Chisel Box

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Project by Eric posted 05-18-2008 09:55 AM 2650 views 4 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

With the box I recently made for my wife (my first real project), I felt like I had to agonize over every single little step. I needed something I could just “throw together” without worrying too much about how it looked. I just wanted to build something, and for it not to take months. Enter the chisel box.

A chisel box doesn’t have to look nice. It’ll rarely leave the shop. Nevertheless, I found myself caring a little too much about it, and had to keep reminding myself, “It’s only a chisel box” as the project went on and things kept going wrong. Here are the lessons I learned along the way:

  1. Use the pencil! If you notice in the pics, the halfway decent chisel (if I do say so myself) which I woodburned onto the front of my chisel box is actually on the back. Way to go, Eric, for botching which side you thought the front was when you woodburned it on! (The box was glued together and I hadn’t cut the lid off yet.) It’s only a chisel box.
  2. Use a flush-cut saw to do flush-cut work. I thought I’d glue the two end pieces on a bit too long and then cut them flush with my saw. Well you can see the graze marks on the back of the box where the set of my saw caught the box. It’s only a chisel box.
  3. Support plywood when screwing into it. I didn’t have a drill bit small enough, so I couldn’t pre-bore my holes for the screws (hinges and clasp). When I drove the screws in, it started ripping apart my cheap plywood. I had to glue and clamp it back together, further complicating a simple project. It’s only a chisel box.
  4. Don’t go all overkill with the nails. I didn’t know what length nails I’d need. I was afraid that butt-jointing plywood with tiny nails wouldn’t be strong enough, so I went with bigger nails. In a couple spots, I got too close to the edge of the plywood and it’s bulged out a little. Don’t ask me why I didn’t use screws. I don’t know. It’s only a chisel box.

All in all, I’m happy with it. It holds my chisels securely with a minimal amount of wood (important considering I have to lug them overseas and back). It looks okay. And I learned a lot even though it was a simple project.

-- Eric at

18 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3079 days

#1 posted 05-18-2008 10:28 AM

Pretty cool, Eric. It does the job!

I just have mine rolling around in a drawer.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3337 days

#2 posted 05-18-2008 12:15 PM

very good, that’ll keep em sharp. mike

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

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2764 days

#3 posted 05-18-2008 01:09 PM

Thats a very nice box, Eric.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2913 days

#4 posted 05-18-2008 01:33 PM


You did well on the construction of this box and I like the woodburning too. You just added a new skill to your ever growing list.

Very nice.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 2859 days

#5 posted 05-18-2008 02:34 PM

great job. thats a nice looking chisel box and it works great too. thanks for the post.

View Paul D's profile

Paul D

2130 posts in 2839 days

#6 posted 05-18-2008 03:01 PM

Eric here is a tip for you that I really should follow myself – Slow Down! Things tend to go sideways when I don’t think something through, label my pieces, etc. Your box looks fine and it’s a learning experience for you, after all, ”It’s only a chisel box.” Have fun Eric!

-- Paul D - Lawrenceville, Georgia

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 2906 days

#7 posted 05-18-2008 03:32 PM

The chisel is a fearsome instrument whose mastery comes only to those with the strength to persevere. The road to LJ nirvana is paved with many splinters. You sir have showed your mettle by taking the high road.

Use the pencil Luke.

Nice chisel box BTW ^o^

-- Scott - Chico California

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 3417 days

#8 posted 05-18-2008 04:27 PM

it accomplishes what you set out to do, that’s the important part.
and it was a learning experience!

View Blake's profile


3442 posts in 2965 days

#9 posted 05-18-2008 06:43 PM

This is a great little box. I like the chisel image. Maybe you should put another one on the front too?

-- Happy woodworking!

View sharad's profile


1102 posts in 2895 days

#10 posted 05-18-2008 07:10 PM

A very suitable box to protect your chisels. Experience has no substitute. Next time u will avoid all mistakes because next time it won’t be ”It’s only a chisel box.”

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Eric's profile


873 posts in 2874 days

#11 posted 05-19-2008 10:23 AM

Thanks guys! And Blake – that’s exactly what my son said. I’m halfway tempted to do it, but…

”It’s only a chisel box.”

Leaving it as is will be a stronger reminder to me to take my time with future projects!

-- Eric at

View PurpLev's profile


8522 posts in 2739 days

#12 posted 08-13-2008 04:24 AM

I dont understand what the big deal is all about – It’s only a chisel box :)

and a nice looking one! thanx for sharing

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View trucker12349's profile


92 posts in 2576 days

#13 posted 01-01-2009 06:12 PM

eric, that is a good idea, hope you don’t mind if I borrow it as I have to make a chisel storage box myself. We all learn from our mistakes we make when we rush. As long as we don’t repeat the mistakes all is well. If I worried about all the things I’ve done that haven’t turned out like I wanted them to I would be old and grey, I mean older and greyer, lol. I don’t let people get to me too often because I love myself and the heck with them.

View Karson's profile


34994 posts in 3491 days

#14 posted 01-01-2009 06:17 PM

Eric: I guess this is the infamous Chisel box of another post. I like it. Good job

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Eric's profile


873 posts in 2874 days

#15 posted 01-02-2009 01:21 AM

Thanks Trucker and Karson! Appreciate the words of encouragement.

-- Eric at

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