Tool Tote for my 2yr old Nephew B-Day gift.

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Project by Dan posted 10-11-2010 11:02 PM 1986 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So this past weekend was my only nephew’s birthday, he turned 2 years old. I am very forgetful of specific dates, especially birthdays so it was not until this past Friday that I remembered his B-day. My first thought was that I should get him a gift and right away I decided that I should build him something. I built a couple small tool totes for my boys a couple months back and they liked them so I figured that would be a good thing to make again. My one big setback was time. For me to be able to give to him on his birthday I had to have it done by Sat afternoon. That gave me Friday night and early Sat to work on it. My plan was to get the box all all cut, glued and clamped before I went to bed then sand and finish it Sat morning. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time getting lumber ready so I just grabbed a piece of pine wood from Home Depot. I cut sides with lap joints and bottom is 1/2 plywood that fits into some grooves. Was able to get it all glued and clamped late Friday night as I planned. After looking it over I felt it was missing something. I wanted to add more detail of some kind. I thought it over and decided it would be neat to try and carve his name into the box. I didn’t want this to look perfect by any means. I wanted there to be no doubt that I carved this by hand so any smaller mistakes here were welcomed. I tore my house apart looking for anything with letters I could trace that were about the size I needed. I found one of my kids ABC books that had perfect size letters with some detail. I traced them on paper, cut them out and tapped to the side of the box. I did all this early Sat morning. Once taped on I cut around the letters with a razor, took the letters off and carved the letters with one flat bevel chisel and a utility knife. Oh and sand paper. It turned out exactly how I wanted. After 6 hours or so of carving this thing I had no time to wait for finish but luckily I had some Shellac on hand and that drys really fast.

Now my boys want their names carved in their boxes…. I think I need to get some carving tools.. It was my first time and really fun! Never thought I would enjoy carving.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

10 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3185 days

#1 posted 10-11-2010 11:13 PM

Very cool I’ll bet hes very happy! I had just made one like yours a while back, wife took it though. Have fun!

Nice job!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View DYNO360's profile


151 posts in 2862 days

#2 posted 10-11-2010 11:15 PM

A great job. For your first carving job you picked a tough letter style, a thick/thin with serifs. My hat’s off to you. By the way, in the thick thin styles the first stroke in each letter is thick, then thin, but there are three exceptions: A, M & N. Those 3 characters start with a thin stroke. You can remember that cause the letters spell “man”. The only improvement in your carving would have been to make the first stroke of the A, thinner. Also, it would have been easier to carve the name before you assembled the tote, so you really did a super job of carving.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3111 days

#3 posted 10-11-2010 11:31 PM

great job and a great story
thankĀ“s for sharing


View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1229 posts in 3995 days

#4 posted 10-11-2010 11:33 PM

Great project. Instant heirloom. He can pass it onto his son.

-- Bob A in NJ

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3046 days

#5 posted 10-12-2010 08:08 AM

That’s a cool birthday present I am sure he will treasure it for many years to come. Using it for one thing or another, probably not to carry tools all the time but things like his cars, trucks, blocks, even using it in the sandpit. Either way he will love it for a long time.

-- Theresa,

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3170 days

#6 posted 10-12-2010 08:16 AM

You really did a nice job with this. I made one for my nephew, and one for my wife’s grandson. They are the perfect gifts !

Love the carving, too.

I love his expression, the second picture.

That look, to me, says “Am I going to be a Delta guy or a Powermatic guy ?”

Either way …. ;-)

-- -- Neil

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3085 days

#7 posted 10-12-2010 10:42 AM

You got a really lucky nephew.
Best thoughts,

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

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2834 days

#8 posted 10-12-2010 01:28 PM

Kids love to see their names in print. What a wonderful gift that will be treasured for a lifetime!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View truxton3's profile


9 posts in 2784 days

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

Very good job on the tool tote. The proportions are just right for his size and the construction is well designed. The carving gives it the custom hand crafted look. Great gift idea.

View swirt's profile


2733 posts in 2968 days

#10 posted 10-12-2010 04:54 PM

A great little box and a good story of a lastminute rush …. seems like most of my projects end up that way. Nice job on the carving.

-- Galootish log blog,

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