Construction Procedures

Lay out the tools to establish the configuration of the box. Then make a full-size drawing (see pp. 72-75), make up a cut list and gather the materials you will need. Cut the plywood parts to size and lay out and drill the holes for the swing arms and the swing-arm pivot bolts, as shown in the drawing on p. 142. Also drill for the pivot bolt and the stop dowel for the swing-down handle. Dado the sides and ends for the bottom panel, then glue and screw these components to the four pine corner...

Gang Lock Mechanism

Brass Round Head Lock Pin

Push down on arm to engage screws in lock plates on back of drawers. Spring-loaded pin (locks bar in down position) Locking plate of brass bar stock, notched for screw on brass arm Push down on arm to engage screws in lock plates on back of drawers. Spring-loaded pin (locks bar in down position) spring-loaded pin at the top of the arm to hold the arm in the locked position (see the drawing above left). When you pull back this pin (which can, of course, be accessed only from inside the box), a...

Toolbox with a Piggyback Workbench

Like Bill Baird, boatbuildcr Michael Hayes of Huntington Beach, California, wanted to build a rolling toolbox that could double as a workbench. Unlike Baird, however, I laves wanted his toolbox and bench to be independent of one another. But to keep the unit as compact as possible, he also wanted them to roll to the site on one set of wheels. His solution, as you can see in the photo at left, was to make the tool chest nest under the lift-up bench. So the chest and bench could work in...

Greg Radleys Standing Cabinet

Upper cabinet 353 4 in. by 12 in. by 48 in. Lower cabinet 3074 in. by 11 Va in. by 31yh in. Adjustable shelf holes drilled 1 in. on center into sides Adjustable shelf holes drilled 1 in. on center into sides Upper cabinet 353 4 in. by 12 in. by 48 in. Lower cabinet 3074 in. by 11 Va in. by 31yh in. DESIGN NOTES Radley built the cabinet out of Honduras mahogany, ash, and curly and stained ash veneers. 1 le determined the overall width of the cabinet by the size of the pieces of veneer he had,...

Toolboxes And The Building Of A Nation

Woodworking Tools Used The Late 1800s

In the early 1600s, English adventurers and would-be colonists sailed into the Chesapeake Bay area of the New World to settle what would soon become Jamestown, Virginia. Even during the earliest landings, it's a good bet that wooden boxes full of building tools were among the first items to be set down upon these fresh, exciting shores. (We know from the ship's manifests of some of these early voyages that tool boxes were listed as cargo.) With the tools carried within these boxes, the settlers...

The Rolling Boxes of Louis Plourd

Contractor Louis Plourd, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has a philosophy a place for everything and everything in its box. Living and working in a rugged climate, Plourd has learned the hard way Plourd's table-saw box nearly encloses the machine. Photo by Forfar Products. that construction tools last longest when provided with a secure, weathertight home. That's why, over the years, he has built a box of some kind for nearly every construction tool he owns. Plourd carries these boxes and...

Plan View

With a dry-fit test of all the components, Freund then glued and clamped the assembly together. With the box assembled, Freund continued to build and fit the drawers, tool racks, and ledges. Finally, he slid the handle through the mortises, locking it in place with wedges. Uncomfortable with pole-handled totes and wanting to eliminate weight and impediments to accessibility, remodeler Doug Warren designed his tool tote to be carried in both hands (left). The notched holes for some of the...

Doors that Disappear

Thetford Center

Tambour slides behind These techniques can also be used to a false back. hide doors on the sides of the cabinet. This bow-front wall-hung tool cabinet, designed and built by Garrett Hack, of Thetford Center. Vt makes excellent use of space. Small items are in drawers at the middle of the cabinet molding planes fill the lowermost bin. where their profiles are clearly in view and handled tools are near the top of the cabinet on pegs or ledges. Photo by Vincent Laurence.

