Building an Arts and Crafts 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

Hybrid Open Lidded Tote
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.

! set of chisels, is made from bird's-eye iple and bubinga. Koa is the primary aterial for the other tote, which holds a aming square, clamps and various hand >ls. This tote also features a drawer jnning the full length of the box. rimming with tools, an appealing ts and Crafts era design and fine >inery (note the meticulously executed jvetail, through-mortise-and-tenon, and bridle joints), these totes are works of art in themselves.

Where did the inspiration come from? In the words of the maker: "I decided to make these two toolboxes because I missed designing and building something with care—I missed handwork and unstained wood—and I missed being around work that I thought was beautiful. I was working as a finish carpenter at that time, and I longed for the work of a designer/craftsman of interiors and furniture—the job I had left behind in Los Angeles. I needed to make something I felt good about, and that I could take with me to those jobs that I didn't have much interest in. And I wanted to feel reconnected to why I had chosen to be a woodworker in the first place."

Despite their beauty and high level of craftsmanship, the boxes are very practical. Sellerv spent a lot of design time deciding how to fit as many tools as possible into the available space without reducing access or throwing the boxes

Dovetail Tool Tote

Furniture designer and builder David Sellery built these two open shoulder totes during a stint of finish carpentry work. Intricately crafted of hardwoods and nicely finished, the boxes remind him of the rewards of doing woodworking for the love of it. Photo by Dancing Man Imagery.

out of balance. He also wanted the overall shape and size of the totes to make them easy to transport and to hand-carry over a considerable distance. The boxes succeeded on both counts, They accompany Sellery to every job site-carrying the tools of his trade and symbolizing his love of woodworking.

Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

Have you ever wanted to begin woodworking at home? Woodworking can be a fun, yet dangerous experience if not performed properly. In The Art of Woodworking Beginners Guide, we will show you how to choose everything from saws to hand tools and how to use them properly to avoid ending up in the ER.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment