Vertical Tool Caddy

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Project by Dan Wolfgang posted 09-15-2016 01:14 AM 1996 views 13 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted to build a tool caddy to help keep some often-used tools together. I saw the caddy in the New Traditional Woodworker but didn’t like that everything could bang around—that’s a sure way to dull a chisel blade and make marks on the caddy with the grease pencils. So, I thought that a vertical tool caddy with individual tool compartments could solve all of that. The problem that a vertical caddy brings is that it could be knocked over because it’s so tall. I worked around that by using some beefy 6/4” cherry, which adds a lot of mass to make it stable.

At this point I’m still very green at this whole woodworking thing, so I knew I’d make plenty of mistakes but it’s still completely functional. Learning to use my hand tools just takes time and practice. I have a number of gaps around the joints and I didn’t plane some of the faces to tight enough tolerance for the kind of tight fit I’d really like to see. But, from a few feet away I think it looks good. The close-up pictures make it easy to see some of the mistakes. The differences in the round holes (1/2” and 3/8”) is that the larger was cut with a quality Williams auger and the smaller was cut with a cheap Irwin auger. I know they say it’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but the amount of frustration cheap tools causes me is significant!

I think the biggest thing I’d do differently is fitting and assembly. I put together the three middle parts (tool board/handle/tool board) and separately I made a four sided box, then fit them together. Getting the box and center to fit well proved a significant challenge. I think I should have instead put together the same-direction wood (outside/tool board/handle/tool board/outside) and then fit the end caps on it.

9 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


4249 posts in 1874 days

#1 posted 09-15-2016 01:18 AM

That’s a great little tool tote.

View HokieKen's profile


2512 posts in 747 days

#2 posted 09-15-2016 02:06 AM

I was just soliciting ideas for this very thing in the layout tool swap thread yesterday:-) I really like the size and layout of your design. I LOVE the way you flipped the joints on opposite sides. Very cool design and great execution! As far as your “mistakes”, remember that others only see about 10% of the flaws that a craftsman sees in his own work.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

838 posts in 3040 days

#3 posted 09-15-2016 12:51 PM

Very nice. Careful the wife will steal it for the kitchen

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Dan Wolfgang's profile

Dan Wolfgang

89 posts in 416 days

#4 posted 09-15-2016 12:58 PM

I LOVE the way you flipped the joints on opposite sides.

I stole this idea from the tool caddy in the book The New Traditional Woodworker. I wanted some sort of design detail to this rather than just a plain box, and this seemed a good idea.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


1765 posts in 321 days

#5 posted 09-15-2016 02:36 PM

LOVE IT ….... also sweetheart chisels are awesome …..... GREAT JOB


View Richard W. Hyman Jr's profile

Richard W. Hyman Jr

737 posts in 1280 days

#6 posted 09-15-2016 04:02 PM

Nice looking tool tote and just a great idea for often used tools. May be borrowing that idea from ya! :)

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View helluvawreck's profile


25392 posts in 2475 days

#7 posted 09-15-2016 06:57 PM

Dan, that’s a great project to add to your shop. Nice work and very handy.

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 Rick M's profile

Rick M

9012 posts in 1989 days

#8 posted 09-16-2016 03:21 AM

I like the style.


View muesli's profile


251 posts in 1117 days

#9 posted 09-16-2016 12:26 PM

Your tool caddy looks very good and handy!
Bookmarked for my own use.

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