Handmade Tool Boxes

In high school I took shop class and one of my favorite projects was a simple wooden toolbox we got to bring home with us.  I even went as far to recreate one several years later that was in my grandfathers workshop for probably two decades.  I had some plywood lying around and thought it would be fun to build a pair with the kids.  Since my grandfather always required a plan before starting a project, I knocked out a quick layout in SketchUp.

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The project is fairly straight forward, we started by cutting out all of our pieces, we were building two hence the two separate stacks of wood.  I’m still working on getting a table saw so the cutting was done with a jigsaw. The nice thing about this project is if it’s a little rough around the edges it adds a bit of rustic charm (that’s what I told the kids anyways).

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From there we assembled the boxes using wood screws and wood glue.  We drilled pilot holes and then cleaned up the tops with a countersink drill bit so the screws would fall below the surface of the wood.  For the handle we picked up a wood dowel from the hardware store and ended up just gluing it in holes drilled on each end.  I thought about adding a decorative brass cap of some sort and screwing it it in place from the outside to reinforce the the handle, but didn’t see anything browsing the store, though I’m sure I could find something online.

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The kids and I filled the holes with wood putty and then went through and sanded the entire project with a random orbit sander to get rid of any splinters and rough spots.  After that we gave the boxes a coat of primer since the wood has been around a while and it would take two coats either way.

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We finally gave the toolboxes one more sanding and applied the final coat of paint.  Also ran by the Home Depot to grab them a set of screwdrivers to get them going.  Below is the final products.

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All in all a fun project, in retrospect I would have probably made them a few inches smaller as they ended up a bit ungainly for the kids, but hey they’ll grow into them eventually.


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