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 of the box (see the photo on p. 178).

Building the box to move and operate in an upright position turned out to be a good decision. Reid could maneuver the box up tight stairways and into small elevators, and he didn't have to stoop down to get at most of his stored gear. When opened, the boxed-frame doors brought most of his commonly used saws and large layout tools into clear view and to hand height, while the many drawers offered easy access to a wide selection of smaller tools and supplies.

Because Reid most often worked on upscale projects, he felt that his box should represent the high-quality craftsmanship he was offering his clientele. Choosing honey locust for its rich golden hue and black walnut for its beautiful grain and contrasting color, Reid hand-dovetailed and through-mortised the case together. Not wanting to tack on metal hardware for the handles, he extended the side boards to form an integral pair of hand grips (see the drawing above left). To strengthen the handles and to prevent splitting, he made two saw kerfs across the end grain and inserted hardwood splines.

Long-grain splines run in saw kerfs.
Woodworking Tool Boxes

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Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

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