Hand Tool Bug Out Box

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Project by rustythebailiff posted 219 days ago 1182 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


1207 posts in 1061 days

#1 posted 219 days ago

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


4012 posts in 1075 days

#2 posted 219 days ago

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

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View MichaelT77's profile


111 posts in 737 days

#3 posted 219 days ago

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

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

View 489tad's profile


2275 posts in 1636 days

#4 posted 219 days ago

The chest looks great.

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

View DaddyZ's profile


2380 posts in 1665 days

#5 posted 219 days ago

Looks Nice

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

View helluvawreck's profile


15582 posts in 1491 days

#6 posted 219 days ago

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


355 posts in 558 days

#7 posted 219 days ago

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

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View ChuckC's profile


683 posts in 1559 days

#8 posted 218 days ago

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


29 posts in 547 days

#9 posted 218 days ago

“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.

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile


885 posts in 734 days

#10 posted 218 days ago

Very nice!

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

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View rustythebailiff's profile


88 posts in 566 days

#11 posted 217 days ago

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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