Simple Tool Tote

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Project by Douglas posted 04-21-2013 02:14 AM 4103 views 17 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I went into the shop today to start work on a kitchen table, and somehow, ended up with this. Sometimes I need to do a simple, little project, to “clear my palette” before starting something big.

I’d recently signed up for a one day hand tool woodworking class on dovetails, and we’re required to bring a few of our own tools; a spread of chisels, a dovetail saw, square, marking knife, awl, etc. as my tools never leave my shop (except when they get into my house for trim work), and I just didn’t like the idea of bringing them in a plastic tool box, cardboard box, or backpack.

I spied some nice clear pine scrap, a 3/8” cherry panel, and a 1” oak dowel, and came up with this. I added the sliding tray later, as it holds chisels and other handled tools well. It was all done with hand tools, except a couple of rips on my band saw. Finished with boiled linseed oil (old school!).

Overall, I’m pleased. Tomorrow I’ll start on the kitchen table.

-- Douglas in Chicago -, and

10 comments so far

View derosa's profile


1571 posts in 2436 days

#1 posted 04-21-2013 02:21 AM

Not bad but the pieces being screwed on after cutting the dovetails seems a little cheesy. Wouldn’t it have been better to have the dovetailed ends go taller to incorporate the handle vs screwing a piece on or were you just limited by the dimensions of scrap you had lying around? Like your dovetails though.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2255 days

#2 posted 04-21-2013 02:21 AM

^I am the same way, I often do several “mini Projects” as I progress with whatever large build I happen to be doing.

This is a very cool design, my favorite element is the cross dowel that keep the handle in place.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View whitebeast88's profile


4121 posts in 1791 days

#3 posted 04-21-2013 02:32 AM

great toolbox,i built a couple small tool boxes a few weeks back and enjoyed something fun and simple.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Douglas's profile


419 posts in 2161 days

#4 posted 04-21-2013 02:45 AM

Rev Russ—I actually thought about making the ends & handle a single piece, but I would have had to turn the board 90 degrees to have the grain right for the handle, and then it would have been wrong for the dovetails. I couldn’t have the grain right for both parts, so I went with this. Besides, I’d just seen an example built this way earlier in the week, and it stuck with me as a good solution. And sure, they’re screws, but I was all out of hand forged clinch nails :-p

-- Douglas in Chicago -, and

View Greg D's profile

Greg D

238 posts in 1552 days

#5 posted 04-21-2013 05:48 AM

Nice job!

-- Greg D, Cen. CA, "Keep it on the Level, Do it Right the First Time!"

View clieb91's profile


3516 posts in 3536 days

#6 posted 04-21-2013 11:49 AM

Real nice tote. I do like the design. I really do need to make one of these and get my house tools out of the plastic bucket. Also need one for work to keep some stuff in. Thanks for posting another idea.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Stephenw's profile


273 posts in 1986 days

#7 posted 04-21-2013 01:49 PM

Nicely done.

View dpow's profile


501 posts in 2445 days

#8 posted 04-21-2013 07:50 PM

Nice tote, screws and all. I especially like the sliding tray. Like you said….better than a plastic box. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1101 posts in 2575 days

#9 posted 04-22-2013 04:10 PM

Looks great.
I need to make something like this to tote around tools/drills/screws etc when fixing stuff around the yard
Thanks for inspiration

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View helluvawreck's profile


25234 posts in 2467 days

#10 posted 04-22-2013 05:05 PM

Totes like these are always very practical. Nice work.

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

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