Drawer Detail

Stepped dado for runners of nesting tote Overall dimensions 10 in. wide. 13 in. high, 18 in. long Nesting tote of Yn'n. birch plywood (doubles as a lid) Nesting tote of Yn'n. birch plywood (doubles as a lid) Overall dimensions 10 in. wide. 13 in. high, 18 in. long Exposed edges of plywood are covered with oak veneer. Stepped dado for runners of nesting tote

United Patternmakers Association Tool Chest

Victorious Sleepover Sikowitz Jade

To reach Well B, two motions are required sliding over the shelf and then reaching in. To reach Well C, either lift out or slide out saw till. While we know quite a bit about how cabinetmaker's chests were built, we know very little about how they were used on a daily basis. To a modern woodworker (myself included), the chests look clunky. Having to crouch down and grope about in a deep, dark box, sliding the tills and drawers to and fro to get at a single tool, seems awkward and...

From Hand Tote to Rolling Chest

While making the transition from hobbyist woodworker to full-time commercial furniture maker, Eric Smith, of Sacramento, California, set out to create a small, simple, one-hand tote for a selection of hand tools. Two hundred hours later, an impressive case built from Honduras mahogany and trimmed in pao ferro (see the photo above right) emerged from Smith's workshop. Instead of the simple hand tote, Smith now has a 40-in. high by 30-in. wide by 19-in. deep rolling case that stylishly and...

Chaptf Rsix

Swing-out doors and a lift-up top lid. To avoid creating difficult-to-reach storage areas near floor level, while at the same time bringing the rest of the case to a comfortable working height, Powell decided to support the case on a simple, open-base frame. Now, years later and many thousands of miles away from Barnsley's shop, Powell still works daily out of this standing toolbox. Created in a place and time where the traditional cabinetmaker's chest reigned supreme, his standing cabinet has...

Building a Tackle Box Tool Tote

When Wayne Law, of Canton, New York, set out to make an open shoulder tote to carry a selection of hand tools and small fittings for electrical work around the shop, his goal was to create a no-rummage toolbox. It would be a challenge Law wanted the box to be as small as practical, yet contain plenty of compartments. Tired of searching through catch-all bins of small parts, he knew that the more he could compartmentalize the design, the happier he would be with the result. The finished toolbox...

Cabinet that Departs from Tradition

Several decades ago, furniture maker David Powell, now of Easthampton, Massachusetts, went to work in the renowned workshops of Edward Barnsley in Froxfield, England. Surrounded by master woodworkers who had learned and refined their skills in the Arts and Crafts era that flowered in the early years of this century, Powell received a rich, inspiring education that left him with a lifelong dedication to fine woodworking. Yet when it came time for him to build a chest for his hand tools, he...

Tote Baskets and Rigging Buckets

Turks Head Knot And Tools

When you conjure up images of old-time cabinetmakers or joiners trundling about with their tools, you most likely think of them as carrying a heavy wooden chest or a handled open box. But this was not always the case. There is much evidence that these tradesmen often used soft, bag-like baskets when transporting tools to a job site much like the carry bags of contemporary plumbers . In fact, it's likely that many, if not most, itinerant woodworkers carried their complete tool collections in a...

The Design Process

David Powell Tool Chest

After you've decided on the type of toolbox that would best suit your specific needs and shop situation, begin the design process by thinking about the work you will be doing in proximity to the proposed storage unit. This will tell you what tools you probably should store there. Now make a list of the tools that seem most appropriate to store in the unit. Consider that some tools may not store well bulky and heavy power tools like plunge routers or circular saws in a wall-hung cabinet for...

Side View

Note Latch is tapered so it clears front edge of mortise when lid is lifted. MAKING AN ALL-WOOD, F U L L - E X T E N S I O N SLIDE All-wood slides allow the drawers to extend fully for full access. Photo by Charley Robinson. drawing of the side of the toolbox and the drawers. Also draw front views to determine the layout of the sliding dovetails and the grooves. Draw in the parts of the extension system, including the runner which is fixed to the case side , the slider which runs between the...

Tall Tote for a Boat

Rather than designing around a long, horizontal box enclosure, as remodelers Freund and Warren did, yacht carpenter Bill Slaby, of Hazel Park, Michigan, took an entirely different tack with the open shoulder tote he built for carrying hand tools to the boatyard. Slaby configured the storage systems of his tote as tall, exposed, vertical surfaces. Though it can't carry as much as a typical open shoulder tote of the same volume, the box offers vertical storage that is easy to Yacht carpenter Bill...

