Scrap wood tool tray

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Project by psolver1 posted 07-09-2008 03:59 AM 5289 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My goal with this tray was to do dovetails the Hans way, which is to “Just cut, no need to measure”. So I cranked out this tray in a Saturday morning out of scrap mahogony that was a brace from a boat we had just finished. So I marked the depth of the cuts, cut the pins, scribed the cuts on the tails side by holding them together, and “vioala” the tray sides were done. Well actually I cut the first set of tails backwards, which shortened my box by an inch and a quarter, but the second set came out nicely. Not having enough scrap plywood around for a one piece bottom, I cut a dovetail in the bottom of the rabbet grove and made a center stringer. There is a rabbet grove for the handle in both end pieces of the box, so there are no fasteners or glue in the whole tray. I did however pin the dovetails with a dowel to keep any tools from inadvertently spreading the dovetails and causing a catastrophic failure of tooltray. I then finished it with boat sauce for longevity and it is ready for use.

-- "No need to measure, just cut" Hans

17 comments so far

View lew's profile


10632 posts in 2799 days

#1 posted 07-09-2008 04:51 AM



-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View SwedishIron's profile


142 posts in 2684 days

#2 posted 07-09-2008 04:57 AM

Great piece and I really like the simple design, especially the handle. Excellent use of scrap mahogany. :)

-- Scott, Colorado

View scopemonkey's profile


184 posts in 3207 days

#3 posted 07-09-2008 05:40 AM

Simple, Elegant, and well done. Semper Fi!

-- GSY from N. Idaho

View Dusty56's profile


11777 posts in 2732 days

#4 posted 07-09-2008 07:05 AM

very nice design

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Napaman's profile


5435 posts in 3121 days

#5 posted 07-09-2008 07:09 AM

HEY…welcom to LJ’s…as a newer member you may not know there is a contest on RIGHT NOW…called the Summer Awards” (link top right of screen) of the contest is for a serving tray…and what better to serve in the summer than tools!!!

great project…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 2747 days

#6 posted 07-09-2008 10:40 AM

Nice idea!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Sac's profile


268 posts in 2677 days

#7 posted 07-09-2008 12:36 PM

Nice idea. Good work. I’ve never heard of boat sauce before. I’ll have to look into that.

-- Jerry

View sharad's profile


1102 posts in 2848 days

#8 posted 07-09-2008 03:57 PM

Very elegant tray for holding a few tools. Joinery is very unique.

-- “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 Garyb6's profile


306 posts in 2674 days

#9 posted 07-09-2008 10:37 PM

Another reason not to throw away scraps of wood! Good job!!

-- Garyb6, “True simplicity does not reveal the tremendous effort it requires.” - Somerset Maugham

View BobR's profile


136 posts in 3028 days

#10 posted 07-10-2008 12:59 AM

Nice tray – well done. Your scraps are better than my scraps.

-- Bob

View Scotach's profile


72 posts in 2663 days

#11 posted 07-10-2008 04:36 AM

That is a fantastic tool tray…you beat me to the freebies again!

-- Brian S. --- "If you’ve worked on the building of a boat, it belongs to you the rest of your life." -Bob Prothero

View RChadwick's profile


2 posts in 2651 days

#12 posted 07-10-2008 05:50 AM

Looks great, now you just need a matching tool box :)

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 3136 days

#13 posted 07-10-2008 05:53 AM

I love pieces like this. Great job.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View beaudex's profile


64 posts in 2682 days

#14 posted 07-10-2008 12:32 PM

Excellent work, Love the pins.

-- Derek Tay, Venerate the Tree Design

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 2866 days

#15 posted 07-10-2008 04:04 PM

I like the design and the sheer honesty you employed here. Not many of us will go to this extent to share a wood journey. Thanks.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

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