Remodelers Pine Tote

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 a tool when you're done with it is also essential, since a tool lost on a job site often sprouts legs and walks away. As they say in New England, "It turns up missing."

Freund approached the design with three important things in mind. First, he wanted the box to be long enough to hold his panel saws, yet not so long or wide that it wouldn't fit behind the seat of his pickup truck. Second, he wanted as many hand tools as possible to have a safe, yet visible (so he could see instantly ii they were missing) and easily accessible niche. Realizing that he would acquire new tools and replace others over time, he wanted some of the compartments and tool-holding strategies to be temporary, rather than fixed.

Finally, Freund wanted to be able to carry a multitude of small tools (such as drill and router bits) and accessories (such as stop collars, trammel points and tweezers). For these he designed three drawers to run along the base of the tote. Dividers within the drawers helped organize and protect the items. Lift-out divided trays sized to hold the smallest items maximized the holding capacity of one drawer. As it turned out, locating the set of drawers along the base lowered the tote's center of gravity, making the box easier to carry and more stable. Since a protruding drawer pull would most certainly catch on things, and a cut-out pull could allow small items to escape, Freund chose instead to use marine-type recessed ring pulls for handles (see the photo on the facing page).

Knowing that he was going to shoehorn many tools into this box (68 in all, as it turned out), Freund opted to build most of it from pine to keep the overall weight down. To make the box as durable as possible, he chose sturdy joints—routed blind dovetails, which are as attractive as they are strong. Several clients, hesitant to hire Freund because of his youth (he was 25 when he built this tote), were won over when they learned that he made this impressive toolbox from scratch.

Freund's major design concerns centered on size—the box had to hold panel saws and a 24-in. level, and it had to fit behind the seat of his pickup truck. After drawing out the final design in a scaled three-view drawing, Freund went on to make up the materials and cut lists.

After cutting the sides, ends, and floors to size, Freund used a dovetail template to rout the joints that would tie them together. (The dovetailed stiles between the drawers were cut by hand.) He then cut the dadoes in the sides and end boards to receive the interior floor, and cut the through mortises in the end pieces to accept the handle. Satisfied

Dovetailed Tool Tote

Divided drawers and lift-out troys organize items in a small space. Marine-type recessed ring pulls are used as handles. Photo by Alec Waters.

Divided drawers and lift-out troys organize items in a small space. Marine-type recessed ring pulls are used as handles. Photo by Alec Waters.

Half Mortise Drawer Lock

Reinforcement strap for carry bar

Slot for straightedge


Machine-cut half-blind dovetails

Drawer-lock turn button

Hand-dovetailed stiles

Miscellaneous tool compartments


Drill bits

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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