Hand Tool Bug Out Box

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Project by rustythebailiff posted 01-13-2014 03:13 AM 2127 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Started this project last August with a small stack of rough cut cypress. Now, just over 6 months later, a finished chest to hold all my tools. I made this primarily with the idea of being able to keep all of my hand tools in one place in case we had to evacuate. Just grab the tools, the cats, and the wife, and away we go.

Most of the work was done with hand tools. I planed the cypress boards to get one flat side and a square edge. I used a thickness planer and table saw to finish the other side/edge. I am not good enough at thicknessing by hand yet to risk wasting wood on mistakes! Aside from long rips on the table saw, all else was hand work. Along with the cypress a fair amount of pine went into the construction.

The box was made with 40 hand cut dovetails, each one a bit better than the one before it. Definitely a learning experience, one requiring no small amount of wood putty. But, by the end, I was cutting the dovetails in the 1/4 inch thick boards for the tills with no problems. Practice makes perfect! The bottom is tongue and grooved using my wooden planes, and attached with hand cut nails. The bottom moulding is cleated to support the bottom as well.

Each saw and plane has a nook and cranny to fit into, and the two tills hold all my odds and ends. All that is needed is a pair of iron handles, a nice pair from Van Dyke’s Restorers.

Finished it off with two coats of milk paint and water based poly. The logo on the lid I hand painted, it’s my Chinese astrological sign, the rat on the beam.

-- "Necessity is the mother of invention"

11 comments so far

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 1859 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 04:56 AM

Very nice work. Definitely a lot of dovetails there. I like your priority of what to grab in an evacuation too. lol

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View theoldfart's profile


7936 posts in 1873 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 12:38 PM

Rusty, a fine job on the chest and welcome to the club.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View MichaelT77's profile


115 posts in 1534 days

#3 posted 01-13-2014 12:53 PM

Very nice job. I especially appreciate the hand cut dovetails.

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

View 489tad's profile


3084 posts in 2433 days

#4 posted 01-13-2014 01:51 PM

The chest looks great.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 2462 days

#5 posted 01-13-2014 02:38 PM

Looks Nice

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View helluvawreck's profile


22687 posts in 2288 days

#6 posted 01-13-2014 02:40 PM

You did a fine job on this tool chest and it will be a great addition to your shop.

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 jim65's profile


800 posts in 1355 days

#7 posted 01-13-2014 05:36 PM

Great looking chest, I also like your priorities, first the tools, then the cat…

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View ChuckC's profile


821 posts in 2357 days

#8 posted 01-13-2014 10:52 PM

This is a great looking box. I love the priorities too. Replace cat with dog and you would have my list…

View Jerbone's profile


35 posts in 1345 days

#9 posted 01-14-2014 03:11 PM

“Just grab the tools, the cats, and the wife, and away we go.”

In that order? Love the chest, looks great, I can’t imagine making the 40 hand cut dovetails.

-- Joining two of my passions, beer and woodworking,

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1176 posts in 1532 days

#10 posted 01-14-2014 06:58 PM

Very nice!

Reminds me a lot of a Schwarz Anarchist’s Tool Chest…

View rustythebailiff's profile


93 posts in 1363 days

#11 posted 01-15-2014 01:30 AM

Life is all about priorities HA! Of course, I MUST save the wife. Where else would I find one who would put up with my silliness?

-- "Necessity is the mother of invention"

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