Roy Underhill Tool Tote

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Project by jasondain posted 04-25-2013 02:28 PM 12290 views 21 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been watching the Woodwrights shop as long as I can remember and have always been a fan. I thought it would be fun to try and make the tool tote Roy carries with him during the start of the show. This project interested me mostly because of the joinery and the fact that it is a fixture on the show. I think his on the show uses box joints but I wanted to try and do with dovetails. I did some research on line to determine the best way to layout and cut the dovetails and did a sample box with some 2x lumber to see how it would work. My sample went pretty well and decided to go ahead. I chose to use Douglas Fir for this project as it is similar in density to white pine but I like the grain a lot better. The ends and handle are 3/4” thick and the sides are finished at 3/8” resawn from a single piece of 4/4 stock. I’d have to say, clamping this sucker for glue-up was almost as challenging as making the dovetails as everything wanted to squirt out of the clamps and ended up making some angled cauls to help with the issue.

All in all, this was a fun project to build. Now that it is done, I’m not sure I’ll put any tools in it but it may end up as a display piece in my house!

29 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


8100 posts in 2485 days

#1 posted 04-25-2013 02:55 PM

Most excellent work jasondain!

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4167 posts in 2765 days

#2 posted 04-25-2013 03:19 PM

Jason use it enjoy it
A good tool tote says a lot about the owner

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


116912 posts in 3485 days

#3 posted 04-25-2013 03:36 PM

This tool tote looks great,nice work.

-- Custom furniture

View Dakkar's profile


321 posts in 1836 days

#4 posted 04-25-2013 03:55 PM

I like it, Jason. I won’t as if you did Underhill style with all hand tools. I see you’ve got a fair bit of motor power in the shop.

View helluvawreck's profile


30177 posts in 2775 days

#5 posted 04-25-2013 04:00 PM

I really do love totes like this. You did a fine job on it.

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 BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2393 days

#6 posted 04-25-2013 04:04 PM

Compound angles, yikes! Looks a bit tricky to me. You pulled it off quite well.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Ken90712's profile


17548 posts in 3097 days

#7 posted 04-25-2013 05:25 PM

I’d say you got that down! Great work, but your shop is way to clean. LOL very nice.

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

View bonobo's profile


297 posts in 1965 days

#8 posted 04-25-2013 07:03 PM

I’d love to see a blog tutorial or links to your research sources. That thing looks really sharp.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

View Béla's profile


24 posts in 1838 days

#9 posted 04-25-2013 08:35 PM

Very nice work. The fir was an excellent choice!

-- Béla, Memphis TN

View jdh122's profile


983 posts in 2726 days

#10 posted 04-25-2013 08:38 PM

Classic and classy. I don’t know if I’d tackle dovetails on an angled joint like that…

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View widdle's profile


2068 posts in 2907 days

#11 posted 04-25-2013 10:09 PM

Very cool…great tails…extra tough with fir…

View Pimzedd's profile


595 posts in 3712 days

#12 posted 04-25-2013 11:45 PM

Very nice. This would make a great blog.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2522 days

#13 posted 04-25-2013 11:57 PM

love it ,great job on the DTs

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View DouginVa's profile


490 posts in 2181 days

#14 posted 04-26-2013 02:14 AM

Looks great. I’ll be taking the “Compound Dovetail” class at this school in June. I hope to have a nice project like yours to take home at the end.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View djwong's profile


176 posts in 3128 days

#15 posted 04-26-2013 04:34 AM

Really well done dovetails in a difficult material. My practice dovetails in doug fir suck, due to the density differences between the early and late grain. I have only been successful when I apply oil the end grain to make the paring easier.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

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