Building a Standing Cabinet

Greg Radley Tool Cabinet

When Greg Radlev, of Ventura, California, set out to design a tool cabinet for his shop, he did not worry about portability he had no intention of ever moving this particular toolbox. Instead of designing for versatility and mobility, Radley's challenge was to create a box of a reasonable size that would not only hold his large collection of tools, but would hold them in a way that allowed those most commonly used to be visible and easily accessible. In addition to his hand tools, Radley also...

Two Tiered Totes

Organ repairman Ray Prince, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has come up with an entirely different breed of tote. Rather than building a box that had to be accessed through the opening of a lid, Prince created a tote that is literally all lids. This arrangement is exceptionally efficient for getting at every tool contained within. When Prince fans out the tiers on a waist-height workbench or on a piece of plywood laid across a pair of sawhorses , the accessibility to his tools is similar to that...

Procedures

Coopered Lid Tool Box

I decided on the overall size of my box by laying out the tools I wanted it to contain and gauging the amount of space they would need. Then I made up a drawing in this case the box is so simple I needed only to draw a rough sketch and a full-size end view. This view gave me the pattern for the end pieces of the box and the profile of the lift-out lid. I chose to make my box from cherry a larger box should probably use a less heavy wood. The fixed side segments, the fold-out lid segments and...

Shim And Plywood Blocking

The shim box see the photo at right contains a selection of shim materials used specifically in the hanging of entry and interior doors. The front two compartments contain plywood blocking squares while the two in back hold tapered shim stock. The comfortable carry handle is shaped from walnut, and the side compartment holds the long pneumatic nails used for setting the door jambs to the studs through the shims or blocking. The power-tool tote carries a router, an edge planer and a jigsaw. The...

Info

Cabinet for shaper bits, wrenches and arbors Wall cabinet for drill bits and drill-press sanding wrenches, Allen wrenches for fine-tuning the rip fence, a push stick, clamps for the featherboard, and extra saw-kerf inserts. Plenty of space is left over for a removable sawdust bin, as well as cabinet space for storing other tools that find use in that general area of the shop. It's impossible to appreciate how much time and effort these station boxes will save you until you've worked with them....

Remodelers Pine Tote

Half Mortise Drawer Lock

Stephen Freund, a remodeling and architectural woodworking contractor in I .agun a Hills, California, explains why he took the time to build his open shoulder tote It doesn't do you any good to have a collection of quality tools if you don't know where they are. While this statement may ring true for most woodworkers, it is doubly significant for those who spend most of their time out on a job site, where, finding tools quickly is critical for making the most of each day. I laving a spot to put...

Canvas Tool Rolls

To contain smaller tools such as chisels, j files and drill hits, Inger Olsen also made some canvas tool rolls. A tool rool protects the tools in transport while offering easy access, especially if you hang the roll up on a wall. And compared to the rigger's bags, tool rolls are also quite easy to make. Olsen starts her tool rolls by sizing a Mylar or paper pattern to the particular I tools, then cutting the fabric to size. To I keep the roll from getting too bulky when rolled up, she generally...

Canvas Tool Tote

Inger Olsen, an awning-and sail-maker in Port Townsend, Washington, has made her share of rigging buckets over the years. So when her husband, Sean, needed a tote to carry his tools down to their sailboat in the marina, she naturally thought of making the tote from canvas. Because the tote would not be used much for working aloft and because she wanted to provide plenty of room for a wide assortment of tools, Olsen decided to give the tote more of a box shape than a cylindrical one. A box shape...

Building a Tote with a Coopered

Mark Ncls, of Atlanta, Georgia, the maker of the handsome, coopered-lid tote shown in the photos on the facing page, makes his living installing commercial high-end architectural woodwork. Nels decided he needed a new box for his hand tools on the day he realized that either his long-time toolbox was getting larger and heavier or he was getting decidedly less enthusiastic about lugging it around. Also, he noticed that his tools had been changing over the years His big Yankee screwdriver and...

