Tool Tote for my Neighbor

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Project by bobasaurus posted 12-21-2013 09:56 PM 4663 views 35 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this tool tote as a gift for my neighbor who helps me work on my car. He is a great car mechanic and I thought he could use some nice tool storage. The woods are walnut, cottonwood, red oak, and beech (on the runners). The walnut and cottonwood belonged to a woodworking friend of mine that passed away, so I like to think I’m continuing his legacy a little. I hand cut the dovetails and through-mortises, and did a lot of hand planing for dimensioning/trimming/smoothing.

The handle is slightly curved to make it feel nice in the hand and give more tool clearance in the center. I made it from two laminated pieces for added strength, and the tenons have small bloodwood wedges to keep them locked into the mortises.

I also made a sliding tray to keep smaller tools handy, which is removable to use as a mini-tote.

The design is roughly based on a ridiculously-fine tool tote made by jakub76 . I directly copied the idea of inlaying cross-grain wood near the handle for extra strength… should keep the wood from splitting under heavy loads.

I finished everything first with 1# cut amber dewaxed shellac to seal the grain (the cottonwood was especially soft and porous, so it needed it), then waterlox original to bring out the grain, followed by “helmsman” satin spar urethane for durability. Finally, I applied some renaissance wax to even-out the luster.

This is my favorite picture from the build, using my Lie-Nielsen no. 4 with 50 degree frog to smooth a side panel:

Here is a full set of build pictures for anyone interested:

-- Allen, Colorado

25 comments so far

View Marcus's profile


1088 posts in 841 days

#1 posted 12-21-2013 11:17 PM

Wow, I hope your neighbor realizes how nice of a tool box that is. If he does, I hope he still uses the heck out of it, because it looks like its built to last a lifetime.

View redmen's profile


39 posts in 849 days

#2 posted 12-21-2013 11:47 PM

Wow, that will be appreciated!

View hoss12992's profile


3068 posts in 714 days

#3 posted 12-21-2013 11:52 PM

Great job. I really like the subtle curved handle, dove tails and the contrasting of the woods. The craftsmanship are def top notch.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View exelectrician's profile


1907 posts in 1248 days

#4 posted 12-22-2013 12:57 AM

Super nice job – WOW

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Woodenwizard's profile


1124 posts in 1876 days

#5 posted 12-22-2013 02:23 AM

You always do a great job. A great gift that I am sure will be appreciated for years to come. Almost makes me want to move in next door. :)

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View bobasaurus's profile (online now)


1566 posts in 2005 days

#6 posted 12-22-2013 02:53 AM

Thanks for the kind comments. I gave it to him today and he seemed excited. Hopefully it won’t get too covered in grease / car fluids. Now I need to get back to making a few last-minute Christmas gifts.

-- Allen, Colorado

View kdc68's profile


2249 posts in 1098 days

#7 posted 12-22-2013 03:16 AM

That sir is a show piece ! Well done…

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1418 posts in 1326 days

#8 posted 12-22-2013 03:17 AM

Whoa,! That is some fine woodworking! Nicely done sir!


View lepelerin's profile


359 posts in 1146 days

#9 posted 12-22-2013 04:15 AM

very nicely done. It give me idea to make one for my nephew who start to really like tools.

View tomd's profile


1832 posts in 2591 days

#10 posted 12-22-2013 04:49 AM

Beautiful tote, I wished I lived next to you. Excellent workmanship and attention to details, love it.

-- Tom D

View majuvla's profile


4376 posts in 1688 days

#11 posted 12-22-2013 07:01 AM

Beautiful work!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View aussiedave's profile


3046 posts in 645 days

#12 posted 12-22-2013 10:47 AM

Excellent looking tool tote, beautiful wood and joinery… looks too good to use….great job.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View SteveGaskins's profile


337 posts in 1408 days

#13 posted 12-22-2013 01:20 PM

Absolutely stunning. What a great build with excellent craftsmanship. Added to favorites. Thanks for posting.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View flossy's profile


94 posts in 1192 days

#14 posted 12-22-2013 02:50 PM

Beautiful work.

View ChuckC's profile


781 posts in 1756 days

#15 posted 12-22-2013 03:29 PM

I love it. It’s an awesome looking tote!
How do you like the LN #4 smoother? It’s on my short list.

showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

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