel is not very precise. I didn’t have a 22mm drill bit, so I went with a 20mm and filed the rest … with a pretty miserable result.
- I was way too sloppy with the screws at the side. First of all, there are way too many screws – half would probably have been enough. Secondly, I was very sloppy with the measuring which shows quite clearly if you look at the location of the screw plugs.
- I should have been more careful removing excess glue from the joints, because it has prevented the linseed oil from penetrating the inside corners. The effect is that the inside corners of the tote are much lighter in color than the rest of the tote.

Cheers,

Mikkel





14 comments so far

View jim65's profile

jim65

805 posts in 1393 days


#1 posted 12-13-2015 06:51 PM

I think it looks wonderful, nice form!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View observer100's profile

observer100

250 posts in 570 days


#2 posted 12-13-2015 08:51 PM

This looks really neat! I like everything about it! Looks like it has ‘character’.

View miklpa's profile

miklpa

4 posts in 355 days


#3 posted 12-13-2015 08:52 PM

Thanks guys! :-)

View luv2wheels's profile

luv2wheels

34 posts in 606 days


#4 posted 12-13-2015 11:24 PM

I like the curved ends and the way the curve in the handle matches the curve along the sides. In fact, I am in the process if building a tote and will adding some curves before assembly. Based on what I see, you should do well in your studies.

-- too old to rock & roll......

View bambam89's profile

bambam89

13 posts in 699 days


#5 posted 12-14-2015 12:45 AM

That turned out really nice!
About it not being just so, once you get some tools in it and are working around the boats those problems will go way.
It’s strong and will get ur done.

View woodcox's profile

woodcox

1564 posts in 1471 days


#6 posted 12-14-2015 04:55 AM

Fine work Mikkel. I especially like the subtle chamfer atop the ends seen in the second picture that follows the handle’s curvature. Wonderful tote and good luck with your new path!

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

780 posts in 2463 days


#7 posted 12-14-2015 02:31 PM

I really like this and it makes me want to build one. Well done. I appreciated your lists of what you liked and did not like. It’s interesting to learn how others think of their work.

View Humus Workshop's profile

Humus Workshop

56 posts in 500 days


#8 posted 12-14-2015 03:53 PM

Great work, this is a beautiful tool box.

-- Think, make and share.

View R_Stad's profile

R_Stad

374 posts in 1302 days


#9 posted 12-14-2015 04:50 PM

Great looking tote – style and substance. Your own critique points to the fact that you are open to learning and improving. Wonderful traits for an apprentice. Working on boats – how great is that. Best of luck.

-- Rod - Oregon

View Cindy Braunheim's profile

Cindy Braunheim

48 posts in 2074 days


#10 posted 12-14-2015 06:38 PM

This is a very nice tool tote, Mikkel. Nice lines and good attention to detail, in spite of your observations :)

-- Cindy in Seattle, http://visionationwoodworking.com

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23113 posts in 2326 days


#11 posted 12-14-2015 08:44 PM

That’s a beautiful tote. The handle is a real nice touch.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- 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 Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

3460 posts in 1877 days


#12 posted 12-15-2015 10:58 PM

beautiful work.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View miklpa's profile

miklpa

4 posts in 355 days


#13 posted 12-16-2015 06:27 AM

Thanks a lot, all of you! :-)

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2548 days


#14 posted 12-22-2015 01:10 AM

Fine tote Mikkel, may it serve you well.
Best thoughts,
Mads

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

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