Tote with Double

Woodworking Toolchests Images

Optional drawers push open to either side. Tools hang on either side of vertical partition. Vertical center partition extends to floor of case if drawers are built on either side. Drawers at base of tote can be made to full width of tote they then open to one side or push open to either side. shortcoming might be durability. A fabric wrapping, even of tough sailcloth, could not offer the same protection against impact or abrasion as a wooden box. Thus was borne out of the mind of Africa this...

Open Shoulder Totes

Carpenter Tool Tote

You can plan to carry a group of tools weighing less than about 50 lb. in a single-hand tote as long as you keep the shape of the box relatively narrow see p. 134 . The simplest, and probably the most efficient, design is the open shoulder tote see the photo above . Here most of the tools even bulky ones are visible and instantly accessible, even when the box is surrounded by other equipment. This accessibility, of course. has its price The contents are not particularly well protected from...

Cross Section

The upper skirt board served two functions. First, it helped to lock the open top of the case together and to keep it from racking. And second, the skirt, in conjunction with a strip of wood run around the underside of the lid, formed an effective dust shield. An interesting variation of a top skirting along the hinge side of a box is shown in the bottom drawing on the facing page. Seen occasionally in English chests including the well-known Dowling chest , the top edge of the skirt has been...

The Partition Wall

Cargo Van Partition Wall

Separating the driver's compartment from the cargo area is a set of modular shelving units filled from top to bottom with solid-oak finger-jointed storage bins. On the oak lipping that prevents the bins from sliding out, brass labels identify the contents of each bin. Though securely anchored to the f ramework of the van's the modules can be I from the van for ease of initial i and to allow eventual gt n or repair work. Handled with commonly used i and assembly screws are lor. the lowest shelf...

Building a Lidded Tool Roll

Building Woodworkers Tool Chest

When boat builder and rigger Kit Africa, of Port Townsend, Washington, decided to create a lidded tote for his rigging and ship's carpentry tools, he set specific goals The box had to be strong, durable and commodious, and hold his tools readily accessible. Yet, to be accommodated aboard ship, it also had to fit into the smallest possible space. While mulling over and rejecting many typical lidded-tote designs, Africa realized that certain features of the canvas tool roll, which is most...

Toolbox that Commutes to the City

For many years, Rodger Reid, of New Preston, Connecticut, worked in the high-end custom cabinet and remodeling business in New York City. As you can imagine, he spent a lot of time and effort carrying his gear from his parked truck into apartment buildings and up elevators. Realizing that a dolly to carry his tools would make life much easier, Reid built a standing toolbox with a built-in dolly system comprised of two 12-in. pneumatic wheels mounted in a well located at the bottom back corner...

Wall Cabinets

.A side from practical considerations, there is historical precedent for wall-hung tool cabinets. By the turn of this century, some woodworkers had given up the traditional cabinetmaker's tool chest in favor of tool storage on the wall. These boxes are generally tall and shallow a practical shape for a toolbox that is to be hung on a shop wall. The demand for wall-hung cabinets in the early 1900s was apparently great enough to inspire a number of commercial toolbox makers such as W. Marplcs amp...

Storage Walls on the Sides of the

Cordless Drill Storage Shelf

Most of the dual-purpose totes are stored on shelving installed on the driver's side of the van. All the totes but one arc secured with a loop of bungee cord running between an eye in the van's wall and around a cleat mounted beneath the floor of the tote. Hillenburg installed a second cleat opposite the first on the underside of the tote. This gives him a tie-down point for the bungee cord no matter which way the tote faces when set onto its storage shelf. Another neat trick for the sake of...

Design Notes

As I developed the concept of my mobile tool cart, I incorporated a number of features that would add stability and durability to the design. Safety was also a concern. For a dimensioned drawing of my cart, seep. 116. Case and face frame The back, floor, and sides of the case arc of 3 -in. maple plywood joined together with biscuits. I chose this material for its dimensional stability, relatively low cost and ease of milling. Biscuit joinery is quick and easy to execute yet also strong. To...

Detail From Dowling Chest

Dowling Joint

Case side, they were secured a second time along their edges with nails through the skirting boards. These skirting boards were made from clear lengths of hardwood usually oak , and were generally joined at the corners with dovetails. In some instances, as in the photo above, the pins were oriented opposite to those on the case, ensuring that the case joints, should they loosen, would be locked in place by the skirting joints. The bottom skirting not only helped support the floor boards of the...

