Design Notes

At 24 in. long by 12 in. wide by 18 in. tall, Nels' new box was much lighter and smaller than the old one, and a whole lot prettier, too. Wanting the new box to reflect his growing skills and appreciation for fine woodworking (and. perhaps more important, to discourage his co-worker from sitting on it during lunch), Nels designed the box with a coopered lid. For an additional challenge. Nels added a pair of tackle-box style swing-out stacked trays. The two halves

Ellis Rowe's two-tiered tote holds his boatbuilding tools. Photo by Vincent Laurence.
The drawer pulls were fashioned from buffalo nickels made by a flea-market craftsman for use as belt studs or buttons. Photo by Alec Waters.

This tool tote by Mark Nels features fan veneer on its ends, swing-out trays and drawers for small tools and a well underneath for large tools. A coopered top discourages use of the box as a job-site seat. Photo by Alec Waters.

The inscription on the handle was traced through words generated on a word processor, then carved. Photo by Alec Waters.

of the lid lock shut with a shop-made, key-less, spring-loaded brass catch. (You engage the catch by slipping a credit card into the '/i&-in. gap between a drawer and the end board—a prc-cyberspace "card-lock" system!) A gang-lock system accessed through the top of the box prevents strangers from opening the five drawers.

Other features that contribute to the unique and appealing quality of this box include drawer pulls made from buffalo nickels that have been dish-shaped and sleeved to receive an attachment screw and hand-shaped, inscribed handles (see the photos below). Not feeling confident enough to hand-letter the date and his name on the handle faces, Nels prepared the inscription on a word processor. He stuck a printout to the face of each handle with double-stick tape (which doesn't wrinkle paper, as some glues do).

Swing arms

Side of box

1-in. staves

'/2-in.cherry ply substrate

Bottom in rabbet Groove for runner

Partitions inset in dadoes

All sides, bottom, and interior portions are 5/$-in thick cherry.

then scribed through the printout with a sharp razor knife to trace the inscription. After removing the paper, Nels created the relief by tapping between the scribed lines with an awl and hammer.

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