Unusual Drawers

Wooden Carpenter Chest

This chest was built by Duncan Phyfe, one of this country's premier cabinetmakers, in the early 1800s. The chest, of pine with interior fittings faced in Santo Domingo mahogany, features a large sliding till containing 16 finely dovetailed drawers. Note the saw till mounted under the lid. an unusual feature for American-built chests. Built by a ship's carpenter in the middle of the 19th century, this chest is unusual in that Ihe saw till acts as a second lid. Though this arrangement adds...

Lidded Totes

Over the years, countless carpenters and other tradespeople have gotten along just fine with the traditional open shoulder totes featured in Chapter 9. So why build a lid, which adds complexity, not to mention extra weight Perhaps the most important reason is security A lid keeps the tools out of sight and out of the minds of co-workers who borrow tools. They don't steal them, of course, but they don't put them back where you expect to find them, either. It also protects the tools from dust and...

Student Toolchest Project

Building Hidden Compartment Furniture

We n the students of the cabinet and furniture-making program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Massachusetts, have completed their six-week introduction to the fundamentals of drafting and benchwork, they are given the opportunity to embark upon their first start-to-finish project the building of a tool chest. At the outset of the project, the students are given five parameters to guide the building of their chests. The outside dimensions of the case must be 17 in. high by 33 in....

Toolbox For The Road

Van Tool Storage

AA hen cabinetmaker Jerry Hillenburg, of Martinsville, Indiana, set out to make a toolbox to carry his tools and supplies to the job site, he didn't fool around. Instead, he built the utimate rolling tool tote one with a motor in it. Hillenburg's tool box is a 1992 3 i-ton Ford van carefully fitted out to hold an astonishing array of tools, totes and accessories everything, in fact, that Hillenburg's four-man crew needs to run architectural moldings, hang doors and install his custom cabinets...

Making Finger Joints On A Table

Table Saw Dovetail Jig

Begin by carefully preparing the stock to be finger-joined. The pieces should be of exactly the same thickness and width or the joints will not come out even. Make extra pieces to be used as scrap stock for setting up the jig. As an aesthetic rule of thumb and to make setup a bit easier , plan to make the width of the finger joints equal to the thickness of the stock. After cutting the stock to length I usually make the parts exactly ' i6 in. oversize so 1 can later trim the ' 32-in. protruding...

Toolbox Contributors

Baird, Joe Barbeau, Peter Bartell, David Bevan, Santord Buchalter, Peter Cabot, William Clayton, Martha Collins, James Doiron, Eric Englander, Reinhold Faeth, J. Fischer, Linden Frederick, Stephen Freund, Garrett Hack, Judith Hanson, Jerry Hillenburg, Todd Hobday, Kevin Ireton, Tim Kimack, Tony Konovaloff, Steve Johnson, Leonard Langevin, Tom Inger Olsen, Jeff Olson, Sean O'Rourke, i. Francis Pfrank, Charles Piatt, Louis r iarold Purcell, Greg Radley, Andy Rae, Robinson, Ellis Rowe, David...

Traditionalstyle Tool Chests

Tool Chest With Till

If you arc an ardent collector of hand woodworking tools, you probably already keep them in a traditional tool chest. If not, finding one is likely high up on your wish list. Unfortunately, chests in good condition and of an efficient design are not only hard to come by but expensive, too. But instead of discouraging you, let me offer a few words of encouragement Building a traditional tool chest, while certainly time-consuming, is not that difficult an undertaking. Unless you intend to do...

Making A Frenchfitted Compartment

Patternmakers Toolchest

Cradling your tools in a French-fitted drawer or tray is an excellent way to show your love for them. The close-fitting compartments keep the tools from rolling about and damaging themselves and their neighbors. Even if the drawer s knocked about or tilted almost on end, the tools will stay safely in place. Best of all, French-fitting is not all that mysterious or hard to do. Begin by cutting the tool board to size from a piece of clear 3 i-in. thick wood or hardwood plywood. In most cases, the...

Standing Cabinet for Shop and Site

Standing Woodworking Tool Cabinet

If the type of woodworking you do demands that you be versatile perhaps you spend half your time building fine furniture in your shop and the other half installing doors and trim in new homes , then you may want to design your primary tool-storage system to be versatile as well. When Sheldon Perry, of Tamworth, New Hampshire, set out to build himself a toolbox, he was in just this situation. Appreciating the ease of access and voluminous storage area a standing cabinet would provide his shop,...

Standing Tool Cabinets

Standing Tool Cabinet

The standing chest is one of the most efficient and some would say most attractive ways to store a collection of hand tools. It is not, however, necessarily everybody's best solution. A standing tool cabinet, though relatively narrow, still demands a chunk of floor space usually at the juncture of the floor and the wall. In a small shop, this is a particularly valuable area, as it is one of the few places where parts can be collated and stacked out of the way, or where clamped assemblies can be...

Interior Layout

Laying out the interior of a wall cabinet presents some challenges not encountered when designing a tool chest that sits on the floor. Because the wall cabinet is generally hung with its lowest point at chest height either to fit over a bench or to make the most of the available space beneath it , you must carefully consider the weight of each tool you plan to keep there. Because your larger back muscles can't provide much support to your arms at chest height and above, it isn't comfortable or...

Frances Diemoz Design

Joe Barbeau used a drop lid to add a touch of beauty and craft to his project, shown above and at right. The triptych of Americana was painted using artist's acrylics for the panels and a modern oil stain to color the rest of the chest. On Jane Swanson's tool chest above , the drop lid is embellished with an inlaid floral design. -obday was one of the few students i decided to use the top of the chest as a 1c-5 design solution that maximizes the it of usable space within the limited iters of...

Tool and Die Cart

When Steve Johnson, of Washington Court House, Ohio, decided to replace his old and rickety commercially made mechanic's cart, he had a long list of design criteria in hand. Johnson, a professional tool and die maker, wanted the cart to have a full bank of smooth-running, full-extension drawers. These drawers would need interior partitions to encourage organization, a locking system that was easy to operate, and no protruding pull hardware at least below the height of 30 in. . To contain his...

Building a Punch List Carpenters Toolbox

Carpenter Toolbox

For carpenter Kevin Skurpski, of East Syracuse, New York, the last straw came the day he had to park his truck several blocks away from the job site. This was the day that it took him seven trips from the truck to the site to assemble everything he needed to take care of his general contractor's punch list. Then his cordless drill ran out of juice, and he realized that even after seven trips his charger was still behind the truck's front seat. The time to build a wheeled toolbox that could...

Building an Arts and Crafts Tote

Dovetail Tool Tote

As you can see in the photo on p. 150, the two open shoulder totes build by furniture designer and builder David Sellery, of Santa Cruz, California, are extraordinary. The lighter-colored one, which contains saws, hand planes and a When the nesting tote is slid over and removed, Tetsuo Shibata's toolbox transforms from a lidded tote to an open shou der tote. Photos by Tetsuo Shibata. When the nesting tote is slid over and removed, Tetsuo Shibata's toolbox transforms from a lidded tote to an...

Building a Wall Hung Tool Cabinet

Wall Hung Tool Cabinets

When I sat down to design a wall-hung tool cabinet, my intent was to create a box that would contain an ample selection of hand tools for both layout and joinery-enough to allow me to do most of my typical work without having to look elsewhere for a tool. I planned to locate these tools as close as possible to my work area at the vise end of my workbench, where they would be accessible, yet out of my way. As it turned out, this cabinet was an ideal solution. Because the tool-laden door swings...

Making An Integral Finger Pull

Dccidc on the width and length of the finger pull tor the drawer faces and then Lay it out in the center of a 6-in. wide by 16-in. long scrap void-free ' 2-in. plywood, which will become a template. 11 holes at both ends of the II slot, and then carefully between the holes with a w. While you can use Files straighten up the saw cuts, I it faster to use a router. I the router with 3 pattern-wing bit, clamp a board a perfectly straight edge ig the cut line I cut to lin W in. of this line with...